Articles about Telco

Titanic sinking

Google cloud in five-hour unplanned cloud PITSTOP

Google's Compute Engine has suffered a five-hour Partial Inability To SupporT Optimal Performance (PITSTOP) incident. The event kicked off at 07:32 on Monday morning, August 22nd, Pacific time. It concluded on the same day at 12:01. In the interim, Google first reported that it was “ investigating an issue with network …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Aug 2016
Australian $20 burning

Australia's Telstra and Optus outed as two of the world's six most expensive ISPs

Content delivery network Cloudflare has outed Australia's Optus as one of the six most expensive internet service providers in the world, and says the other major local player Telstra is rubbish too. CloudFlare's measuring transit costs for its assessment: as a CDN it is more concerned about shuttling data over carrier …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2016
Auctioneer with hammer

FCC airwaves auction opens bidding

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally opened the bidding process on a spectrum auction that looks to raise billions in revenues and expand the coverage and quality of wireless broadband networks. The Commission on Tuesday kicked off the "clock phase" portion of the auction, in which telco providers submit …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016
Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Colour us shocked: ISPs not that keen to sign up for Universal Service Obligation

Telco regulator Ofcom has admitted that internet service providers are not particularly eager to sign up to the government's Universal Service Obligation. The USO is intended to give everyone the legal right to request 10Mbps by 2018. However, in its summary of responses for its call for input to the plans earlier this year, …
Kat Hall, 16 Aug 2016

How Brussels works: if you can’t beat them, join rewrite an EU directive

Analysis The biggest European telcos are poised to use Brussels to enact their revenge on American internet platforms, and on OTT providers like WhatsApp, the Eurocrats’ house journal The Financial Times claims. This isn’t exactly news, as a “sop to telcos” was exactly how we described what to expect last year, after we were leaked a …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2016

EU privacy czars mull privacy regulation for Skype, WhatsApp

The tussle over the future of the ePrivacy Directive is warming up: while tech and telcos want the directive relaxed or scrapped, the European Union is considering extending it to cover services like WhatsApp and Skype. Last month, the GSMA published a joint industry statement asking Europe to scrap the e-Privacy Directive; …
Telstra pit by https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/ cc. 20 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Telstra CEO Andy Penn promises $3 BEEELLION to end The Big TITSUP

How much does it take to fix an ailing carrier network? Three billion is the latest guess, according to a just-issued results announcement by Australia's dominant telco Telstra. The carrier must almost yearn for a simpler time, when it could promise a mere AU$50 million to set things straight after 2016's first round of TITSUP …

Networking wonks say lousy planning, not DDOS, caused #Censusfail

The failure of the Australian census seems to be a failure of planning. The Federal Government is blaming a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) and an abundance of caution for sending the once-every-five-years Antipodean citizen survey into a grinding halt beginning last night and continuing as of the time of writing …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2016
Shouting match

AT4 labs to put LTE-U to the test in Wi-Fi Alliance tie-up

The row over Wi-Fi spectrum access is continuing, but the Wi-Fi Alliance is pressing ahead with coexistence tests to be conducted by US test laboratory AT4 Wireless. LTE-U (LTE unlicensed) has caused heated exchanges ever since the proposal first emerged: its aim is to let cellcos send data over spectrum most often used by Wi- …
Tony Montana on the phone in Scarface

AT&T dinged for $7.75m after letting scammers gouge customers (again)

US telco giant AT&T has been fined $7.75m after scammers were found sneaking bogus charges onto customer bills. The punishment was levied by America's comms watchdog the FCC. The regulator said the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was to thank for uncovering the scam in which criminals were duping landline customers into …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2016
Indian rupee

Again with the cheap internet access in India, Facebook?

Facebook's trying to bring affordable internet access to rural India again. The company has dangled a programme called “Express Wi-fi” at Internet.org, the platform it used for its Free Basics programme. India banned that service on net neutrality grounds. The Register notes that the "Express WiFi" page at Internet.org offers …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Aug 2016

Yahoo! is! not! killing! Messenger! today!, just! the! desktop! client!

Yahoo! is to kill off the desktop client for its once-popular instant messaging service Messenger today. The Purple Palace said, back in June, that today would be the day when the desktop client for Messenger would be switched off. At the time of writing (morning of 5 August) Yahoo! Messenger's desktop client was working just …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Aug 2016

UK telco market worth £37.5bn, Ofcom reports

Total UK telecoms revenues grew for the first time in five years – increasing by £0.2bn to £37.5bn between 2014 and 2015, according to research from communications regulator Ofcom. This was partly due to a sharp increase in people switching to superfast broadband, with 9.2 million homes having speeds of up to 30Mbps in 2015 …
Kat Hall, 04 Aug 2016
Password

Cloud backup biz IDrive hits password reset button to head off crims exploiting lazy logins

Cloud-based backup outfit IDrive has reset an unspecified number of customer logins to thwart miscreants who are exploiting people's password laziness. Too many netizens each reuse the same passwords across many websites; if you hack one site, you can potentially get all the details you need to log into many other accounts on …
John Leyden, 03 Aug 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra CIO Erez Yarkoni quits to return home to family

Telstra's Chief Information Officer Erez Yarkoni has decided to leave the company. A Telstra spokesperson told The Register that "After developing and leading the refreshed IT strategy, and realigning the IT operating model Erez has made the decision to move permanently back to the US to join his family." "He departs Telstra …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2016
British sterling in flames

Outsourcery burned through more than £20 MEEEELLION in cash before it crashed

Defunct cloud infrastructure and apps provider Outsourcery Plc attracted interest from 12 bidders before it was offloaded to GCI Telecom for £4m, in a pre-pack administration handled by EY. The Statement of Affairs filed at Companies House revealed the final weeks of the failed Manchester-based, AIM-listed corporation that …
Paul Kunert, 02 Aug 2016

US state sues Comcast for $100m in row over 'worthless' repair plans

Washington state is suing Comcast and demanding $100m in damages for allegedly misleading customers. At a press conference on Monday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson claimed the US cable giant's Service Protection Plan (SPP) had cheated at least 500,000 people out of their money. People who take out the optional $4. …
Iain Thomson, 01 Aug 2016
UAE

Don't use a VPN in United Arab Emirates – unless you wanna risk jail and a $545,000 fine

A royal edict from the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have effectively made it illegal for anyone in the country to use a VPN or secure proxy service. Those caught could face jail time and fines of between 500,000 and 2,000,000 UAE dirham (US$136,130 and $544,521). The change was announced this week by the UAE …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
schoolchildren_kids_victorian_cropped

AT&T fined for school gouge

US watchdog the FCC has fined AT&T for overcharging on the internet service it provided to schools in Florida. The Commission will take a $106,425 penalty from the telco after it was found to have violated laws limiting the fees it can charge for government-subsidized E-Rate service. The E-Rate Program rules state that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jul 2016
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

How to upgrade cities to 40Gbps broadband without replacing today's fiber network

Verizon will soon test communications gear that can provide next-generation 40Gbps fiber broadband services in America. Crucially, the hardware is compatible with today's fiber lines, meaning it can be deployed to massively boost speeds without the need to dig up and replace the miles of cables running underneath our cities …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016
Password

O2 customer DATA GRAB: Not-a-hack creds for sale on dark web

Hackers have gained access to customer data on UK telco O2 – and put it up for sale on the dark web. The compromised data was likely obtained by using usernames and passwords stolen from gaming website XSplit three years ago in order to log onto O2 accounts. When the login details matched, the hackers could access O2 customer …
John Leyden, 26 Jul 2016

European privacy body slams shut backdoors everywhere

Europe's privacy body has reiterated its pro-privacy, anti-backdoor stance. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli has long expressed the view that “privacy versus security” is a false dichotomy. In 2015, he told a conference in Brussels that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to …
Money down the drain

I'm good, I'm fine, solid quarter, real well ... pants Sprint as it limps past, spilling $300m

US telco Sprint says it is bringing in new customers by the boatload, despite another quarter in which its losses reached well into nine figures. The fourth-largest carrier in the US logged a net loss of $302m as it continues a campaign to rebuild its business model. For the first quarter of Sprint's financial 2016, ended …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2016

Yahoo! She said yes. Verizon confirms $4.8bn acquisition

Verizon has today confirmed it will splash out $4.83bn (£3.7bn) buying Yahoo, with the deal expected to close in the first financial quarter of next year. The telco was one of 40 suitors rumoured earlier this year to be interested, including Google parent Alphabet, Time and even Daily Mail parent DMG. Yahoo! has been on a …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016

Verizon kicks its punters

Verizon won't be winning over too many customers with its latest moves. The US telco giant has pushed out policies that will likely prove unpopular with both mobile and land-line customers. On the mobile side, Verizon is planning to disconnect "unlimited" data customers that slurp upwards of 100GB per month on their 4G LTE …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016
Woman holds up PBX phone in office. Pic by Shutterstock

Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

In 2009, I moved to Jersey to become the network and telecoms manager for a multinational company. It was tremendous fun, as I had a variety of kit to play with. I tended to favour the Mitel 3300 ICP range (still do, actually) that supported about half of our offices, and I did the various engineer courses and exams for the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2016

EU Net Neutrality debate heats up as Tim Berners-Lee weighs in

It's hard to work up a good lump in the throat in sympathy for a bureaucrat, but staff at the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) probably need just a little: they're going to have to work through 400,000 submissions about Net Neutrality in the EU. Volker Sypli of German telco regulator BNetzA …

Guilt by ASN: Compiler's bad memory bug could sting mobes, cell towers

A vulnerability in a widely used ASN.1 compiler isn't a good thing: it means a bunch of downstream systems – potentially mobile phones and cell towers – will inherit the bug. And an ASN.1 bug is what the Sadosky Foundation in Argentina has turned up, in Objective Systems' software. The research group's Lucas Molas says …
Euro cracker

How to scam $750,000 out of Microsoft Office: Two-factor auth calls to premium-rate numbers

Gaming two-factor authentication systems with premium rate phone numbers can be very profitable – or it was until the flaws got reported. Belgian security researcher Arne Swinnen noticed that the authentication systems used by Facebook-owned Instagram, Google and Microsoft allow access tokens to be received by a voice call as …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016
Softbank_structure

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Updated British semiconductor designer ARM is about to be acquired by Japan's SoftBank. The New York Times reports the deal is imminent. The FT has put a value on the deal: US$32.4bn. That's a premium of about $10bn over ARM's market capitalisation. SoftBank is a sprawling company that operates a telco in its Japanese home but is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2016
drone

AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

Vid AT&T is planning to rapidly expand its use of drones – it can already put one of the gizmos in the air virtually anywhere over continental United States. Speaking at its Shape tech expo in San Francisco on Friday, Art Pregler, AT&T's drone program director, said the telco giant is using the flying gadgets to augment its 20,000 …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jul 2016

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Comment ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
CHILE -FEBRUARY 6: Moais in Rapa Nui National Park on the slopes of Rano Raruku volcano on Easter Island, Chile. Photo by Shutterstock

The History Boys: Object storage ... from the beginning

Backgrounder This is a terrific object storage history map from Silicon Valley object storage guy Philippe Nicolas*, who has put together a spreadsheet detailing the history of content-addressable storage (CAS**) – otherwise generally known as object storage. I have heard so many odd things about suppliers and technologies in this market …
Big pipe, photo via Shutterstock

5G: Mother of all pipes, or actually useful?

The 5G standardization timeline is set, demos and proofs of concept are proliferating, and claims to 5G world firsts are on the rise. Yet, many mobile operators and vendors don’t really know what future 5G networks will be needed for beyond better mobile broadband services, and they’re calling on potential industry users for …
Image by Daniel Wiedemann http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-89719p1.html

CloudFlare probes mystery interception of site traffic across India

An unknown agency in India, possibly telco Airtel, is quietly capitalising on encryption gaps in sites tended by DDOS-buster CloudFlare to intercept and redirect users. Little is yet known about the attacks, so far detected targeting piracy torrent site The Pirate Bay and a handful of other outfits. CloudFlare engineers have …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbnTM names six shops to re-build Telstra's HFC network

nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has named the six companies it has chosen to turn the hybrid fibre coax (HFC) network it acquired from Telstra into a white-hot broadband delivery beast. Lend Lease, Broadspectrum, Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA are the six firms to have …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jul 2016
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
Angry businesswoman shouting on phone in office. Image via Shutterstock

Using Comcast biz phones? Hope you liked your afternoon off

Comcast says it is still investigating the cause of outages that killed its business phone service in the US on Tuesday. Reports of problems with the phone service began around midday, and the American telecom giant said that as of approximately 2:30pm Pacific time it was still trying to figure out why those on its small …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016

Keep up the pressure on the telcos, Canada

Sysadmin Blog Bell Canada has lost their second appeal of the July 2015 decision by the CRTC requiring the opening of fibre networks by Canada's major telcos for wholesale consumption by third party ISPs. The result solidifies Canada's presence amongst the nations embracing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and heralds a round of massive changes in …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise shifts the deck chairs

A reshuffling of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s management stack ahead of the split with its services division has seen UK boss Andy Isherwood made EMEA MD and the region’s Enterprise Group boss. Isherwood will replace long-serving exec Peter Ryan, who has taken control of the EG sales organisation globally including all …
Paul Kunert, 11 Jul 2016
tintri_t500_front_648

Tintri 'consolidates' Australian office to Singapore

Storage vendor Tintri has “decided to consolidate APAC operations out of regional headquarters in Singapore”, effectively shuttering the Sydney office from which it served Australia and New Zealand. As archive.org records, Tintri had an office in Sydney as recently as May 7th, 2016. The company's Contact Us page now contains …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
OpenCellular prototype

OpenCellular: Facebook tests its open templates on base stations

Facebook's unleashed a slab of mobile networking technologies which that hint at how it would like remote communities to connect to the outside world. OpenCellular draws on what Facebook's learned in its Open Compute Project and open networking efforts like 6-Pack and Wedge: a design that will be open-sourced over time, to …
Woman with "crying with laughter" emoji for a head... photo by Shutterstock

Here's how to SMS spam Liberal voters and get away with it

It's easy to spam voters with text messages and get away with it. If you wanted to swing voters ahead of a federal election, as the Australian Labor Party is alleged to have done in a message claiming a rival Liberal Coalition Government would privatise the nation's healthcare provider Medicare, you wouldn't send a text …
Darren Pauli, 04 Jul 2016

FCC starts running from cable box rip-off kill-off

Twenty billion dollars is a lot of incentive, as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found out. Following a proposal in January, later approved by three of the five FCC Commissioners, cable companies would be obliged to let third parties produce set-top boxes by making subscriber and channel information …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
ETA telco cable contest winners

Loop Dreams: Top college talents showcase their skills … in cabling

Students from around the US gathered recently in Louisville, Kentucky to take part in a series of contests based on installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting lines for telco networks. The SkillsUSA Telecommunications Cabling Championship brought high school and university students together to compete in events including 25- …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2016
A freight train travels through the Bow Valley - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Photo by Brian Lasenby via Shutterstock

The problem with Canada? The price of broadband is too damn high

Opinion Openmedia, a digital rights advocacy group, has quickly become one of Canada's leading civil liberties organizations. Established in 2008 by Steve Anderson, Openmedia has run a series of successful campaigns which have made it the bane of Canada's telecoms oligopoly. Past campaigns have focused on everything from net …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2016
Sun shines on the clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Brexit, schmexit: BT and Oracle join hands for a cloudy tryst

BT has hopped into bed with Oracle in a deal that promises to provide the underlying network connectivity for Oracle’s hybrid cloud. BT Cloud Connect for OracleFastConnect is built on BT’s IP Connect virtual private network (VPN) and will link customers' on-premises IT to Oracle data centres in London or Amsterdam. The deal …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2016
Bad tech buyers

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

An unnamed local council has entered the hall of shame for making the most eye-watering tech purchase of 2015 - coughing up a 1095 per cent margin on an SD memory card. This is according to the annual poll of 200 procurement heads from 24 industries by pricing bench markers KnowledgeBus, which found average margins paid had …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jun 2016

Don't laugh: Ofcom's a model for post-Brexit Europe

BREXIT With a stunned Europe absorbing the departure of the second biggest member of the EU, our much-criticised Ofcom could provide a guiding light for new ways of co-operating. Ofcom receives plenty of stick here at The Register: most recently for its handling of OpenReach and its insistence on a four-network mobile market, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jun 2016