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London Underground's Holborn station, Central Line. Pic: Shutterstock

London 'not-spots' look out! Mayor wants team to tackle crap signal

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wants to deploy a "not-spot" team to tackle poor connectivity in the capital, under plans unveiled today which include re-announcing 4G on the underground for 2019. The squad will be hitting London's most problematic connectivity spots to work with local authorities and identify ways to improve …
Kat Hall, 10 Aug 2017

Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey

Ad companies Facebook and Google slurp one in every 3½ minutes that Britons spend online, according to a survey. This, says audience metrics company Verto Analytics, accounts for 17 per cent of British adults’ time online, the equivalent of 42.7 million days a month across Google, YouTube and Gmail. Similarly, Facebook-owned …
Gareth Corfield, 09 Aug 2017
Patchwork

Big Switch, HPE, in 'You complete me. No, you complete me' tryst

Big Switch Networks and HPE have buddied up to push other's stuff and the concept of open networking. The deal will see HPE resell Big Switch's Big Mon and Cloud Fabric on its Altoline switches. HPE's kit isn't very good at the kind of monitoring Big Switch's products can enable, so HPE feels the deal gives it the chance to …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Aug 2017

Mediocre Britain: UK broadband ranked 31st in world for speed

Broadband in Blighty ranks 31st in the world, with average speeds of 16.51Mbps, according to a comprehensive analysis. Singapore topped the list with speeds of 55Mbps. Both Romania and Bulgaria beat the UK, racking up average speeds of 21.33Mbps and 17.54Mbps respectively. Yemen came last with speeds of 0.34Mbps. The data of …
Kat Hall, 08 Aug 2017

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

A proposal to tightly lock down localhost as a reserved top-level domain name has bubbled up to the surface again at the Internet Engineering Task Force. The hostname localhost is used just about everywhere: it's useful for referring to the computer you're using in front of you, or whatever machine a piece of software is …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Aug 2017

Internet's backroom boffins' big brainwave: Put people first in future

The Internet Engineering Task Force is being asked to formally adopt its informal philosophy that when it comes to new standards and protocols, end users' needs must come first. The "best current practice" drawn up by Internet Architecture Board (IAB) member Mark Nottingham – currently in its fifth draft – states simply that …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Aug 2017
Cuts to orange

Another slice of Brocade carved off: Mavenir buys packet core business

Pretty much the last bits of Brocade have been sold, with the news that Mavenir Systems has slurped the networking company's virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) product range, intellectual property, and development lab. As well as picking up Brocade's Mumbai R&D facility, the buyer says it's going to retain key Brocade staff in …
letters stuffed in a mailbox. Photo by SHutterstock

Post Office puts stamp on ISP minnow Fuel

The Post Office has today completed its acquisition of ISP Fuel Broadband, adding 60,000 customers to its UK network. Prior to the migration, Blighty's Post Office had about 460,000 telecoms customers. ISP Review has reported that 180,000 of those are broadband subscribers. It did not disclose how much cash was splashed on the …
Kat Hall, 02 Aug 2017

Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?

Sysadmin blog Do you remember Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and so forth? It's marketing terminology that was popular at the turn of the millennium and was as used and abused as "cloud" is today. Underneath all the fluff, however, were solid and reasoned ideas about how technology would evolve and the benefits they'd bring. To understand where …
Trevor Pott, 01 Aug 2017
Beam of light

Dirty carbon nanotubes offer telcos chance at secure quantum comms

Single-photon emitters aren't a new thing in physics labs, but they usually require liquid-helium-chilled freezers. America's Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) reckons it's cracked a difficult double: a telecom-frequency single photon emitter that works at room temperature. This has potential because the two key …
Football goes into the net/ photo by shutterstock

Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Cable giant Virgin is once again hiking up the price of its broadband and phone bundles in the UK, according to a list of new pricing arrangements seen by The Register. Under the "player TV bundle" new customers can sign up to a package which includes broadband and 13 TV channels at a discount of £5.50 per per month or £32 for …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2017

Australia's .au internet registry chair quits amid no-confidence vote

Analysis The chair of Australia's .au internet registry has resigned just days before a vote of no confidence in his leadership. Stuart Benjamin announced on Friday that he had "taken the very difficult decision" to quit because he had "reached the view that there is no possible positive outcome for the organization from the vote …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jul 2017
Two beer glasses clash and splash frothy beer into the air. Cheers! Photo by Shutterstock

Sysadmin Day 2017: Still time to get the beers in

It's that time of year again, dear readers: it's Sysadmin Day 2017. Today is that one day a year where employers and coworkers are expected to give a token acknowledgement of the trials and tribulations of their overworked IT staffs and usually fail to do so. We here at The Register, however, have not forgotten you. Today's …
Trevor Pott, 28 Jul 2017

After we ran our article about the fate of .sk, the nation of Slovakia flew into a rage. And now, here's part two...

Analysis A campaign to convince the Slovakian government to halt the sale of the .sk registry has nothing to do with money or politics, it is claimed. Earlier this month, we reported on a string of articles, speeches and open letters that alleged the country's top-level domain was effectively stolen in 1999 – and that the goal of this …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2017
Broken link in chain

Cisco bugs leave network automation vulnerable to attack

A slip in certificate handling is one of three bugs in Cisco's Autonomic Networking software. As its name implies, Autonomic Networking is about reducing the load on network administrators by offering self-management for suitable switches and routers under suitable versions of the IOS operating system. And then, as they say, …
Chris Morris in Brass Eye. Channel 4

Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

The mere mention of Virgin Media's chief exec Tom Mockridge is enough to trigger the profanity filter in the UK cableco's customer forum, El Reg has discovered. Typing in the name "Mockridge" prompts the response: "You used a bad word: Mockridge. Please clean up the language and try again." Even referring to the head honcho' …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2017
Annoyed-looking woman squints at mobile phone screen while in swimming pool.

O2 admits to throttling network bandwidth for EU data roamers

O2 has admitted to deliberately throttling its network as a "temporary measure" to combat the demand of Brits using free data roaming abroad. The issue was first pointed out by a punter in the UK mobile network's support forum, who noted that within a month of the EU abolishing roaming charges on June 15, he was unable to use …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2017

The drinks are on Juniper: Revenue and profits up in Q2 2017

Juniper Networks has turned in a solid second quarter, reporting growth in revenue and profitability. Today the company reported revenue of US$1.3bn (all figures here are GAAP), and net income of $179.8m, better than Q2 2016 by a more-than-handy 28 percent. Switching was the company's engine room for Q2, piling on 32 per cent …
Hanging on photo via Shutterstock

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Open Source Insider Just in case you didn't believe Firefox was on a trajectory that should have it crash and burn into extinction in the next couple of years, former chief technology officer Andreas Gal has usage stats that confirm it. To use Gal's words: "Firefox market share is falling off a cliff." The same could be said of Firefox itself. …

UK ministers' Broadband '2.0' report confuses superfast with 10Mbps

A report by MP Grant Shapps into the state of broadband in Blighty has been criticised for doing more harm than good, as the research appears to conflate superfast broadband (24 Mbps) with 10Mbps broadband – the Universal Service Obligation goal. The Register has seen a copy of the report, due to be published this week, which …
Kat Hall, 24 Jul 2017
Bluetooth Mesh

Bluetooth makes a mesh of itself with new spec

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has released the spec for Bluetooth Mesh, a many-to-many extension of the technology. Readers are doubtless familiar with Bluetooth's point-to-point connectivity features that enable you to do things like pair a wireless keyboard with a computer. Bluetooth's second application is …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
couple with two mobile phones - porting numbers.

UK mobile number porting creaks: Arcane system shows its age

Comment Problems with the way the UK has implemented mobile phone call routing are emerging as an architecture designed for a small volume of calls struggles under the weight of usage. When you call a mobile and get a "number unavailable response" – without the call going to voicemail – it may be a much more deep-rooted problem than …
Simon Rockman, 20 Jul 2017
Drag racer wheelspin

Deutsche Telekom G.fast demo pushes G.Fast faster, further

Deutsche Telekom and ADTRAN have showed off an emerging G.Fast technology called cDTA which, along with 212 MHz carrier spectrum, ramps system performance well into the gigabit range. It's a development that will interest watchers of Australia's National Broadband Network, since the company rolling out the network recently …
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

TalkTalk posts 3% sales drop, says Openreach should walk the WalkWalk

TalkTalk's sales dropped by 3 per cent in its first quarter, with an extra 20,000 new customers failing to offset the drop. The Brit broadband provider blamed the dip in revenue on a fall in overall consumer sales. No figure was provided for the three months to the end of June. However, full-year guidance remained unchanged, …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2017

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4G: Tube comms trials for emergency crews

Transport for London has tentatively started testing 4G on the Tube for emergency services. TfL's CTO said he was not "absolutely confident" it would be complete by January, 2019, however. The £2.9bn Airwave contract, which dates from 2000, will be switched off by 2020 and replaced by the 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN) …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2017
Burning 5G against dark background

5G is not just a radio: Welcome to the fibre-tastic new mobile world

Analysis When an executive from Nokia, of all companies, said 5G was as much about fibre as wireless, it was clear this was going to be different from previous mobile standards generations. 5G will not be driven by mobile broadband speeds as 4G was. If higher data rates and larger numbers of broadband devices are an mobile network …
Wireless Watch, 18 Jul 2017
Man looks at his mobile - mildly surprised or shocked about something. Photo by shutterstock

Thanks for U-turning on biz-killing ban, Ofcom – now cough up, say GSM gateway bods

A former GSM gateway operator is threatening to reactivate a £20m legal claim against Ofcom after the UK regulator's past policies killed his company, according to documents seen by The Register. The unnamed operator is asking the telecoms regulator to enter alternate dispute resolution rather than going straight into court …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jul 2017

Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

Openreach has launched a consultation seeking input from industry to create "full fibre" broadband in Blighty - part of its new cuddly, collaborative approach post legal separation from BT. Under its proposals, the body could roll out fibre to 10 million premises by 2025. Openreach under BT had committed to laying two million …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

Multi-gig broadband spec passes interop test at Verizon

Verizon is ramping up its multi-gigabit optical broadband work with interop tests for its implementation of the OpenOMCI specification. OpenOMCI is a management specification covering the interaction between optical modems (the Optical Network Terminal, ONT) in the home and the upstream Optical Line Terminal (OLT), and is part …
Giant burger

Cisco gobbles up security cloud upstart Observable Networks

Cisco hopes to boost its enterprise security gear by snapping up real-time network behavior monitoring startup Observable Networks. No financial details were disclosed regarding the deal. The biz, located in Saint Louis, Missouri, was founded in 2011 and raised $4.4m (£3.4m) from investors. Switchzilla intends to use …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017

Ofcom creates watchdog specifically to make sure Openreach is behaving

Brit comms regulator Ofcom has created a dedicated Openreach Monitoring Unit, in a move reminiscent of the naughty kid at school being forced to sit next to the teacher. The body will watch Openreach to ensure it delivers progress towards its network division becoming legally separate from BT, following the outcome of the …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017
Spraying bugs with insecticide

Juniper admins: Grab your bug-zappers and load 22 rounds

Juniper Networks has released 22 patches and security notices. To be fair on the Gin Palace, not all of them are self-inflicted: some are catch-ups on patches from open source libraries. These include patches for ISC BIND, the GD graphics library libgd, the NTP (network time protocol) daemon, RPD (the routing protocol daemon …
BT Openreach van

Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Openreach has finally started removing BT's logo from its 22,000 vans, "unveiling its new branding" four months after the former UK state monopoly agreed to a legal separation of its broadband division. The changes will begin this month and continue over the next four years on all vehicles, customer-facing websites and apps, …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

European Telecoms Standards Institute emits mobile edge APIs

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has unveiled the first APIs created under its Multi-Access Edge Computing project. The name of the multi-access edge (MEC) game is to open up computing in mobile base stations to third-party developers. The API releases cover mobile edge services, application lifecycle …

Crashed RadioShack flogs off its IPv4 stash

Collapsed retail store RadioShack will auction off its public IPv4 addresses as part of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. The 32,000-odd addresses will be sold off in /24 and /20 subnets by auction site IPv4Auctions.com, which specializes in the sale and resale of the increasingly valuable online space. The website says it …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jul 2017
Skeptical hipster. photo by shutterstock

Virgin Media biz service goes TITSUP* across London

A London-wide Virgin Media outage caused by a "fibre break" has left business customers across the UK capital without broadband - including a number of borough councils. Bromley Council apologised for its phones and online systems being out of action, blaming the "London wide technical issue" caused by the outage. Virgin …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2017

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