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Cyber security buck stops with me, says Dido Harding

The chief executive of TalkTalk, Dido Harding, has told MPs that she alone is responsible for cyber security at the company, but that the operator does not yet know if the major hack it experienced in October was avoidable. The hack led to the personal details of more than 156,000 people being accessed by hackers and the …
Kat Hall, 16 Dec 2015

In-flight 3G arrives, promises aerial internet at mobile roaming prices

Panasonic company AeroMobile Communications Limited claims to have launched the first in-flight 3G service. The service will run on Panasonic's Ku-band aeronautical satellite network and will place a 3G network inside planes. 3G is of course rather slower than recent versions of 802.11, but both are constrained by the …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Dec 2015
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GOP senators push FCC to kill support for local broadband

A group of US Senators is asking the FCC to dial back its support for local governments that wish to set up municipal ISPs. The eight Senators, all Republicans, sent a letter [PDF] to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler asking that he provide more information on the FCC's recent actions on behalf of local governments who wished to set up …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Dec 2015
"Bad dog": Owner wags finger at naughty bulldog

EE tops Ofcom’s naughty list, generates most fixed line broadband complaints

EE has once again topped Ofcom's naughty list for the most-complained about broadband providers, despite previous promises by the operator to try harder. The latest report covers the three-month period from July to September 2015, and includes complaints made about 13 providers of fixed line telephone, fixed line broadband, …
Kat Hall, 15 Dec 2015

New gear needed to capture net connection records, say ISPs

Communication providers will need to invest in new equipment if they are to capture people's internet connection records (ICRs) and comply with planned new UK surveillance laws, three major UK internet service providers (ISPs) have said. Under the Investigatory Powers Bill, proposed by the UK government in November, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2015
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Linknet shuttering, blames NBN rollout

Long-time indy ISP Linknet on the NSW north coast is shuttering its business, saying it's been overbuilt by the NBN and can't recapitalise to become a reseller. For more than a decade, the small ISP has run a wireless-last-mile model to connect customers in the fairly sparsely-populated Mullumbimby area, since many people live …

NBN opens 400 tech jobs in looming second Melbourne security shop

nbn, the company building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), will hire 400 tech bods over the next two years to staff its upcoming Cyber Security Operations Centre in Melbourne's south. The will operate around the clock with infosec bods policing the network. It will operate in addition to the Network and Services …
Darren Pauli, 7 Dec 2015
NBN logo

NBN: blowout or not, leaks are an irritant for government

Australia's shadow communications minister ALP's Jason Clare is pimping a leak of a March 2015 internal document penned by nbnTM , the entity building Australia's national broadband network (NBN) to prove another cost blowout in the rollout. But his arguments may not add up to much. Since nbnTM has already disowned the …

Wow, what took you so long? Comcast bends net neutrality rules

Comcast has started bending the intent behind net neutrality rules with a new service, just as those rules are heading to a DC court this week. The telco giant has announced a "Stream TV" service that is available only to its Xfinity internet customers. It will cost $15 a month and it comprises a small group of TV channels …

Vote for me, Hotspot Hillary – I'm your $250bn broadband builder-in-chief

Analysis Hillary Clinton has announced a $250bn plan to build out the United States' broadband infrastructure and ensure that everyone has fast internet access at an affordable price by 2020. That's the headline figure anyway in her new policy position called "Building Tomorrow's Economy Today." In reality, the presidential candidate …

Ofcom spins out Wi-Fi checker app just in time for Christmas

The UK's communications watchdog has released a Wi-Fi checker app to help broadband customers with wireless set-up in their homes and offices. According to Ofcom, there are plenty of chumps out there who plonk their kit way too close to electronic devices, such as lamps and baby monitors. The regulator was keen to keep its …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Dec 2015
Scotty in the original Star Trek

BT inks deal with HP Enterprise – beams cloud to biz customers

In brief Blighty telecoms giant BT has struck a cloudy deal with HP Enterprise for an undisclosed sum. The company said that its IP VPN customers can now hook up directly to HPE's Helion managed cloud services. BT claimed that the direct link up would help customers to have more "reliable and secure access" when building workloads. …
Team Register, 30 Nov 2015
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UK.gov pooh-poohs Virgin Media's whinge to Brussels over beefy broadband pot

Virgin Media has whined about the UK government's broadband rollout scheme, claiming that the £680m taxpayer-funded pot of cash doesn't represent "value for money". The cable company has handed its complaint to state aid officials in Brussels. It has also submitted evidence (PDF) to the cross-party culture, media and sport …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Nov 2015
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Broadband's frequency hunters denied Freeview patch – for now

Freeview is safe. For now. Mobile operators with broadband services were denied the 470-694MHz frequency used by the terrestrial TV service. The decision was taken at a World Radio Conference (WRC) in Geneva, Switzerland with a review of the whole UHF band planned 2023. Essentially, the future of Freeview is now assured, …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Nov 2015

BT could lawyer up after Sky’s sport channels obligation removed

BT has attacked Ofcom's decision to lift a five-year-long obligation on Sky to offer its sports channels to competitors in the market. The UK's communications regulator confirmed on Thursday morning it was removing the regulation, which had required the broadcaster to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on a wholesale basis. Ofcom …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2015

TalkTalk boss on Joe Garner exit, Virgin Media support for Openreach and THAT attack

ECTA Regulatory Conf '15 TalkTalk boss Dido Harding has described the departure of BT Openreach’s chief Joe Garner as a big headache for the former state monopoly – which is in the midst of battling to retain the infrastructure wing of its business. Garner resigned on Monday, having been poached by Nationwide to head up the building society. Speaking …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015
BT Openreach van

Yesterday: Openreach boss quits. Today: BT network goes TITSUP

Updated Less than 24 hours after BT Openreach chief Joe Garner quit the telco's troubled infrastructure division, BT customers all over the UK are saying they can't get online – with the apparent network outage possibly taking up to three days to fix. The outage manifested as a packet routing problem, with some unfortunate souls …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Nov 2015
BT Openreach at work

Openreach boss quits BT in midst of split uncertainty

BT's Openreach chief Joe Garner has quit the telecoms giant during a deeply unsettling time for the firm's infrastructure division. Calls for Openreach to be divorced from the one-time state monopoly have been intensifying in recent weeks as UK communications regulator Ofcom mulls such a split. BT has not yet lined up a …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2015
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Queensland council plans own optical fibre network

In a probably-inevitable outcome of the Australian government's mandated multi-technology model for the National Broadband Network, a Queensland city wants to go it alone and install its own fibre-to-the-premises network. The plans so far are limited: Rockhampton's local newspaper, The Morning Bulletin reported last week that …
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Ex-competition watchdog and TalkTalk adviser calls for Openreach split from BT

Another day, and another person steps forward to add their voice to the chorus of people demanding that BT breaks away from its Openreach division. This time, it's ex-Office of Fair Trading head John Fingleton who has been whinging about BT's powerful position in the broadband market in Blighty. As noted by the Financial …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2015
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

BT reveals vanishingly small detail about its fibre broadband network

BT's Openreach has released a tiny amount of information about data usage over the former state monopoly's fibre network. In fact, it's so insignificant that Ofcom wasn't even aware of the firm's shiny new quarterly index until The Register flagged it up to the UK's communications watchdog. Highlights (if you can call them …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2015
Chattanooga

The Internet Association backs FCC's muni broadband push

Count the likes of eBay, Facebook, and Twitter among those who support the FCC's plan to allow municipal governments to become ISPs. The Internet Association, an industry group whose membership also includes Google, Amazon, and Yahoo!, has filed an amicus brief with the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the FCC …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Nov 2015

Telstra, nbnTM deny Brisbane build battle

Telstra has moved to bury rumours that it's in a battle with nbnTM over the residents of South Brisbane. The carrier says that contrary to reports that nbnTM is overbuilding the fibre Telstra laid in the area, the two have put discussions about the area on hold until next year. Telstra had to relocate the South Brisbane …

Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

Virgin Media will jack up the price tag on its broadband and phone service bundles by up to £3.99 from early next year. The Liberty Global-owned company has written to customers to warn them of the price hike, which will hit their bills from February next year. Virgin Media has been fielding complaints about the price rise, …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

NBN mulls capacity charge revamp

Along with its quarterly results announcement yesterday, nbnTM has hinted to the industry that its CVC charges could fall again. The connectivity virtual circuit (CVC), currently AU$17.50 per megabit per second, per month, is a large part of the National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale package that retail service providers ( …
David Cameron during PMQs on Wednesday, 28 October. Pic credit: Parliament TV

UK.gov finally promises legally binding broadband service obligation – by 2020

It has been three years since countryside lobbyists demanded a legally binding promise from the UK government on broadband speeds – but the wheels are only now starting to turn. On Saturday, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that everyone across Blighty should be given a legal right to request a 10Mbit/s broadband …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Nov 2015
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Gods' own broadband: Loon option for DEITY

Alphabet has its eye on its next billion, reportedly holding meetings in India to get Project Loon off the ground. The country's IT minister, responsible for the gloriously-named DEITY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology), expressed his interest in the project late last week. The move would add India to the …
Bill Morrow NBN CEO

NBN shows strong ARPU growth as users connect

Fibre-to-the-home revenue on Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) more than double between the first quarter 2015 and the quarter just completed, the company's latest results announcement shows. nbnTM reported AU$41 million in FTTP revenue for the quarter, $25 million better than the $16 million recorded for the same …
Denver, Colorado

Colorado unshackles cities, lifts ban on govt-owned muni broadband

Voters in Colorado have abolished laws that had prohibited local governments from offering their own broadband internet services. Local ballots in 17 counties all resulted in voters electing to allow their local governments to offer broadband service in competition with private cable companies. The vote overturns a 2005 law …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Nov 2015
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Facebook's laser-powered internet drone preps for take off

The prototype craft for Facebook’s laser internet-in-the-sky is close to take off. A solar-powered, carbon fiber flying V-shaped wing, that’ll pump out 10Gbit/s connectivity using a laser, will begin test flights “soon”, the firm said Thursday. Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said preparation for the …
Gavin Clarke, 5 Nov 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Slow connections can’t come fast enough as industry eyes low bandwidth

Huawei GMBF There’s a general acceptance within the mobile industry that the more advanced forms of 4G and 5G will eventually conjure up connections of 1Gb/s. But for many speakers at Huawei’s Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2015, 10kb/s is every bit as exciting. At the Hong Kong event, speakers were positively effusive about LTE-NB, or …
Simon Rockman, 5 Nov 2015

TalkTalk may tell investors to tighten belts after cyber incident

TalkTalk is likely to deliver bad news to investors next week, as analysts suggested it has managed to halve its customer growth forecast after spaffing the sensitive data of more than a million existing and former customers. Shares in the telco sit at their lowest point since an initial drop of 10.7 per cent after confessing …
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Former nbn CEO Mike Quigley ends his silence, unloads on government

The former CEO of Australia's NBN Co, the entity responsible for building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), Mike Quigley, has hit back at two years of being blamed by two prime ministers for the troubles that beset the project's multi-technology mix model (MTM) mandated in 2013. In particular, Quigley …

Hacked TalkTalk CEO: Dead as a Dido? Nope, she refuses to quit

TalkTalk boss Dido Harding has refused to bow to pressure to step down from her role, as the fall out from its cyber attack debacle continues. Earlier today the company 'fessed up to having 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes breached, 28,000 obscured credit and debit card details, and 1.2 million customer email …
Kat Hall, 30 Oct 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT Openreach boss says UK telcos need 'predictable regulation'

Parliament & Internet Conf '15 BT's Openreach chief Joe Garner lobbied once again today for the one-time state monopoly to remain in one piece, even as most of its rivals continue to push for a break up of its infrastructure wing from the firm's mothership. Speaking at an internet debate in Parliament on Thursday afternoon, Garner said that splitting …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2015
David Cameron during PMQs on Wednesday, 28 October. Pic credit: Parliament TV

UK.gov plans to legislate on smut filters after EU net neutrality ruling

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed today that the Tory government planned to legislate on smut filters, following yesterday's net neutrality ruling in the European Union. Cameron told MPs during PMQs that he had "spluttered over my cornflakes" when he read this morning that the EU measures would fail to think of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2015
Woman throttling man. Pic: quan ha

European Parliament rejects amendments to net neut rules, waves through law

MEPs voted against changes to net neutrality rules in the European Union on Tuesday lunchtime. It comes after key internet figures, including the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners Lee, warned EU politicos not to wave through the regulations without amendments due to a number of loopholes in the proposed law. …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015

Teenage boy bailed until November over TalkTalk incident

The 15-year-old boy arrested in connection with the investigation into the alleged data theft from the TalkTalk website has been bailed until a date in November. Arrested on the evening of Monday, 26 October, a 15-year-old was taken into custody by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), working alongside …
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TalkTalk attack: UK digi minister recommends security badges for websites

The UK's digital minister Ed Vaizey has floated the idea of adding kitemarks to websites that have strong security measures in place, following the attack on TalkTalk's business last week. Speaking in Parliament on Monday in response to an urgent question on data breaches and consumer protection, following the ransack of …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015
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It's almost time for Australia's fibre fetishists to give up

Last week, BT and Alcatel Lucent let it be know that their experimental broadband-over-copper technology XG.fast had achieved 1.8 gigabits per second over a 100m copper strand. nbnTM, the company building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has already trialled G.fast, the successor to VDSL and progenitor to XG.Fast …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2015
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US broadband giants face 'deceptive speed' probe in New York

An investigation has been launched by New York's attorney general to determine whether giant ISPs Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision have misled customers on broadband speeds. According to reports, AG Eric Schneiderman's top enforcement counsel, Tim Wu, fired off letters to the companies on Friday, demanding – among …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Oct 2015

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits

TalkTalk is in the process of telling its four million subscribers that it has fallen victim to a “sustained cyberattack” – and it is possible that personal information including bank details have been pilfered. The UK ISP took down its website yesterday, telling us this was not related to a broadband outage, and the site …
Paul Kunert, 22 Oct 2015