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Optus buries nasty for NBN Co in its annual results

A strong – almost stunning – rate of 3G-to-4G conversion hasn't stopped Australia's number two mobile carrier Optus losing mobile customers to market leader Telstra, and only its rigorous cost-cutting has allowed the carrier to return a profit for FY 2013-2014. Although the carrier's 4G base shot up from 785,000 people in 2013 …
Cat 5 cable

Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

US broadband customers should expect to be charged wireless-style fees for their wired internet access in the next few years, an executive from US broadband mega-giant Comcast has revealed. "I would predict that in five years Comcast at least would have a usage-based billing model rolled out across its footprint," Comcast …
Neil McAllister, 14 May 2014
Picture of the Miss Piggy puppet

NBN CO told to pretty itself up for bankers by 2017

Australia's NBN Co, the company building the once-FTTP now-“multi-technology model” National Broadband Network (NBN), has been given a deadline: look sexy to private investors by 2018. That's when the government has decided it will cease funding the network in any way, with last night's federal budget setting down the financial …

GM reveals how much you'll pay to turn your car into a rolling 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

GM has announced how much it will set you back to turn one of its 4G LTE–equipped vehicles into a mobile hot spot for Wi-Fi–only kit such as the one your li'l nipper will use to stream NetFlix in the back seat on the way to grandma's house. "Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will be the first vehicle brands to market with 4G …
Rik Myslewski, 12 May 2014
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

CONFIRMED: NBN Co has NO blackspot fix plan

One of Australian communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's main selling points for his faster-and-cheaper-to-build national broadband network (NBN) plan was that it would ensure the billions of dollars being spent are first directed at those parts of the nation that don't have access to broadband. Addressing blackspots, he's …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN to expand wireless, rejig satellites, spend more

There's to be a shake-up in satellite and fixed wireless rollouts of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), with the “last seven per cent” of users incapable of being served by some kind of wire to be rebalanced between the two services, and 25,000 premises added to the yet-to-be-commenced fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network …
Playground spring horse

Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

Virgin Media has been part of Cable Cowboy John Malone's Liberty Global family for almost a year now. Yet the takeover hasn't boosted the UK telco's flat first quarter sales, which the City was told about this morning. Although growth in consumer and mobile revenue had rose, overall sales climbed a slender one per cent, to £1. …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 May 2014

Vendors pushing fibre on developing countries, says Oz minister

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has told the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that developing nations should follow his country's lead in abandoning fibre-only network rollouts for his beloved “multi-technology model”. In a “native media”-style video interview with the ITU in Geneva, Turnbull …
Speaking Clock

BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

One-time national telco BT misled customers with unsubstantiated claims regarding its broadband download speeds, the UK's advertising watchdog has ruled today. The company slipped up, the Advertising Standards Authority said, by misleading potential subscribers who used its BT.com website to look up whether its fibre optic …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 May 2014
Traffic in Beijing during period of heavy pollution

US broadband providers holding last-mile traffic ransom, ISP alleges

Consumer broadband providers in the US are deliberately ignoring traffic congestion on their networks, resulting in dramatically degraded service to customers, one major ISP has claimed. The issue, according to a blog post by Level 3 Communications VP of content and media Mark Taylor, lies with the peering interconnects that …
The ITU's 2014 internet population data

THREE BILLIONTH person to come online in early 2015

Sometime in the first weeks of 2015, someone will become the three-billionth person to connect to the internet. So says the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which on Monday emitted a new batch of statistics about how humanity connects. Person three-billion will probably be in what the ITU calls, but does not offer …
Cat 5 cable

NBN Co puts October date on first FTTB connections

NBN Co, the entity charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced the expected go-live data for its first commercial fibre/copper services, saying its fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) product will be ready by October 2014. Running behind the less-constrained internet service provider TPG, which is …

NBN Co hoses down 'user pays' story

NBN Co, the company building Australia's Notionally National Broadband Network, has moved to hose down claims that it's planning on getting out of the customer premises equipment (CPE) business – something which local reporters believe would shift install costs to end users. The leaked document that's given rise to this …
iiNet Logo

iiNet cans cloud security and storage services

iiNet has, of late, signalled an intention to build on its reputation as a carrier by offering subscription services. Yet the internet service provider yesterday cancelled two such services, namely the security-as-a-service “Protection Pack”. The protection pack was a $AUD9.99 a month service that baked malware scanning and …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co must wait until mid-2015 for fast cable modems

The word “Gigasphere” just entered the lexicon of those who watch progress of Australia's National Broadband Network, after Cable Labs, the US-based outfit that oversees development of data-over-TV-cable standards picked the word to describe the technology formerly known as DOCSIS 3.1. No less an internet luminary than Simon …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2014

Ads bandog berates Virgin Media in BSkyB broadband bumf bust-up

Virgin Media was successfully muzzled by rival BSkyB today – for failing to adequately explain the basis of a savings claim it made in a direct mail, and for omitting material that showed the differences between competing services. The UK's ad watchdog upheld two of three complaints submitted by BSkyB in which it moaned about a …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Apr 2014

After Comcast, Netflix inks second net traffic deal with Verizon

Netflix may not like the idea of paying extra to keep its streaming video content running smoothly but seems resigned to it, having now signed its second network peering deal with a major US broadband provider since the beginning of the year. "We have reached an interconnect arrangement with Verizon that we hope will improve …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2014

Comcast to dump 3.9 MEEELLION subscribers to quell Time Warner merger antitrust fears

US telecoms giant Comcast is planning to sell 3.9 million customer subscriptions to rival Charter Communications in an effort to stem fears that its planned merger with Time Warner will create a monopoly. The firm said that it would conduct three transactions with Charter as part of an effort to reduce its overall share of the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2014

AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities

Keeping pace with rival Google Fiber, AT&T has announced a possible expansion to its GigaPower broadband internet service. The company said that it would be looking at plans for bringing its gigabit service to 100 new cities in 21 metropolitan areas around the US. The proposal would include major population hubs such as Los …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Apr 2014
Google Fiber

Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials

Google is in the planning stages of a project to offer its Fiber internet service to businesses in northwest Kansas City, Missouri. Local paper The Kansas City Star said that the company is informing businesses in that area of city that they are eligible for a limited trial of the service, which will take place in coming months …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Apr 2014

Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters

Virgin Media has apologised for a blunder that resulted in some of its customers being bombarded with a deluge of emails. The broadband biz emailed Brits who use its virgin.net email service, which is provided by Google, to warn them of some changes: from the end of April, Virgin Broadband customers won't be able to log into …
BT splitter node

NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has let world+dog know that one test of VDSL delivered over fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) worked. You can read the announcement here if you want: it explains that the test achieved “delivered raw download speeds of 105 megabits per …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2014

BSkyB, CityFibre, TalkTalk pull clear of bigwig BT's bundles – plan to set fibre to York

BSkyB and TalkTalk have buddied up in a joint venture with CityFibre to build a new broadband network in the City of York that is not dependent on one-time UK state monopoly BT's infrastructure. The trio have formed a new company with each holding an equal equity stake to bring a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) service to York …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Apr 2014
Cherry

NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers

NBN Co, the organisation charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has decided to prioritise areas targeted by “cherry-picking” telcos looking to install fibre-to-the-basement to apartment complexes and office buildings. Telco TPG has signalled its intention to install such connections in …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Apr 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades

Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued no specific guidance on how NBN Co, the company charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), should target broadband blackspots. In response to questions from The Register, the Department of Communications sent us the following statement it …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark

Australians without broadband are no closer to being able to understand when, or if, the nation's National Broadband Network (NBN) will make fast data connections available, after Australia's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a new Statement of Expectations document to NBN Co, the entity charged with building the …
Sheep

Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Culture, media and sport Secretary of State Maria Miller - whose stuffed portfolio included overseeing the rollout of faster broadband networks to country bumpkins - has finally quit her Cabinet post over an expenses row. Miller handed in her resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron this morning - just hours before he …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Apr 2014
Woman throttling man

Steelie Neelie secures MEPs' support for 'net neutrality' – in principle

Members of the European Parliament jockeying for re-election voted for a wave of telecom regulatory measures proposed by Brussels' unelected digital czar today – including the proposal that mobile roaming charges should be axed by the end of next year. The politicos backed "Steelie" Neelie Kroes' reform package ahead of tense …
Kelly Fiveash, 3 Apr 2014
Two mobiles man

MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

The UK government has completely screwed up the deployment of faster internet connections to Brits living in the countryside because it failed to properly address competition concerns as a result of its awarding all its broadband contracts to BT, politicians concluded today. MPs sitting on the public accounts committee published …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 Apr 2014

ISPs CAN be ordered to police pirates by blocking sites, says ECJ

ISPs throughout the European Union's 28-member bloc can be slapped with injunctions to prevent their subscribers from accessing pirated content, Luxembourg's Court of Justice ruled today. The decision comes after advocate general Pedro Cruz Villalón opined in November that telcos could be ordered to effectively operate as …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Mar 2014
A boat full of Fail

BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

BT has coughed to a crappy glitch with its Home Hub 3A router that is blocking some VPN connections. However, the one-time state monopoly appears to have taken a long time to acknowledge customer gripes, which have been piling up for weeks. BT said it had taken a while to respond to individual complaints because it was …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Mar 2014

BT snatches crown: Soars to top of complaints list

BT was the most complained about ISP in the final three months of 2013, communications watchdog Ofcom said today. The one-time national telco raked up the most gripes from broadband subscribers, according to the regulator's latest quarterly report on complaint figures. Ofcom said: For the first time, BT generated the most …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Mar 2014

ISPs' pirate-choking blocking measures ARE effective – music body

High Court orders dished out to telcos in the UK and elsewhere in the European Union demanding that they block access to sites serving pirated content have helped to decrease access to BitTorrent trackers, a music industry body has claimed. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry published its annual report on …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Mar 2014

AT&T and Netflix get into very public spat over net neutrality

Friday is the deadline for public comment on US comms watchdog the FCC's forthcoming net neutrality regulations. And, as the deadline approaches, two of the major protagonists have got into a (sometimes bitchy) online spat. On Thursday Netflix CEO Reed Hastings published a pugnacious blog post saying that the FCC needs to …
Iain Thomson, 22 Mar 2014

ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Fast and reliable broadband connections remain a distant dream for far too many Brits, researchers at a consumer group claimed on Friday. It's estimated by Which? that around 13 million households across Blighty are saddled with slow access to the country's networks. The issue was compounded by poor service, the outfit added. …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Mar 2014
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

Telstra, not Turnbull, at fault in Twitfight

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull stands accused of telling small business owner Julia Keady to move to another home if she wants better broadband, but that interpretation of the exchange between Turnbull and Keady is not correct and ignores the golden rule of any transaction: buyer beware. Here's the pair of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

BLUE BIRD DOWN: Turkey wipes out Twitter 'scourge'

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan appears to have ordered Twitter be blocked in the nation after the service was used to post information alleging government corruption. Turkish users trying to load Twitter.com were taken to a page with a statement from the local telecoms regulator TIB, according to Reuters. The statement …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Mar 2014
iiNet Logo

iiNet CEO Michael Malone resigns

Michael Malone has resigned his position as chief executive officer of Australia's third-most-subscribed-to internet service provider iiNet. Malone's story is Australia's very own technology fairy tale: he founded the company in his parents' garage in 1993 and led the company to its current position as a listed entity with over …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2014

Turnbull to add speed test app to MyBroadband web site

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull today delivered a speech at The Australian Information Industry Association's (AIIA's) Navigating Analytics Summit. Your correspondent tuned in to the live stream, but was confronted by extreme jitter: video often cut out for seconds at a time, usually after just a few seconds …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014
Vodafone Smart

Reports say Vodafone to gobble Spanish cable outfit Ono

Vodafone is about to pay around $US10bn to acquire Spain's Ono, according to several sources. The Wall Street Journal reports the deal will be announced on Monday, with $9.73bn to change hands. Bloomberg offers round $10bn, citing the same folks familiar with the report as does the Journal. Ono is a triple-play operator, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Fibre fanaticism overrode proper NBN planning says report

Early planning for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) focussed on “how best to implement the government’s policy objectives, rather than considering the merits of different options.” So says Australia's Productivity Commission in a draft report (PDF) on the state of the nation's public infrastructure. The report's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2014
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

Cherry-pick undermines NBN business case: Switkowski

NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski has told a Senate committee that “cherry-picking” network rollouts planned by TPG and mooted by Telstra do, indeed, pose a threat to its own business model. TPG Internet stated last year that it wanted to extent its metro fibre networks to residential apartment basements, using existing copper to …