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Glorious future of China

China decrees local internet must go faster to stimulate growth

China's premier Li Keqiang has decided the nation's internet connections need to get faster and cheaper. “China has more cell phone users than any other country, but its Internet service speed ranks below 80th in the world due to underdeveloped information infrastructure,” the premier reportedly said. Li Keqiang sits atop China …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2015
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/blachswan/

Telstra offers six explanations for its dud Netflix rating

Telstra has come up with six reasons for Netflix's rating of it as the worst-performing broadband network in Australia. In a rambling post Telstra's networks group managing director Mike Wright offers a bunch of mitigating factors that Vulture South thinks constitute six arguments: Netflix doesn't compare like for like, so its …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2015
DirecTV

FCC leaning towards approving AT&T/DirecTV gobble – report

The Federal Communications Commission is reportedly ready to approve US telecom giant AT&T's proposed $49bn acquisition of DirecTV, despite concerns voiced by Netflix and other online media outfits. The FCC is nearly finished with its review and will likely sign off on the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing the fabled …
Shaun Nichols, 13 May 2015
NBN logo

Australian government sun to set on NBN funding

BUDGET 2015 The 2015 Federal Budget has set the date at which the government will drive the national broadband network (NBN, not nbnTM) to a quiet country road, open the door, and drive off. In the firm belief that the multi-technology-mix-architected NBN will be ready by the 2016/17 budget year (and that the current government remains in …
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

Rural English villages that almost nobody has heard of are set to receive broadband connections that are nearly fifty times faster than the national average. Baywood, Wooton, Dry, Sunningwell, Boars Hill and others will benefit from infrastructure being rolled out by small telco Gigaclear, which is laying fibre to the premises …
Simon Rockman, 12 May 2015
Dog's backside and tail

EEeeeeek, complaints! Ofcom roasts BT-wannabe-spouse

EE was the most moaned-about ISP for the final nine months of 2014, Blighty's communications watchdog Ofcom said this morning. The operator, which awaits regulatory approval for its planned nuptials with telecoms giant BT later this year, was lobbed more customer complaints about its broadband and landline services than any of …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 May 2015
BT Openreach van

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

BT's plans to develop improved broadband infrastructure would be put at risk if Ofcom decided to force it to sell off its Openreach division, the company's chief executive has said. Gavin Patterson said that it "would be difficult to convince the board of BT to invest" in broadband infrastructure improvements if the regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2015
Netflix

According to Netflix, Australia's slowest ISP owns half of Foxtel

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, offers Netflix customers the slowest download speeds, the video-streamer says. Here's Netflix's data for Australia. Netflix Australia speed data Netflix's view of Australian internet service provider download speeds Netflix says its index “lists the average prime time bitrate for Netflix …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2015

FCC: Thanks for the concern, telcos, but we're not delaying Open Internet rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it will implement its net neutrality provisions despite objections from telcos. The FCC issued a ruling on Friday denying a motion from trade groups USTelecom and CTIA, among others, to stay the FCC's Open Internet proceedings pending legal challenges to the FCC order. The …
Shaun Nichols, 11 May 2015
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

Turnbull moves on NBN subsidy arrangements

Australia's government has slapped the defibrillator on the Vertigan review of the National Broadband Network (NBN), and is asking for submissions about how subsidies for unprofitable services in remote areas should operate. Have your say on funding options for #nbn non-commercial services visit http://t.co/T3UkVduXvP # …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC wants to know if carriers can grab some of YOUR WiFi signal

The United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking over a key item on the telco industry's wish-list: spectrum sharing to try and cope with a capacity crunch. While its consultation paper, here, focuses on “LTE-U” (LTE-Unlicensed), current developments will probably also be relevant to the looming 5G business …
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Australian Labor Party toys with a return to fibre, sometime, somewhere

The Australian Labor Party is considering whether it might be able to revive some kind of fibre-to-the-premises policy to take to the 2016 election. It's put forward a proposed policy platform, which will have to get past its backroom policy-making sausage factory, that includes a “two-stage” national broadband network (NBN). …

Fat cable bods Comcast belch contentedly, stroke bulging broadband belly

Broadband sales boosted profits at US cable goliath Comcast by nine per cent to $3.9bn (£2.6bn) for the company's first quarter, compared with the same period last year. Overall sales rose 2.6 per cent to $17.9bn (£11.7bn), with revenue at the company's Cable Communications biz rising 6.3 per cent to $11.4bn (£7.5bn). Comcast …
Kat Hall, 5 May 2015
Intel Atom x5 and x7 Processors.

Intel has ambitions to turn modems into virtual servers and reinvent broadband

Intel has assembled a stack of technologies it thinks can give broadband modems a brain implant and change the nature of home broadband services. At the core of Chipzilla's ambition, as Intel folk have explained to The Reg, is a plan to put x86 chippery into customer premises equipment (CPE) – the modem/router homes and smallish …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2015
Rand Paul

Rand Paul is trying to murder net neutrality. Is there a US presidential election, or something?

US presidential wannabe Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a motion under the Congressional Review Act that could block the introduction of the Democrat-driven net neutrality rules. The joint resolution means both houses of Congress are highly likely to vote on a straight majority basis to reject the broadband regulations, drawn up by …
Iain Thomson, 30 Apr 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

Speaking in Tech: Comcast bails from TWC merger – a nation cheers

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of El Reg's best and only tech podcast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Greg has escaped to another tech conference, so Sarah and Ed are left to themselves to talk about AWS and Microsoft earnings, Comcast dumping the …
Team Register, 29 Apr 2015
Verizon's FiOS promo shot

ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

Sports TV giant ESPN is suing Verizon after the telco invited its FiOS home subscribers to pick and choose their TV channels. ESPN has filed a lawsuit in New York State alleging breach of contract, and is seeking damages. ESPN reckons Verizon is "unfairly depriving" it of money by allowing people to drop unwanted channels, …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2015
NBN Logo

NBN Co loses the “Co” for AU$700,000

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has changed its name to NBN. Reports from Fairfax Media suggest the company spent some AU$700,000 on the re-branding exercise, which produced the logo at the top of this story and the variant at its foot. Both appear heavily- …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015

Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

Comcast has admitted it has given up on its $45bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). Comcast, America's biggest cable giant, announced in the past few hours that it will end the pursuit of its largest rival amid stiff opposition from government watchdogs and other telcos. "Today, we move on," declared Comcast CEO Brian …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015

Comcast 'flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable'

Comcast is walking away from its proposed $45bn merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC), insiders claim. Comcast will announce as early as Friday its intent to scrap its plans for the mega-acquisition, according to well-placed sources speaking to Bloomberg. Comcast did not take up The Register's offer to deny the claims. The …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Apr 2015
The inflatable arse, with free pump and matching lipstick

Nobody should have to see their own rear, but that's what Turnbull's NBN will do to Australia

Last month I had a disorienting and quite frankly unnerving experience: I saw myself from behind. This bit of magic happened at the LAUNCH festival in San Francisco, where a few hundred baby startups get together to show off their ideas. This year, reflecting the broader trend in the industry, several firms had VR products. …
Mark Pesce, 22 Apr 2015

Top US Democrats cry death to Comcast-Time Warner hyper-gobble

Six leading Democrats in the US have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) asking them to reject the proposed $45.2bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast. Senators Franken, Sanders, Markey, Wyden, Warren, and Blumenthal, warn that allowing the deal to go through would …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015
Two upended shopping trolleys in an alleyway. Photo by Cyron, licensecd under CC 2.0

Tesco broadband goes TITSUP, world keeps turning on wobbly-wheeled trolley

Tesco's broadband service went titsup this afternoon and remained out of action as The Register went to publication. The UK's largest supermarket chain agreed to offload its fixed line broadband customer base of around 75,000 subscribers to TalkTalk in January this year. The network is in the process of being transferred over …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Apr 2015

That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Evidence gathered by FBI agents who posed as broadband repairmen to enter a suspect's villa without a warrant has been thrown out by a US judge. The District Court of Nevada has decided [PDF] that the g-men violated the Fourth Amendment rights of poker ace Wei Seng Phua when they searched his Las Vegas bolthole while disguised …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2015
Photo by Mike Mozart

Comcast, Time Warner Cable in crunch talks with FCC, DoJ over $42bn mega-merger

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) is on the rocks, it appears. Sources close to the two companies have told The Wall Street Journal that the US Department of Justice and the FCC are not happy with the proposed business gobble, and both want to hold face-to-face talks to discuss the ins and outs of the …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

NBN Co to trial faster fixed wireless services

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has announced a trial of 25-50Mbps downloads and 5-20Mbps uploads on its fixed wireless network. The trial is for wholesale speeds: retailers will have the choice of creating products at this speed, or ignoring it. The network- …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2015

FCC hit with SEVENTH net neutrality lawsuit

CenturyLink has become the seventh organization to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismantle its radical new net neutrality rules. The broadband provider filed a lawsuit against the US regulator in the Washington DC Court of Appeals, and used almost exactly the same language as the first lawsuit to land last …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015

D-Link router patch creates NEW SOHOpeless vuln

Hacker Craig Heffner says D-Link has not only failed in its bid to patch its DIR-890L router but has managed to introduce a new vulnerability instead. The Tactical Network Solutions router wrecker says D-Link's quadcopter-esque AC3200, reviewed elsewhere as " the most insane router in the history of mankind", is open to …
Darren Pauli, 16 Apr 2015

IWF took down over 31,000 child sexual abuse URLs in 2014

Last year saw a 136 per cent increase in identified and subsequently removed child abuse imagery, according to a just-released report from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). In its Annual Report for 2014, the body revealed that its new ability to actively seek out criminal content has been effective in allowing it to identify …

Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Election 2015 Hot on the heels of Labour, the Conservatives today launched their manifesto – which matched their rivals for the sheer lack of detail on tech-related policy. "We will ensure that Britain seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards," read the manifesto. No …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015

Sinister lobby group (AT&T, Verizon among membership) sues FCC to kill net neut

A powerful US telco lobby group, of which AT&T and Verizon are prominent members, has refiled its lawsuit against the FCC's net neutrality rules. The rules, which will bring internet access providers under stricter regulation, were published in the Federal Register early on Monday – the final step in making them legally …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2015
Googorola logo

Google tips LTE patents into mostly-public pool

The LTE rollout has moved a little closer to avoiding sueball spats that have long plagued the tech biz, with Google tipping a bucket of its IP into Via Licensing. Via Licensing, set up years ago by Dolby Laboratories, set up an LTE patent pool in 2012, with ten participants including names like AT&T and Clearwire, KDDI, NTT …
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor

Researchers at Rapid7 have turned up a set of typically dumb vulnerabilities in Motorola's DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0-capable SURFboard SBG 6580 cable broadband modem. The device, which also ships under the Arris brand, has vulnerabilities included hardcoded login credentials that will allow an outside attacker to take control of the …

Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

Last Wednesday's blaze in Holborn, which knocked out power and internet access across London, could have been sparked by thieves pulling a daring heist to pocket £200m in precious stones and metals. "I think that probably was deliberate," John O’Connor, former head of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad told capital radio station LBC …
Iain Thomson, 9 Apr 2015
slow_sign

Tasmania wants more backbone

The government of the Australian state of Tasmania has commissioned a feasibility study into a possible new optical fibre cable across the Bass Strait. Until this century, the island state's only connection to the Australian mainland was provided by Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, which has two fibre routes. That was …

Netflix fail proves copper NBN leaves Australia utterly 4Ked

I ran into my friend Tom the other day. He’s worked at the intersection of media and technology pretty much from the beginning. When there’s a launch of a new media tech that promises to change the world, Tom’s always in the front row, taking notes. At the end of last year, Tom received an invite to Netflix’s Australian launch. …
Mark Pesce, 8 Apr 2015
Fiber optics

Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

So soon after Google promised Atlanta, Georgia, gigabit broadband, Comcast has said it will offer 2Gbps internet to homes in the city in May – and millions more Americans by 2016. The US cable colossus announced Thursday that its 2Gb/s Gigabit Pro service will debut in Atlanta, reaching 18 million homes across the US by the end …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Apr 2015
RFID_snail

Boring fixed 'net users still dominate Oz market

By now it must be obvious that Australia's mobile data allowances are laughable: in the last quarter of 2014, year-on-year growth in fixed broadband downloads outpaced total mobile downloads by nearly 3:1. The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS') regular Internet Activity publication shows that fixed consumption went up by …

Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

Some of the UK's ISPs may want to rethink their routing schemes after a massive fire near Holborn tube station in London knocked out power and internet access across several regions of the capital. There are now around 70 firefighters at the #Holbornfire no reports of injuries and local offices have been evacuated pic.twitter. …
Iain Thomson, 1 Apr 2015

Silicon Valley gets its first 1Gbps home bro– oh, there's a big catch

Silicon Valley, or rather a small patch of it, finally has gigabit home broadband – and it's not Google Fiber. And there are two catches. We often rag on AT&T for following Mountain View's advertising giant into markets, but in this case it seems the telco has beaten Google in its own backyard. The phone giant said it will …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

NBN Co launches fibre-to-the-building product

+Comment NBN Co, the entity charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network, says it has launched its fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) product. In a statement sent to The Register at 6:00PM on Monday described today's events as a “commercial launch” and features chief customer officer John Simon saying pilots have seen “families …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Mar 2015

FCC supremo slams big cable in gridiron Robin Hood metaphor mash-up

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, the chairman of US broadband regulator the FCC, fresh from no fewer than four Congressional grillings, has given a spirited defense of his radical net neutrality rules. And by spirited defense, we mean, slamming big cable for trying to control the internet. In a keynote at his alma mater, Ohio State University, …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Mar 2015