Broadband > More stories

Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

A mother and daughter are suing Comcast claiming the cable giant's router in their home was offering public Wi-Fi without their permission. Comcast-supplied routers broadcast an encrypted, private wireless network for people at home, plus a non-encrypted network called XfinityWiFi that can be used by nearby subscribers. So if …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Dec 2014

Virgin Media's ad fibs EXPOSED by bitter rival BT

BT successfully convinced Britain's advertising watchdog to admonish rival ISP Virgin Media for "misleading" its customers with unsubstantiated savings claims. The cable company failed to defend itself against three separate complaints filed by BT, which had griped about five national press ads and one posted on Virgin Media's …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Dec 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Telstra's NBN boondoggle nearly set in stone: reports

Reports are emerging that the builder of Australia's national broadband network, NBN Co, has all-but struck a deal with Telstra over access to last-mile copper, plus a separate arrangement to absorb the country's cable broadband networks. The deals are reportedly so advanced they'll be tabled at a cabinet meeting, perhaps even …
Slow downloads

97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Most Brits can get broadband at home these days, according to regulator Ofcom, but the service is still pretty patchy. The telecoms authority said 97 per cent of folks in Blighty are able to get at least basic broadband of 2Mbps, and altogether 15 per cent of people are stuck below the 10Mbps mark. Ofcom considers this speed – …
The Zuckerberg comic cover. Image: Bluewater

Marky Mark & the techie bunch: We love you, China. Can Facebook 'n' Apple come over?

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Apple kingpin Tim Cook recently welcomed China's top internet regulator to the United States. Photographs posted on a People's Republic state-owned news website showed the tech titans heartily laughing and smiling with Lu Wei. Zuckerberg apparently greeted Wei in …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Dec 2014

Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

The long-awaited G.fast physical layer standard has been signed off by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), improving the chance that the world will see standards-compliant, interoperable kit start to ship in 2015. The ITU almost manages to work up some excitement about the announcement, reminding a grateful world …

FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table

The FCC has restarted the approval process for a pair of high-profile proposed mergers – Comcast-Time Warner Cable, and AT&T-DirecTV. The US watchdog said it has officially set two deadlines for folks sending in their views on the biz gobbles. In the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWC) tie-up, citizens will have until …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Dec 2014

FCC bigwig grills Netflix: If internet fast lanes are so bad, why did YOU build them?

An FCC commissioner has asked Netflix to explain an apparent contradiction in its demand for net neutrality: on the one hand, Netflix wants an open and neutral internet for all – and on the other hand, it's making deals with ISPs to speed up its video streams. Netflix pays Comcast and Verizon to install servers within their …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co details fibre/copper divide in new rollout plan

NBN Co has reconfirmed what's been known ever since the 2013 election: fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) builds are more-or-less frozen, and all new builds will be under its multi-technology model. Two weeks after its revised corporate plan capped Australia's experiment with fibre-to-the-premises, the network builder has published a …
Gesture six

AT&T to FTC: I'd like to see YOU install 1Gbps fiber across the US. Which we're still doing

AT&T has told the FCC to mind its own business after the US watchdog started poking around the ISP's threat to halt its fiber broadband rollout. The phone giant, in a strop over proposed net neutrality regulations, announced it was freezing its program of high-speed internet expansion in America. Execs at the company said it was …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Nov 2014
management regulation2

BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network

BT's patent spat with US company ASSIA will start to be noticed by customers, with the carrier reportedly shutting down boxes that provide rate adaptation after it lost a crucial round of legal action. In December 2013, Britain's High Court ruled that BT had infringed ASSIA patents by developing DSL management platforms referred …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co makes it official - backhaul charges will fall

NBN Co has followed through on its promise to cut the price of its services with a 12.5 per cent snip off the price of its connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) as of 1 February 2015. Currently $20 per Mbps per month, the CVC will fall to $17.50 per Mbps per month under the new agreement, published in template form by the network …
European Union Flag

Ex-EU digi supremo Steelie Neelie's net neutrality bid in tatters?

Former EU digital tzar Neelie Kroes’ net neutrality plans for the Continent may be chucked out by national governments. The latest draft of a law prepared by Italy for national delegations to mull over – a copy of which was leaked by digital rights group EDRi here [PDF] – suggests replacing a definition of net neutrality with a …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Nov 2014
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

Qualcomm joins Ericsson, Telstra in 450 Mbps LTE demo

Telstra has again demonstrated technology that will let lucky LTE users consume the entire 15 GB of its largest consumer post-paid broadband plan in less than 5 minutes. A repeat of the May 2014 demonstration of the same speed in conjunction with Ericsson, the latest demo brought Qualcomm into the fold. Qualcomm provided the …
BT Openreach van

Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Updated Blighty's broadband providers are once again at Ofcom to do something about the alleged monopoly they believe former national telco BT maintains in the business broadband sector. Sky, TalkTalk, EE, Virgin Media and Vodafone are all part of the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA), which is pressuring Ofcom to …

BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog

The telecoms giant formerly known as BSkyB has been ordered to remove a "best ever" broadband ad after rival BT claimed it was "misleading". The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the context of Sky's "BEST EVER broadband offer" in July had not been substantiated and was likely to mislead. Last week BSkyB ditched the …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014

Where the HELL is that Comcast technician? Finally – an app for that

US cable giant Comcast is offering some subscribers an app that tracks the whereabouts of its technicians before they arrive for a service appointment. So if you're waiting around for ages wondering where he or she is, there'll be a light at the end of the tunnel. The ISP said its MyAccount app, available on iOS and Android …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Nov 2014
Leaf

Greening the copper with NFV, lower power optics from GreenTouch

The GreenTouch group, which researches less power-hungry networking technologies, is pitching an NFV-style home gateway architecture as one way to curb broadband networks' appetite for electrons. The vendor-and-research partnership was set up in 2010, and now lists nearly 50 member organisations listed. Leading its latest …
Joseph Reger, Fujitsu cto, with his 3D-printed doppelganger

Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years

Fujitsu’s CTO slapped down the net neutrality dogmatists yesterday, saying the flood of data due to the emergence of the internet of things meant society would force a new pricing model. Joseph Reger, Fujitsu cto, with his 3D-printed doppelganger Joseph Reger, Fujitsu CTO, with his 3D-printed replica Joseph Reger told a crowd …
Joe Fay, 19 Nov 2014
Another tree anchors the cable

NBN Co screws lid on FTTP coffin

NBN Co has set in place the new rollout principles announced last week, in the form of a new corporate plan. Published yesterday, the 2014-2017 plan lays out the company's expectations now that the “multi-technology mix” has been set in stone. In the event that NBN Co is able to complete its negotiations for access to Telstra's …
Gun and dollars

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to spend $1.5bn on hooking up high-speed broadband to more American schools and libraries. The money will come from you, dear US readers: the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line to foot the damage, it's understood. Specifically, the monthly E-Rate charge …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014

Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?

UK telcos need to stop fibbing about the network speeds they offer to subscribers, consumer champion Which? demanded today. It said that British ISPs had a dirty habit of using "up to" jargon in their marketing – even though such a superfast broadband connection promise only applied to 12 per cent of punters. Which? noted that …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

Virgin Media's broadband network suffered what appeared to be a widespread service disruption on Saturday – the second such weekend, packet loss blunder to have struck the cable company in recent months. Customers complained on VM's forum and Twitter about major performance problems blighting the network. However, it took …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2014

FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

The US Federal Communications Commission is calling out AT&T for throwing a hissy-fit over net neutrality and halting its gigabit-a-second fiber rollout. The watchdog said in a letter to AT&T execs that it wants the telco giant to explain why it thinks it will lose money if it expands its fiber broadband network. AT&T said …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014
City Lifeline cable guys get busy outside

'Net Neut' activists: Are you just POSEURS, or do you want to Get Something Done?

Analysis On Monday, President Obama wrote out a cheque he knew he couldn't cash. The President is signalling to activists and his Silicon Valley backers that although, yes, he may spend much of the time playing golf, he actually truly and deeply does care. He "gets it". City Lifeline cable guys get busy outside You want cable? It's like …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2014

Is your kid ADDICTED to web porn? Twitter? Hint: Don't blame the internet

Parents' biggest concern about life online is admen stalking kids across the web, according to new research. Unveiling the results of its study [PDF] at the Family Online Safety Institute's annual conference in Washington DC on Wednesday, Hart Research noted that 57 per cent of parents feel the harms outweigh the benefits when …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Nov 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN 'working' on pay-for-fibre-to-your-premises product

NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network, has released “broad principles” it says “will determine which access technology will be deployed to connect communities to the National Broadband Network (NBN).” For each service area NBN Co will consider whether: Existing infrastructure can be leveraged to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014

SCREW YOU, net neutrality hippies – AT&T halts gigabit fiber

AT&T has frozen its plans to build a gigabit broadband network in the US – at least until the FCC scraps, er, straightens out net neutrality. The telco's CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson said his company will hold off installing super-high-speed internet connections to homes until the US watchdog decides how it's going to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2014

FCC makes up its mind about net neutrality: Er, we'll decide in 2015

US watchdog the FCC has decided to ponder a little more on the fate of net neutrality – and delayed a crucial vote on the issue until next year. The regulator is in the middle of rewriting its rules to guarantee an "open internet" for all, after Verizon decided it didn't like the original rules and sued the agency. And won. FCC …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

TalkTalk is the latest ISP to be rapped by the UK's advertising watchdog for telling porkies about its broadband service. The budget telco was admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to substantiate claims it made about its network. TalkTalk made the following outlandish assertion in a circular advert: …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014

Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

Analysis As we saw from Vodafone's announcement on Tuesday, competition in the broadband market is thriving here in the UK. So, should consumers be fretting about the fierce net neutrality debate going on across the Atlantic? The European Commission, steered by former unelected digi czar "Steelie" Neelie Kroes, would very much like it if …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014

Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Analysis So President Obama chimed in this week over the issue of "net neutrality" – arguing that in order to protect netizens and keep the internet "free and open", cable companies should be reclassified as "Title II common carriers". "Whether you use computer, phone or tablet, your internet provider should have a legal obligation not …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Nov 2014

Net neutrality, Obama, FCC, Title II:Your ESSENTIAL guide to WTF is happening

Analysis President Obama ploughed into the net neutrality debate on Monday by demanding reclassification of "internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunication Act." What does that actually mean? And why are some for and some against this as a solution? First, some very quick history: The Telecommunications Act [PDF …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Nov 2014
Swiss alps

Has Switzerland cracked the net neutrality riddle?

Analysis Broadband providers in Switzerland – a country synonymous with neutrality – have formulated new rules for ISPs that may save regulators and lawmakers from fruitless battles over "net neutrality". The code of conduct formulated by Swisscom, Sunrise, UPC Cablecom and Orange pledges to allow all subscribers "to use the content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2014

Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

Virgin Media customers were hit by an annoying network cockup on Saturday, after the cable company's smut-filtering Web Safe system stupidly blocked lots of websites. Subscribers complained about the snafu on Twitter, where many people claimed that they could barely access anything over Virgin Media's network. Reg reader Red …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Nov 2014

Why 120 people protested outside San Francisco City Hall (Hint: 'Hybrid' net neutrality)

Vid+Comment If you wandered through San Francisco's Civic Centre Plaza on Thursday between 6pm and 6.35pm at the City Hall end, it would have been hard, though not impossible, to avoid a protest held against new net neutrality proposals. With just two days' notice, a turnout of 100 to 120 people is pretty good (although 333 said they …
Ed Zander

UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP

A MP has questioned the government's ability to provide superfast broadband nationwide if it cannot even meet its commitments "in an urban area such as Cheltenham". Martin Horwood, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham, told Ed Vaizey, Minister of Fun (and Broadband), that the government's target of 90 per cent superfast broadband and a …
Kat Hall, 5 Nov 2014

Manufacturers SLAM UK.gov: 'High speed broadband' rollout is TOO SLOW

Manufacturers have slammed the UK government for its "poor communication" and "lack of clarity" over the high speed Broadband UK (BDUK) programme. In a survey of 134 manufacturers by representative body the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), 40 per cent rated broadband as "quite poor" or "very poor". Only 30 per cent said …
Kat Hall, 3 Nov 2014
European Union Flag

Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

+Comment Cable giant Netflix and other big firms are using calls for greater net neutrality to drive down the prices they pay, according to recently published research. Referring specifically to the Dutch internet market, late last week John Strand of Strand Consulting said: “Net neutrality law (which limits operators’ ability to manage …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co reports fibre traction and Telstra action

NBN Co has made the slightly awkward announcement that it's more than tripled the number of premises connected to its fibre network in the past year, while maintaining its commitment to the multi-technology model for future rollouts. It's chalked up the connections surge in spite of a management bonfire, several reviews to …

Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

Hungary is threatening to tax its broadband providers for every gigabyte their subscribers use. The Fidesz-run European nation said that it would charge ISPs 150 forints (around 60 US cents or 39p in the UK) for each gig transferred. Hungary shifted 1,150PB in 2013, and 18PB in mobile data, according to figures from consultancy …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2014

Broadcom pitches chips at G.fast OEMs

Broadcom has become the latest vendor to stake out its ground in the G.fast market, as the ITU's standardisation bods stretch their hands slowly towards the rubber stamp. At the Broadband World trade show in Amsterdam, the chip outfit's been showing off silicon for G.fast and G.vector kit designers at both provider head-end …