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BT Openreach van

Ofcom to BT Openreach: From now on, you'd better kill 70% of gremlins within 2 days

BT faces strict new measures to speed up Openreach repairs on its aged copper infrastructure from the start of next month, the UK's communications watchdog said today. Ofcom warned BT that it will be expected to fix around 70 per cent of phone and broadband faults within two working days over the course of a year. That …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Jun 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co reveals THOUSAND-node FTTN trial built by Telstra

NBN Co has selected Telstra as the builder of a 200,000-premises pilot of fibre-to-the-node technology in order to pick the copper from its brains. NBN Co, the company charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), today said the carrier was chosen in order to "leverage Telstra’s expert design …

Vodafone Australia's 'doubles user traffic' on free weekend

Vodafone has unintentionally exposed the miserly behaviour of Australian mobile data users, while hyping data usage over the “free data weekend” it declared to apologise for network outages. It turns out that punters hammered the network with a stunning eight Kbps per user. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Voda customers “ …
NBN Co logo

Should NBN Co squeeze a server into FTTN nodes?

Last week, Dell revealed an item of interest in the form of the PowerEdge R420xr, a shortened and ruggedised version of its PowerEdge R420 intended for use in the field by telcos. Dell launched the device at CommunicAsia, the region's annual telco-fest, with a pitch that it is small enough to fit into base stations (hence the …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2014
Jersey cow

Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

It's one of the great problems of modern times. How does the average thirty-something festival-goer send their friends a Yo while off their chops in some far-flung field? Luckily for the ageing denizens of Glastonbury, EE has stepped in with a flock of Wi-Fi equipped cows to make sure no meal remains un-Instagrammed and no …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jun 2014
The Project Loon team prepares solar panels, electronics and balloon envelopes for launch as the sun rises in New Zealand.

That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

Emergency Services in New Zealand town today scrambled to assist what they thought was a downed plane, but actually turned out to be one of Google's Project Loon WiFi-beaming balloons. Project Loon is Google's attempt to become an ISP of sorts by floating balloons over parts of the world where internet access is not often …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2014
South Park Ginger Cow episode

Broadband bumpkin BONANZA: 8 altnets shortlisted for £10m UK.gov subsidy

The government has earmarked a £10m wad of broadband cash for eight outfits whose bids were shortlisted for what the Ministry of Fun described as the "feasibility stage" to bring faster internet connections to hard-to-reach parts of Blighty. It said the Tory-led Coalition was "focusing on exploring ways to reach those premises …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jun 2014

FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds

Federal Communications Commission boss Tom Wheeler has said that he will issue written warnings to some US broadband carriers following an investigation that found some companies are still not delivering advertised speeds. Wheeler said that while the broadband market as a whole is doing a better job of offering users promised …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jun 2014
Child swearing

Virgin Media boss AND ex-Murdoch man: BSkyB broadband is 'lousy'

Virgin Media boss Tom Mockridge has lashed out at BSkyB by claiming that its broadband service is "lousy". Such a jibe might appear - on the surface at least - as an obvious moan from a rival player, but his vehemence might surprise some considering that Mockridge was the deputy chairman of BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jun 2014
management regulation1

Top Canadian court: Cops need warrant to get names from ISPs

Canadian ISPs can no longer simply hand over customer information without a warrant after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that internet users were entitled to a "reasonable" expectation of privacy. The decision means that internet service providers can no longer disclose the names, addresses and phone numbers of their …
Project Loon patent image

Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik

Google is generating lots of utopian excitement with its various airborne Internet plans – Project Loon, its satellite acquisitions, its work with O3b (the “other three billion”). But is technology all that stands in the way of connectivity? This musing was prompted by this post by Larry Press, who is eminently qualified to ask …
OK, so it looks like a box

Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Californian company Ixia has shown what it claims is the the world’s first functioning 400Gb/s Higher Speed Ethernet test rig, based on the IEEE P802.3bs protocol. The company says that this bandwidth is sufficient for 50,000 simultaneous high definition Netflix video streams. The 400GbE Jumpstart Test system provided wire rate …
Simon Rockman, 12 Jun 2014

FCC boss threatens to BRING WRATH DOWN on states that limit broadband competition

The head of the US Federal Communications Commission has threatened to take action against states that limit the ability of cities to build their own broadband networks. Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the commission is prepared to overrule state laws that would restrict cities from deploying community-funded broadband networks …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014

Kiwis get cracking with gigabit residential broadband

While Australians wait for a copper network “upgrade” that can't be guaranteed to deliver better than 25 Mbps, a speed war has broken out across the Tasman, with residential gigabit plans arriving at wholesale prices that could see households pay under $NZ100 per month. The wholesaler has announced the offering is now available …
CD_tree

Crack Telstra Cabling SquadTM goes all Tarzan to restore internet

PHOTOS Some time ago, this Vulture South hack had a not-uncommon experience: loss of broadband during a storm. It wasn't water that killed things, but lightning: 130-plus metres of cable was scorched. The cable was direct-buried, meaning there was no convenient conduit through which a new cable could be dragged. Telstra, to its credit …

Netflix agrees to end network warnings in Verizon slowdown spat

Netflix is backing down in its battle with Verizon over the speed of its streaming video service on the carrier's network, albeit just a little. A Monday post to the Netflix US and Canada blog said that the company will stop issuing users error messages blaming carriers for slow performance, saying the notifications were part of …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jun 2014

Londoners urged to cut landlines and take up wireless broadband

A wireless broadband provider is punting a landline-free package to Londoners living in the heart of the city. UK Broadband, which is owned by Hong Kong's telco PCCW Group, has grown a new tentacle in Blighty's capital to offer what it described as "fibre-fast speeds without any hassle". The new company, Relish, is able to …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Jun 2014
Photo of a vintage analog modem with an acoustic coupler

NBN Co pulls in new CTO, CFO

NBN Co, which has completed its executive makeover, with a new CTO and CFO, is embroiled in a revival of an old debate: whether “up to” descriptions of broadband speeds are permissible in consumer law. Fuelling conspiracy theories about the NBN is the appointment of News Limited veteran Stephen Rue as CFO, while far less …

Vodafone turns to EU, asks it to FORCE 'fair' fibre pricing

Vodafone needs to get high-speed handsets into the hands of consumers to effectively compete in the market. But the company also needs to worry about how to handle all that data – and it's hoping the European Commission will help it get its hands on some cheaper fibre. It is hoping the EU will introduce mandatory price …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2014

Google Fiber says it's happy to let Netflix onto its 'fast lane' for free

In a clear knock on recent shenanigans by US broadband providers, the Chocolate Factory's Google Fiber division has said it doesn't charge extra for an internet "fast lane," and streaming-video companies are even free to host their servers in Google Fiber's own data centers. "We ... partner with content providers (like YouTube, …
Neil McAllister, 22 May 2014

NBN Co is a big turn-off … for copper

NBN Co has announced it will start switching off copper connections to homes and businesses in some parts of Australia. The switch-off starts tomorrow, Friday May 23rd, when Armidale, Minnamurra and Kiama Downs in New South Wales, South Morang and Brunswick in Victoria, Townsville, Aitkenvale and Mundingburra in Queensland, …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2014

Rival BT sics ad watchdog on EE: ASA growls at 'most reliable broadband' claim

BT has successfully shot down EE's claim in a direct mail ad that it offered "Britain's most reliable broadband for staying connected". The telecoms giant convinced Blighty's advertising watchdog that EE had misled customers in three different ways. BT argued to the Advertising Standards Authority that EE had failed to …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2014
Pringles Can antenna

Telstra asks users to be its next backhaul network

With a single announcement, Telstra has accidentally skewered the argument that fixed networks are obsolete: the carrier plans to rollout a $AUD100 million cities-and-towns WiFi offload network, which will shift traffic from smartphones and tablets off the 4G network and onto the nearest bit of copper oxide* it can find. Telstra …
Protesters outside FCC headquarters

Apple haggles with ISPs for fast lanes to its own websites – industry guru

Apple is the latest firm said to be in talks with US ISPs on a deal to provide direct interconnects for improved streaming media performance. Industry analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost and Sullivan said that the firm has been talking to carriers as part of a larger campaign to build out a content delivery network (CDN) for its …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2014

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