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Virgin Media starts its broadband-of-the-gaps fibre rollout

Virgin Media has started work connecting customers to the fibre broadband infill it announced in February. The £3bn programme significantly larger than anything planned by BT and represents a growing trend among companies to provide higher speed broadband than available with the UK incumbent. Virgin offers a 152Mbps service, …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
Throttling

At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

From tomorrow it will be easier for consumers to switch from a crap broadband provider to, er, well, another — possibly slightly less crap — broadband provider. The new rules apply to those using the Openreach telecoms network, such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk. Previously, consumers had to obtain a Migration Authorisation Code …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2015

FCC hosts Reagan-off as it enters 21st century

FCC commissioners embarked on a Reagan-quoting political bake-off today as the regulator sought to expand its discount telephone service for flat-broke families. A proposal to extend a $9.25-a-month telephone service called Lifeline to include broadband internet access is now out for public comment. The Lifeline service is aimed …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Jun 2015
Statue of Liberty

Verizon promised to wire up NYC with fiber... and failed miserably – audit

New York City authorities have thumped Verizon for apparently reneging on its promises to wire up the Big Apple with super-fast fiber internet. In 2008, the city signed a deal with Verizon in which the telco promised to give every resident access to a fiber-optic broadband connection by July 2014. In return, the city reduced the …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jun 2015
BT Openreach at work

MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?

More than 15 million households may not be getting their advertised broadband speeds, suggesting that providers are telling porky pies about how fast their services are. According to a survey of 2,000 punters from Which?, 74 per cent reckon they are paying for packages with advertised speeds they never receive – amounting to 15. …
Kat Hall, 18 Jun 2015
NBN Logo

Australia's Senate demands access to NBN business case that doesn't exist

Australia's Senate has voted on an "order for the production of documents" demanding access to "a complete and unredacted copy of the NBN Corporate Plan 2015-18," plus "a complete and unredacted copy" of the 2014-2017 plan and an unredacted copy of the NBN Co Strategic Review. The motion (PDF) seeking the order was moved by …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2015

When your ISP flouts net neutrality rules, here's who you should contact

America's broadband watchdog the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has named its first net neutrality ombudsperson – and she'll be your first point of call when your ISP breaks the new rules. Parul Desai has been the FCC's director of consumer engagement for the past eight months, and before that she worked in the FCC's …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jun 2015
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Vodafone hikes prices to 37.5p/min – and lets angry customers flee

Vodafone loves the price of 37.5p/minute. So much so that pretty much everything which is outside a standard bundle is going to cost exactly that. 37.5p is what Vodafone already charges for excess minutes over and above a subscriber's package. The move to introduce that rate for virtually any non-bundle activity sees some …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2015
germany

Euro Commish OKs €3bn German broadband aid scheme

Germany has got the green light from the European Commission to push ahead with a publicly funded scheme to roll out next generation access (NGA) broadband networks. The €3bn project is to provide high speed internet access throughout the country, including in rural areas. “This aid scheme will make faster broadband services …
Jennifer Baker, 16 Jun 2015
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Taiwan incumbent adds G.fast to tech mix

Under pressure to accelerate Taiwan's broadband deployment, Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will start rolling out G.fast. According to Digitimes, the company plans to launch its first commercial services in September 2015. While sketchy, the report suggests the company would deploy the high-speed technology in multi-dwelling …
BT Openreach van

Wholesale price cap: Take THAT, BT, says (now toothy) Ofcom

UK regulator Ofcom further turned up the heat on BT today, unveiling plans to cap wholesale prices the one-time national telco charges for leased telecoms lines. The regulator said the move should lead to "significant savings" for businesses, part of its overall plan to promote greater competition in the £2bn market for leased …
Kat Hall, 12 Jun 2015
scissors cut cable

Exit-tel customers can't even upgrade their plans to stay

More detail has come to Vulture South's attention about second-tier ISP Exetel dumping customers without any explanation whatsoever. After yesterday's report, other customers have come forward to complain that they're not even offered the option to shift their accounts to a higher-price plan. One customer that contacted Vulture …

Screw you, ISPs: Net neutrality switches on THIS FRIDAY – US court

The US Court of Appeals for the DC circuits has denied a motion to halt the FCC's radical net neutrality rules, meaning they will officially kick in tomorrow. "Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the three-judge panel noted. The decision is a win for those who believe that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jun 2015
8K video on YouTube

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Vid Ultra-high definition 8K videos are appearing on YouTube, despite the fact that few home broadband connections on the planet can stream them, and even fewer screens are capable of showing them in their full glory. The video arm of the Mountain View ad giant turned heads this week when a mini-flick called "Ghost Towns in 8K" …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015
scissors cut cable

Exetel becomes Exit-tel, shows customers the door without explanation

Australian internet service provider (ISP) Exetel is firing customers, with no explanation for its actions. Customers have sent Vulture South a “Notice of termination of service” from Exetel that offers the following non-explanation of the decision: Service number: XX XXXX XXXX 10 June 2015 - Today's Date 10 July 2015 - …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2015

Net neutrality starts this Friday! Kinda! Sorta! It's a little complicated ...

Rules to protect the internet's neutrality in America will go into effect this Friday, causing a flurry of efforts of undermine it and some suspicious activity on the part of the cable companies. The regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the end of February were formally published in mid-April …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2015
Voda App lets guest use your wi-fi

Fourplay frolics: Vodafone launches landline broadband

As expected, Vodafone has launched Connect, a consumer broadband service - and, as expected, the speeds are disappointing. While AQL and Gigaclear will let you have a gigabit or more, and Virgin Media offers 152Mbps, the new Vodafone service is aimed at BT’s 76Mbps Infinity 2 package. Vodafone claims that it will offer speed …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2015
DirecTV

AT&T: We'll play nice with net neutrality, just let us gobble DirecTV

AT&T will give in to net neutrality rules in the US – provided it is allowed to buy DirecTV. The telco wants to gobble up DirecTV for $49bn, and the FCC (America's broadband regulator) wants the telco to obey new rules for an open internet. According to the Washington Post, execs at AT&T are willing to drop their objections to …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jun 2015
Window to the world by https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

NBN must limit downloads to 12 Mbps downloads until copper handover

Network deployment rules and the Shannon-Hartley Theorem are crimping national broadband network (NBN) speeds, and will do for some time. As noted in new nbnTM documents turned up by Kenneth Tsang, who created the rollout tracking site myNBN.info, the wholesale deployment rules put the brakes on fibre-to-the-node service speeds …
Rotary phone

FCC boss sketches out bargain broadband for hard-up Americans

Tom Wheeler, chairman of US internet watchdog the FCC, has asked the regulator's commissioners to offer broadband to poor Americans via the Lifeline program. The net-neutrality crusader has put forward a list of proposed updates to Lifeline, including the addition of broadband to what is right now just a phone-only program. …
Shaun Nichols, 28 May 2015
NBN logo

Property developers face NBN build sting

The federal government has moved to mollify the fibre operators left out in the cold by previous national broadband network (NBN) policy, re-writing the rules that apply to new property developments. There will, however, be a sting for developers, since to preserve third parties' ability to compete, the NBN will no longer arrive …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

nbn has made ZERO fibre-to-the-node and cable connections

Australia's national broadband network continues apace with nbnTM announcing that it's adding more than 12,000 premises per week to its serviceable footprint. Over the 12 months to March 2015, the network more-than-doubled the number of premises connected to its fibre network, to nearly 390,000 (compared to just under 167,000 at …

AT&T, Verizon and pals eat own head in effort to kill off net neutrality

Lobbying group USTelecom – AT&T, Verizon etc – has filed a petition against itself in an effort to prevent new net neutrality rules from taking effect. Demonstrating that when it comes to net neutrality, the telco industry loves nothing more than some self-serving hypocrisy, the group wrote in its petition [PDF]: "Unlike all of …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2015
BT Openreach van

BT boss to Oz: we're wonderful and so is copper

BT's boss has taken the opportunity during a visit to Australia to heap praise on his company's domestic broadband rollout, and antipodeans are lapping it up, with the local network builder promising to share information about how to build “superfast broadband”. In a drop to the Murdoch organ The Australian, nbnTM boss Bill …
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Openreach to trial G.fast in Swansea

Businesses and researchers around Swansea are going to get the chance to fool around with what will probably be copper's last hurrah, the VDSL-successor G.fast. BT has told an innovation summit in the Welsh city that it's been added to the list of trial sites, in addition to previously-announced field trials in Huntingdon and …
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Singapore to trial 10Gbps home broadband

Singapore's dominant telco, Singtel, has announced a pilot deployment of 10Gbps broadband to a select group next quarter, and says that it expects the blistering fast Internet service to be generally available by the later part of this year. The high speed connectivity is only possible due to the completion of Singapore’s Next …
Paul Mah, 21 May 2015
spy_eye_648

Choose Deutsche Telekom for all your bargain spying needs

An Austrian newspaper has published what it claims is evidence that Deutsche Telekom spied on Vienna for German spooks for the miserly sum of just €6,500 a year. On Tuesday, Peter Pilz publicly accused Deutsche Telekom of listening in on telephone and internet lines from Vienna, Luxembourg, Prague, Moscow and Ankara and passing …
Jennifer Baker, 21 May 2015

100s of Virgin Media customers hit by handset repair glitch, telco admits

Virgin Media has admitted to The Register that hundreds of its mobile customers were left without their handsets for weeks due to a "glitch" with its repair service. The company has also confessed to us that it was yet to process roughly 100 outstanding repairs for its frustrated subscribers, some of whom have been complaining …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2015
flag.Spain

Orange squeezed over Jazztel buy: Sell your Spanish FTTH network or else

Europe’s competition chief has OKed Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain, but only subject to a shitload large number of conditions. Orange has promised to sell off its independent Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network in 13 urban districts in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla and Málaga — representing 800,000 buildings. …
Jennifer Baker, 20 May 2015
Three Telstra vans restore one line

Verizon: fibre is MUCH cheaper than copper, we're going all-FTTP

Verizon has put the latest numbers on its fibre-versus-copper experience, and found that glass beats metal on all counts. Without giving a timeframe, the company has told a conference in Orlando that its experience across seven central offices (CO, or for Australians, telephone exchanges) areas is so compelling it's going to …
NBN Logo

Arianespace: NBN sats will orbit this year – PROMISE*

The delayed national broadband network (NBN) satellite launch will happen in 2015, Arianespace reckons. The launch outfit has told multiple outlets there's little prospect of further delays to the launch, which will fill in the rural and remote black-spots on the NBN's coverage map, and will alleviate the capacity constraints …
Hungry goat licks lips. Pic: David Goehring

Ofcom: Oi, BT! Don't be greedy – feed dark fibre to your rivals

Britain's communications watchdog wants BT to open up its fibre broadband network to rival telcos. The one-time national telecoms giant responded negatively to Ofcom's proposals, which were floated on Friday. BT claimed that "mandating dark fibre" could "disadvantage" ISPs that do not have the "capability to deploy" the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 May 2015
Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk

TalkTalk unveils best results ever – and its share price dips

TalkTalk's share price dropped two per cent after it delivered its best ever quarterly financial results, for the end of 2014. The company posted revenue in the 12 months to 31 March 2015 of £1.8bn, up 4.2 per cent on the previous year, and profit of £76m, up 24.6 per cent, helped by improved efficiency. Unusually for TalkTalk …
Simon Rockman, 14 May 2015
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