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Derisive laugh

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

BT has labelled a report into its apparently inflated return on broadband investment as "ludicrous", as Vodafone calls on the government to tighten the regulations surrounding Openreach. A confidential November 2014 report from Frontier Economics (seen by El Reg) has claimed that while the historic return on investment, which …
Simon Rockman, 26 Mar 2015
Chattanooga

Tennessee sues FCC: Giving cities free rein to provide their own broadband is 'unlawful'

The US state of Tennessee is suing the FCC after the regulator declared that cities should be free to build their own municipal-owned broadband networks. The Volunteer State wants to overturn that ruling, made in February, arguing the decision goes against heavy restrictions placed on government-owned organizations that compete …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Mar 2015

EU digital veep: If you like America's radical idea of net neutrality, you're in luck, Europe

Europe’s digi-chief has spoken out about net neutrality rules emerging from America, and mobile networks favoring particular websites over others. Speaking at an event in Brussels this week, Digital Vice President of the Commission Andrus Ansip said he sees no difference between the EU and the FCC in the US in their approach to …
Jennifer Baker, 25 Mar 2015
NBN Co by Dushan Hanuska https://www.flickr.com/photos/hanuska/

Melbourne fibre expert calls out 'fibre cost doubled' claim

The idea that the planned fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) may have ended up meeting its cost targets has received a high-profile endorsement from emeritus professor Rod Tucker of the University of Melbourne. Speaking to US conference, professor Tucker said the claim in the …
BT Home Hub 3

Complaints against ISPs and mobe firms are up by a fifth — reports

BT Broadband is one of the most complained about ISPs, according to UK consumer body Which?, scoring particularly poorly in technical support and value for money. Moreover, complaints in general about ISPs and mobile companies are up 20 per cent on the year, according to numbers released by the Ombudsman Services. Consumers …
Simon Rockman, 23 Mar 2015
Microsoft's telepresence teaser

Skype squares up to Cisco again with new round of 'Room Systems'

Cisco issues regular blog posts pointing out that its unified communications products outsell Microsoft's, but it now looks like Redmond's decided not to take that lying down because it's announced one of the new things Lync will do now that it's become Skype For Business is offer more “room systems”. Microsoft's teamed up with …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2015
Broke - empty pockets

NBN Co says 'ante-up' to fibre applicants

Want to know if you can get fibre to the home instead of the node? It'll cost at least $300 just to ask the question, under a new “Technology Choice Policy” published by NBN Co. The former “network extension” policy (which let satellite users ask about fixed wireless upgrades, and fixed wireless areas ask about fibre) was made …
NBN Co logo

NBN Co to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 from 2017

NBN Co, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has announced that from 2017 it will offer DOCSIS 3.1 over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it acquired from Telstra and Optus. The announcement is surprising because just two-and-a-half weeks ago, on February 23rd, NBN Co spoke of designing its …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Mar 2015
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

National Broadband Network names cable broadband trial sites

Three Queensland and one NSW locales will find out whether NBN Co's promise of downloads at 100 Mbps over hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) survives peak-hour traffic, after the company responsible for building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) announced trial sites of the delivery medium. In Queensland, Merrimac, Slacks Creek …

ACCC nixes Telstra wholesale gouge

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has driven its nope-mobile down to Collins Street and dropped a couple of tons of forget-it at the door of Australia's dominant carrier Telstra: rather than putting up prices for fixed voice and broadband services, the carrier's asked to cop a price cut. The regulator …
US spectrum map

Ping-pong sueballs: Bankruptcy dogs LightSquared's chances

Stricken US mobe network LightSquared is wriggling for survival in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The idea of Chapter 11 is to provide protection for a company so that it can trade through difficulties and hopefully get back to trading normally. The system was to use a combination of 4G (LTE) and satellite to deliver national high- …
Simon Rockman, 10 Mar 2015

Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Comment Gaffe-prone Gunther is at it again. This time the EU Digi-Commissioner Gunther H-dot Oettinger has described the enforcement of "uniform" net neutrality as "Taliban-like". Unsurprisingly digital rights activists have not been pleased at being compared with a fundamentalist organisation judged by the UN to be responsible for the …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Mar 2015

Turnbull says no need to future-proof NBN

Those who feel Australia should invest in a future-proof National Broadband Network (NBN), and that a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network offers the best long-term investment, have new reason to take umbrage with the nation's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull after he yesterday said a quick-and-cheap approach is the best …

Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Feature It is far more common to find routers with critical flaws than without – Craig Young It's sad that end-user education about strong passwords, password safes, and phishing can be undone by something as innocuous as the blinking box in the corner of your room. – Peter Adkins Introduction Home and small business router …
Darren Pauli, 5 Mar 2015

Botched NBN installs leave folks with no internet, or recourse

Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Simon Cohen says the agency can do little to help subscribers dealing with broken National Broadband Network (NBN) installations. While the agency can flag complaints with NBN Co, the entity building and operating the NBN, it appears unable to do anything to force the utility to …
Darren Pauli, 4 Mar 2015
Netflix House of Cards remake

Optus joins iiNet with free-to-download Netflix offer for Australians

Australia's second-largest ISP Optus has followed the third-largest, iiNet, by announcing Australians will be able to watch Netflix without the downloads counting towards their monthly data cap. The announcement places pressure on Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, to do likewise. But as Telstra is a major shareholder in …

Google's broadband-in-the-sky goes TITAN-ic

After a couple of years of selective reveals to favoured media, Google has made an uncharacteristic to-all-comers announcement about its broadband plans at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Chocolate Factory bought drone-maker Titan Aerospace in 2014, and has told the conference its solar-powered drones will be carrying …
Icelandic chasm

FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Analysis A decision by the FCC has opened up a partisan chasm by quashing US state laws that hamper the rollout of city-owned broadband. The commission declared on Thursday that laws passed in North Carolina and Tennessee were unfair barriers to broadband deployment. In so doing, it has put itself in the middle of two classic American …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015
WTF?

NBN Co says TWO broadband connections are better than one

+Comment NBN Co, the entity building Australia's national broadband network, has come up with an odd suggestion: two broadband connections, each running on different access technologies, are better than one. The suggestion is odd because NBN Co's mandate is to give each Australian household and business one internet connection using one …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Feb 2015
National Broadband Network by RubyGoes https://www.flickr.com/photos/rubygoes/sets/72157634039925152

NBN fibre: activations accelerated as footprint expanded

It's a matter of ups and down for the National Broadband Network: the fibre rollout (which will be replaced by hybrid fibre/coax (HFC) and node/basement fibre in future geographies) accelerated and the activation rate improved. At the same time, a host of factors (such as a construction focus on adding lead-ins to homes formerly …
Flying pig

NBN Co numbers suggest FTTP build could be done for close to Labor's budget

The real cost of completing Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) in its originally-planned fibre-to-the-premises configuration may well have been close to the $AU43 billion first budgeted, according to data presented by NBN Co's CEO and CFO to a Senate Estimates hearing. Yesterday, CEO Bill Morrow and CFO Stephen Rue …
See No Evil Hear No Evil movie still

BT fixes home hub drop-out glitch ONE YEAR after denying flaw existed

BT has finally fixed a snag in its Home Hub 5 more than 12 months since customers began complaining about mystery disconnections that were hampering the wireless router. When The Register reported on the technical cockup in February 2014, BT was quick to dismiss the gripes by telling us it was "not aware of any issues" with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2015

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

The two Republican commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have formally called for this week's vote on net neutrality to be delayed. The US watchdog's panel of commissioners are due to approve or reject FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's secret proposals to regulate internet access in America as if it is a phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2015
Cherry

NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

NBN Co has settled on its key partner for the HFC part of its network, with Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment. The deal, reported by Comms Day as being worth AU$400m, sees Arris, the company that acquired Motorola's HFC business, pip Cisco for the cable network business. Arris executives today …
Fiber optics

AT&T suddenly finds demand for 1Gbps fiber in Kansas City – just after Google arrived

While the majority of Americans only have one choice of 25Mbps+ broadband provider, citizens of Kansas City – the Midwest's most connected hotspot – now have a fourth option: AT&T. "We've moved quickly to bring more competition to the Kansas City area for blazing-fast Internet speeds and best-in-class television service," said …
Iain Thomson, 17 Feb 2015

Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Virgin Media temporarily pushed BT's shares down more than 2 per cent on Friday, after it announced a juicy £3bn cash injection into Britain's internet infrastructure. The cable company, which was bought by John Malone's Liberty Global roughly 18 months ago, promised to bring broadband speeds of 152 Mbps to four million more …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: Growing flames of criticism lick FCC chief's secret plans

As the big vote on new net neutrality rules draws close, opposition to the FCC chairman's plan to reclassify broadband under so-called Title II legislation is growing. On Thursday, the Washington Post formally came out against the idea, arguing that such an approach would "expose broadband providers to a new world of federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

No less than 43 small ISPs have written to US watchdog the FCC [PDF] asking that it not introduce Title II legislation later this month. According to the broadband slingers, who hail from 16 states of America and have on average just over 4,000 subscribers each, reclassifying internet providers as common carriers will cause them …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
Herdwick sheep walk towards the camera

What time do you call this, BT? Late, state-funded broadband rollout plods on

Readers may recall a time when the Tory-led UK government trumpeted plans to have the best broadband connections in Europe by, well, now. That dream was shattered, however, when progress on the Broadband UK (BDUK) project stalled, in part due to intervention from Brussels' competition officials, who had questioned BT's tight …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Feb 2015
Zip HydroTap All-in-one

NBN Co strangles bird: satellite users limited to 20 GB / month

NBN Co is imposing new limits on satellite downloads, forcing ISPs to kill off plans with more than 50 GB monthly allowances. According to documents seen by The Register, the network-builder is once again finding its Interim Satellite Service effectively DDoSed by its popularity. “In response to complaints about poor …
Sean Bean in Game of Thrones

'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

An MP has told Parliament she was left "shocked and surprised" by BT's response that it was "not commercially viable" to improve broadband access for one of 38 Tech City businesses petitioning for more reliable speeds. In May, 38 businesses from Tech City signed a petition complaining about the slow, unreliable broadband in the …
Kat Hall, 5 Feb 2015
EE 4G banner

BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

BT has agreed terms with the French company Orange and Deutsche Telekom to buy their joint venture EE to form a quad-play superpower. The £12.5bn deal will be a combination of cash and new BT ordinary shares issued to both Deutsche Telekom and Orange. Average cost savings of £360m a year over the next four years will include “ …
Simon Rockman, 5 Feb 2015
Clockwork Orange

G.Fast sand-slinger says it's slung bits at 500 Mbps over 200 metres

Hold on to your cabinets: G.Fast chip shipper Sckipio has doubled the reach of its chipsets, and has demoed greater than 500Mbps speeds for a distance of 200 metres. To put that in perspective, 500Mbps over a distance of 200 metres equates to about one-third of a Usain*. The company is chuffed, because that's double the rather …

Australia's (current) PM Tony Abbott again calls for metadata trove laws to pass, ASAP

Australia's current prime minister Tony Abbott has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the head of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to renew his call for the country's data retention regime to pass parliament as soon as possible. Relying on briefings from law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Tony Abbott stated that there …

SPITTLE SPATTER as America weighs into FCC net neut shoutgasm

Roundup This morning, FCC bigcheese Tom Wheeler outlined his plans for firm net neutrality rules - and hence, the regulation of internet access. The issue has long been a source of argument and wrangling, and the responses to the news have demonstrated what we already knew: there is seemingly no middle ground on the issue. Verizon …
NBN FTTN cabinet

Opticomm wants peer relationship with NBN Co

Fibre infrastructure provider Opticomm is hoping the federal government will help it push NBN Co into standardising its retail service provider interfaces. Th company, which specialises in building fibre networks in greenfields housing developments, recently upgraded its core network, anticipating customer growth in the wake of …

TalkTalk boasts of fourplay-loving customers, extreme growth

While the battle lines are being drawn up between BT-EE and Vodafone over selling you great big lumps of TV, broadband, fixed and mobile phones, TalkTalk has been in the quadplay game for ages. The telco, which was spun out of Carphone Warehouse in 2010, has announced its last quarter (third quarter, full year 2015) figures, and …
Simon Rockman, 3 Feb 2015
Jersey cow

Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov

Rural areas are at risk of being unable to access online-only government services thanks to poor internet connectivity, a Parliamentary report said today. Anne McIntosh MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said the current broadband target of reaching 95 per cent of premises with 24 Mbps by 2017 may be …
Kat Hall, 3 Feb 2015

Wheeee! BT preps for FIVE HUNDRED MEGABIT broadband trial

BT has announced that it wants to roll out G.fast and fibre to the home to provide internet speeds of up to 500Mbps and 1Gbps. G.fast is a technology that gets fibre closer to the home and leaves traditional copper twisted pair to the last leg, so that drives and gardens don’t have to be dug up, but uses interference cancelling …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 2015
Broadband Genie

FCC sexes up, er, sextuples 'broadband' speed to 25Mbps in US

US internet tweaker FCC this morning redefined the meaning of "broadband" internet to mean at least 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up – from the previous 4Mbps/1Mbps definition. Describing the old measure as "dated and inadequate," three of the watchdog's five commissioners voted in favor the change – which will enable the FCC to put …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jan 2015
Slow downloads

FCC will vote to cut off 41 million broadband users this Thursday*

US internet tinkerer the FCC will likely vote tomorrow to change its definition of "broadband" connections from 4Mbps to 25Mbps – effectively moving 13 per cent of the American population outside the envelope of "fast" internet access. An internet connection slower than 25Mbps can't be touted as a broadband product, if the …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jan 2015
Google Fiber

Google reveals where AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable will next offer Gbps broadband

Google has named the next four areas in the US to get its gigabit-a-second fiber broadband. The advertising giant said on Tuesday it will next roll out high-speed connections to 18 cities in and around Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; and Nashville, TN. Charlotte city officials had indicated they were expecting …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2015