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Turnbull to add speed test app to MyBroadband web site

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull today delivered a speech at The Australian Information Industry Association's (AIIA's) Navigating Analytics Summit. Your correspondent tuned in to the live stream, but was confronted by extreme jitter: video often cut out for seconds at a time, usually after just a few seconds …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2014
Vodafone Smart

Reports say Vodafone to gobble Spanish cable outfit Ono

Vodafone is about to pay around $US10bn to acquire Spain's Ono, according to several sources. The Wall Street Journal reports the deal will be announced on Monday, with $9.73bn to change hands. Bloomberg offers round $10bn, citing the same folks familiar with the report as does the Journal. Ono is a triple-play operator, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Fibre fanaticism overrode proper NBN planning says report

Early planning for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) focussed on “how best to implement the government’s policy objectives, rather than considering the merits of different options.” So says Australia's Productivity Commission in a draft report (PDF) on the state of the nation's public infrastructure. The report's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2014
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

Cherry-pick undermines NBN business case: Switkowski

NBN Co chief Ziggy Switkowski has told a Senate committee that “cherry-picking” network rollouts planned by TPG and mooted by Telstra do, indeed, pose a threat to its own business model. TPG Internet stated last year that it wanted to extent its metro fibre networks to residential apartment basements, using existing copper to …

Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

BT-owned telco Plusnet has blamed subscribers who use third-party routers for a rise in hostile DNS traffic that has been crashing its way through the ISP's system. The rebuff came after Sheffield-based Plusnet suffered a nasty outage last Tuesday relating to an unspecified "network error". A Reg reader claimed on Sunday, in …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Mar 2014

Indonesia plans 10 Gbps FTTP as part of 20-million-premises broadband project

Indonesia is the latest country to announce a mass deployment of fibre-to-the-home, and has tapped Alcatel-Lucent for the rollout. During February, Telkom Akses (the infrastructure arm of incumbent Telkom) declared 2014 the year it will “build greatness”, and on March 7, it stated (Google translation) a target of passing 20 …
Pinky and the Brain

BT's IPv6 EXPIRED security certificate left to rot on its website

BT may insist that it is committed to a smooth transition to the new interwebs address system – IPv6 – but a quick glance at the company's corporate website last month left some Brits questioning the one-time national telco's promise. That's because the telecoms giant embarrassingly failed to spot the fact that its security …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Mar 2014
Temporary lead-ion

Telstra 'snot boxes' challenge Turnbull's FTTN plan

Rain has been a problem for my fixed line for years. There have been other exciting ventures in broadband fail over the years, such as when a contractor set fire to a large Telstra pit and cut off 20 homes for three weeks, but rain has been the constant niggle. It most recently came to a head last weekend – March 1 – when …
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

BT demands end to Ofcom wholesale broadband subsidies for BSkyB, TalkTalk

Updated BT is pressuring communications regulator Ofcom to end what it described as a "pricing distortion" in the wholesale broadband market that has protected rivals BSkyB and TalkTalk for nearly 10 years. The former national telco would like the watchdog to end maximum limits set on the prices rivals BSkyB and TalkTalk have to pay for …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2014
Comedy porn citrus fruit

Mens sana in fibro sano: Virgin Media network-level smut filters are ON

Virgin Media joined the big boys' club today by switching on network-level filters which allow subscribers to prevent perfectly legal material such as pornography from being accessed on their broadband connections. The cable company's rivals BT, BSkyB and TalkTalk have implemented similar censorship blockers on their networks …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Feb 2014

NBN Co tells iiNet: Use Broadcom chips in VDSL routers

iiNet, Australia's third-largest internet service provider in terms of subscriber numbers, has been told by NBNCo that it should consider only Broadcom chipsets for its future VDSL modems. Simon Watt, head of iiNet's labs, told The Register the advice was not prescriptive, but given the lead time required to develop customer …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2014
A cow

Stuff the delays! PM chuffed to have BT's superfast broadband in his constituency

Prime Minister David Cameron already enjoys super speedy internet connections at his constituency home in Dean, Oxfordshire, but locals in the village of Alvescot – saddled with a very slow broadband service – have waited a long time for an upgrade. On Friday, BT invited the PM to make doe eyes at one of the telecom giant's …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Feb 2014

Google's 1Gbps fiber 'not driving' Time Warner Cable's sudden Austin speed increase

Time Warner Cable (TWC) is to upgrade its network in Austin, Texas over the summer to allow internet speeds of up to 300Mbps, but says this has nothing to do with Google's decision to make the city its third installation of 1Gbps fiber. "It's not driving it, it's more about customer demand," a company spokeswoman told The …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2014
Fixed broadband quality by service area

Turnbull waters down broadband black spot fix promise

Pre-election promises to prioritise broadband black spots appear to have gone onto the back burner after the release of the Broadband Availability and Quality Report (BAQR) (PDF) by Australia's Federal Department of Communications. The report was commissioned by Minister Malcolm Turnbull as one of several studies into the …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2014
FCC logo

FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

Analysis The Federal Communications Commission chairman's decision to draft new rules ensuring net neutrality principles are applied to internet traffic hasn't impressed many, and it's becoming clear that his agency will have to make an all-or-nothing decision on the issue. The January appeal court decision in Verizon v FCC gutted the …
Iain Thomson, 20 Feb 2014
Google Fiber

Google teases more cities with bonkers-fast fiber broadband rollouts

Google has named nine areas in the US that could be added to its high-speed fiber internet connection service. The ad giant said that the new markets will be considered for broadband rollouts this year, with final decisions to be taken at the end of 2014. The nine candidates include the cities of Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Feb 2014
Vulture South NBN Logo

Tasmanian Liberals fear NBN policy will kill their election hopes

Updated Four weeks out from an election in the Australian state of Tasmania, the leader of the opposition Liberal party leader Will Hodgman has staged a “gaffe” by telling a colleague the issue of the National Broadband Network (NBN) could cost his party the election in front of TV cameras. While getting ready for a press conference …

NBN to be built even if cost-benefit analysis shows no ROI

In opposition, the current parliamentary secretary for communications Paul Fletcher and his boss, minister for communications Malcolm Turnbull, made much of the fact Australia's national broadband network (NBN) had been commenced without a cost-benefit study that would show whether or not the network will deliver positive return …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2014
Google Fiber

Google promises 10Gps fiber network to blast 4K into living rooms

Google Fiber is the fastest broadband internet provider in the US, but according to the Chocolate Factory's CFO Patrick Pichette, its 1Gbps connection speeds are going to increase ten-fold. Pichette told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference that the firm is actively developing the equipment to pump 10Gbps of data …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2014

Virgin Media sales flat: Firm bags fewer winter sign-ups than last year

Virgin Media watched subscriptions to its broadband service plummet during its final quarter, compared with the same three-month period a year earlier. The telco, which is owned by US cable giant Liberty Global, crumbled up against strong competition from rivals BT and BSkyB. It pulled in just over 39,000 broadband customers in …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Feb 2014

Virgin Media's flaky broadband network turns Bolton off

Virgin Media customers in Bolton have been moaning about the telco's network since late last year, with some subscribers in the area claiming that the firm's techies have ignored the complaints or blamed the connection problems on individual routers. But – for once, perhaps – the SuperHub, which has been cheekily dubbed the …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Feb 2014
Ghostbusters

BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

BT has been left puzzled after some Infinity customers complained about being abruptly disconnected from the fibre broadband network when using the telco's Home Hub 5 wireless router. The Register heard from one reader who told us that the mysterious disruptions to BT's Infinity service had apparently begun to surface after …
Kelly Fiveash, 4 Feb 2014
Wheat harvest

BT fattens up its sales thanks to hearty fibre+footy diet

BT's wholesale wing continued on its downward spiral during the one-time national telco's third quarter, with sales tumbling nine per cent to £589m from £645m a year earlier. The company's total revenue of £4.6bn for the three-month period ended 31 December 2013 saw modest growth of two per cent as some of BT's other business …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Jan 2014
Sky_3d_football

BSkyB sees first half pre-tax profit tumble as sales climb

BT's intense campaign to draw more eyeballs away from BSkyB failed to hit the pay-TV company's revenues during the first six months of its financial year. But, while BSkyB - which is around 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch - drove sales up more than 6 per cent to £3.7bn for the period ended 31 December, it did report a …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jan 2014
BT street cabinet

Achtung NIMBYs! BT splurges extra £50m on fibre broadband rollout

BT is throwing a further £50m at its commercial deployment of fibre cabling for faster broadband connections and has said that 30 cities in Britain will benefit from the cash splurge. The telecoms giant will use its existing copper wiring infrastructure to hook up most of the 400,000 urban dwellings that it plans to upgrade to …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jan 2014

Alcatel-Lucent and BT unveil super fat pipe, splurt out 1.4Tb per second across London

Alcatel-Lucent has teamed up with BT to test an "alien superchannel" across an existing fibre pipe, with the resulting record-breaking 1.4 Tbps they achieved able to transmit a five-month-long grumble flick in just one second. The pair achieved 1.4 terabits per second using a BT's fibre-optic pipe between the BT Tower and BT's …
Team Register, 23 Jan 2014
using mobile when, er, upwardly mobile

Ofcom says yes to sat broadband on PLANES (and trains and ships)

A generous allocation of 4,128 MHz worth of spectrum running from 27.5GHz to 30GHz (albeit not contiguous) will give data speeds of 50Mbit/sec to a single plane or ship and an estimated 10Mbit/sec per user thanks to a new frequency allocation from Ofcom. The ruling allows "Earth station antennas" on moving vehicles which will …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2014
The Pirate Bay logo

Plusnet is working on a network-level filter to block pirate sites

Exclusive Plusnet is developing its own network-level filter to allow subscribers to censor content on its broadband service as well as help the telco suffocate access to websites linking to pirated material, The Register has learned. The Sheffield-based ISP, which is owned by telecoms giant BT, confirmed to us that its censorship tool …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014

Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

Virgin Media has been walloped by Britain's advertising watchdog for failing to clearly explain that a half-price deal it was flogging did not apply to line rental. A complaint about a direct mailing promotion that came loaded with a "little(ish) book" of offers was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, which concluded …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014

BT-owned ISP Plusnet fails to plug security hole on its customer signup page

Exclusive - Updated Sheffield-based telco Plusnet isn't doing any of its new customers "proud" right now, after an anonymous source told The Register that the company was currently transmitting personal details over an unencrypted web page. The firm, which is owned by telecom giant BT, is asking interested subscribers to fill in a form online that …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014

KCOM-owned Eclipse FAILS to cover up the password 'password'

Exclusive A Register reader has exposed another privacy howler at KCOM - this time involving its Exeter-based ISP Eclipse Internet, which displays passwords in plain text to users via a webpage. Customers who log in to their personal Eclipse user site are somewhat surprisingly shown the password for their account. Today's tip of the hat …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2014
Score! Classic Goals iPhone/iPad game screenshot

Take that, BT: Vodafone and BSkyB mull over broadband tie-up - report

BSkyB and Vodafone have reportedly discussed the possibility of teaming up on a high-speed broadband service. According to the Sunday Times (paid subscription required), a number of "high-level" confabs have already taken place between the pay-TV company and the mobile carrier. However, senior sources have told the newspaper …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jan 2014

KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

Exclusive Hull's dominant telco, KC, is investigating revelations of what appears to be poor handling of the company's customer data. This comes after a recent sign-up claimed one of its engineers had unwittingly exposed a customer spreadsheet containing the telephone numbers, user IDs and unencrypted passwords of all its subscribers. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jan 2014
EU Bods look to future of UHF

EU eyes UHF spectrum: What do you think, biz bods... broadband?

The European Union has formed a new advisory group to work out what the future uses of the UHF spectrum band (470-790MHz) should be. And the list of representatives to the board reflects a more political than technical take on this, with company presidents and director generals listed rather than CTOs. The advisory group will be …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jan 2014

Yet another pricey Olympics' exec drafted in by UK.gov - this time for broadband spending

The Tory-led UK government is desperate for success stories with its big IT projects. As Whitehall ministers increasingly confess to big problems with various tech deployments, they keep turning to the private sector - and specifically execs who delivered the London 2012 Olympic Games* - to help rescue troubled schemes. Step …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jan 2014
BT Openreach van

BT banks on ex-HSBC man to take charge of Openreach biz

BT's outgoing Openreach boss Liv Garfield is to be replaced by a money man poached from Britain's struggling banking sector. The telecoms giant said it had hired Joe Garner, 44, who was previously HSBC's UK boss where he helped steer the bank through the financial crisis, BT noted. Garner will join BT in mid-February when he is …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Jan 2014

AT&T's sponsored data plan: Who, us, violating net neutrality?

+Comment AT&T is playing down concerns that its sponsored data program violates the principles of net neutrality.* The plan, in which content providers are able to foot the bill for wireless broadband access to their services, has been advertised by the company as a benefit for customers who will be able to access premium services …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jan 2014

Telstra, NBN Co to sign new deal mid-2014: analysts

Australia's investment community has set mid-2014 as the date when it expects the government, Telstra and NBN Co to finalise a new three-way contract over infrastructure access. If the stock market expectations are accurate, it would be yet another roadblock to the now-dead-in-the-water political promise that all Australians …
EU Kids Online

BT tweaks WORDING of sex-ed web block after complaints

BT has adjusted the wording of one of its web-filtering categories, following The Register's story late on Friday when the telecoms giant admitted that UK parents who don't want their kids to seek advice about their sexuality online could block access over its network. However, while BT continues to offer that control to its …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Dec 2013

Parents can hide abortion, contraception advice from kids, thanks to BT's SEX-ED web block

Access to sex education websites can be switched off by UK parents who don't want their children to seek advice about their sexuality online, BT has admitted to The Register. Its network-level filter, introduced last week, can limit home internet users' access to material the Coalition government would rather you not see, such …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2013

World+dog: Network level filters block LEGIT sex ed sites. Ofcom: Meh

Analysis Inevitably, as network-level filters are switched on by Britain's biggest telcos, reports are suggesting that the systems are wrongly blocking sex education websites. BSkyB, BT and TalkTalk have each said publicly and repeatedly that the technology is not perfect and relies on interaction from parents who want to protect their …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Dec 2013

Why UK.gov's £1.2bn fibre broadband rollout is a bumbling FLOP

Analysis The Department of Culture, Media and Sport – also known as the Ministry of Fun – is this morning celebrating what it described as a "bumper day for rural broadband". But the declaration of victory may have come a little prematurely from Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Fun. The £1.2bn taxpayer-funded Whitehall-led …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Dec 2013