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Mildura is still marked in the wrong place on Apple's iOS6 maps

Turnbull takes control of spatial data policy

Australia's Office of Spatial Policy (OSP) has announced it is about to be moved to the Department of Communications, a machinery of government change that will see it depart its current home in the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. “The Office of what?” we hear you ask. Why's this in The Reg? The OSP is Australia's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2013
Sliced Bread

BT jabbed by ad watchdog AGAIN over fibre deployment fibs

BT has been caught fibbing to Manchester residents, after the telecoms giant wrongly claimed that its fibre optic Infinity product was already available throughout the city. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled today that BT had misled customers with a poster ad that shouted: "MANCHESTER BUSINESSES. IT'S ARRIVED". A …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2013

Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Virgin Media is set to jack up its broadband prices early next year by nearly 7 per cent. The telco said it was writing to subscribers now to warn them that costs will rise by 6.7 per cent on average from February 2014. It said that the price hike does not affect services such as Virgin Media's home phone talk plans. In an …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2013
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Turnbull appoints Simon Hackett, Justin Milne and Patrick Flannigan to NBN Co board

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has followed through on his promise to appoint people with experience delivering “linear infrastructure” to the board of NBN Co, the organisation charged with building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN). Turnbull today announced that Internode founder and iiNet board …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2013
Turnbull with Switkowski in Blacktown

Turnbull touts construction resumption in YouTube vid

The ongoing game of trying to divine Malcolm Turnbull's intentions for Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) by noting the differing language he uses on the few occasions he discusses the project continues, after Australia's minister posted a YouTube video in which he denies suggestions he's been trying to kill …
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Microsoft Australia calls fibre-to-the-premises 'best outcome' for NBN

Microsoft's Australian managing director Pip Marlow has reportedly told an event staged by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia that the nation's new government should not proceed with its policy of a fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network (NBN). Newswire AAP reports that Marlow argued for the retention of a …
Red Dead Redemption

Virgin Media suffers growing pains as Cable Cowboy daddy settles in

Virgin Media reported flat sales and an operating loss to the City this morning as the telco adjusts to living under the roof of cable giant Liberty Global. It said revenue stood at £1.02bn during the company's third quarter ended 30 September 2013, while restructuring costs relating to Liberty's summer takeover of Virgin Media …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Nov 2013
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Malcolm Turnbull throws a bone to FTTP boosters

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has today given an interview to TV show Meet the Press in which he appears to have softened his line on fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections for the National Broadband Network (NBN). The transcript of the interview can be found here and the most interesting bit is the …
An abandoned Telstra facility on the Stuart Highway

Australia's proto-NBN now decaying in the desert

When The Reg followed October's World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide, we couldn't help but notice its route followed the route taken by what was arguably Australia's first large-scale nation-building project aimed at speeding the flow of information, the Overland Telegraph (OT). Like other networks of its day, the OT …
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull to NBN contractors: Dance, baby, dance!

Australia's communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has pulled out a pistol and started pinging bullets at the feet of national broadband network (NBN) contractor Visionstream. The philosopher prince of the new government has popped out a blog post titled “It takes two to tango - NBN rollout in Tasmania” in which he writes “The …
A fake tattoo on the leg of Canberra Raiders footballer Sandor Earl, sent by Huawei as an April Fool

Australian confirms Huawei ban

Australia's new and conservative prime minister Tony Abbott has reportedly confirmed the nation's decision to ban Huawei from providing any kit to the country's national broadband network. Australia famously banned Huawei not long after Barack Obama and his entourage visited the nation in 2010. The ban is thought to have come …
BT Openreach van

BT's new boss reports flat sales and pre-tax profit tumble

BT's freshly installed chief executive Gavin Patterson told the City today that revenue had edged up to £4.49bn, while profit before tax fell 10 per cent to £499m during the company's second quarter. In a cautious-sounding statement, Patterson said that the three months ended 30 September had produced "good results" for BT. He …
Kelly Fiveash, 31 Oct 2013
androidarmysideteaser

Google's new broadband offer: 20-days of WiFi for a quid

Google is trying another tactic to get more of the developing world online, this time with a WiFi Passport service allowing Android users in the Indonesian capital Jakarta to bypass busy 3G networks. To access the service, dubbed WiFi Passport, users will need to be running Android 2.2 and above. After downloading an app from …
Phil Muncaster, 30 Oct 2013

NBN Co reports smaller-than-expected loss

NBN Co, the company formerly tasked with building a national fibre-to-the-premises network for Australia, has delivered its 2013 financials. It's no particular surprise that the organisation has reported a loss for 2012-2013, since its first forecast profit even under the former government's plan was to be delivered in 2019. The …
traffic lights

Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

Earlier this year the UK's advertising watchdog made the "unlimited" term used by broadband providers redundant, by confirming that moderate restrictions could be applied to network traffic, all the while letting the telcos continue to make "no caps" claims to subscribers. That surprise decision came in a ruling from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Oct 2013
The IDF armoured version of the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer

Construction industry outlook is bad news for Turnbull's alt.NBN plan

When Senator Stephen Conroy, Australia's former Communications Minister and the man who drove the early years of the nation's National Broadband Network (NBN) build, recently admitted that the rollout targets he signed off for the network's construction were too ambitious it was taken as further evidence his failings. Conroy …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Oct 2013

Ofcom: By 2017, even BUMPKINS will have superfast broadband

Ofcom's annual report on the state of Blighty's infrastructure promises "near universal" superfast broadband by 2017 with only the most gentle of regulatory nudges. Seventy-three per cent of UK premises are already getting "superfast" broadband, with BT's Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) available to 57 per cent of UK properties and …
Bill Ray, 25 Oct 2013
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AT&T bags 363,000 new customers ... where did THEY come from?

AT&T has had a jolly three months, banking $3.8bn in profits and adding 363,000 new contracts. But it remains unclear from whence those new customers have arrived. Not only is the US's second-biggest network* growing, it's actually growing faster than it used to. AT&T's profit for the same quarter last year was a healthy $3.6bn …
Bill Ray, 24 Oct 2013
Telstra's 4G surfboards

Telstra launches budget ISP

Australia's dominant telco and ISP, Telstra, has quietly launched a budget service. Called Belong, the service offers ADSL2+ plans at $AUD50 for 70GB/month $65 for 250GB/month. The service needs an active phone line, but Telstra says “some customers prefer to use their mobile for everything” and the service does not include …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2013
NBN Co logo

NBN review team looks like old Telstra board

The strategic review into Australia's National Broadband Network commissioned by the nation's new government is starting to look like a Telstra alumni party, with the carrier's former CEO Ziggy Switkowski (now NBN Co chairman) being advised by yet-another former executive of the incumbent. The Australian Financial Review reports …

Ofcom flogs ex-military 4G spectrum, but ONLY the iPhone 5 can use it

A fresh round of 4G spectrum auctions are in the offing as Ofcom proposes selling off surplus military frequencies at 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz, despite the fact that only the iPhone 5 can make any use of it. Another 190MHz of 4G spectrum will be up for grabs next year after being discarded by the military and heading for the auction …
Bill Ray, 17 Oct 2013

Run a server on your Gb/s Google Fiber? OK, fine, fine ... maybe a small one

In an apparent capitulation to net neutrality supporters, Google has quietly loosened the terms of service of its Google Fiber broadband network to allow customers to run personal servers in some cases. Google Fiber's new acceptable use policy (AUP) explicitly permits customers to host some types of servers on their connections …
Neil McAllister, 15 Oct 2013
Malcolm Turnbull

Cabinet to be targeted with pro-FTTP ads

With $AUD44,513 in the crowdfunded kitty, the campaigners who plan to buy ads in Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's local newspaper are now planning a wider assault on politicians' eyeballs. As we reported yesterday, folks involved in the change.org petition urging Australia's newly-elected government to …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2013
Malcolm Turnbull

Crowdsourced campaign scoops $AUD40k for pro-FTTP NBN ads

A crowdsourced campaign that aims to buy advertisements calling for Australia's national broadband network (NBN) to stick with its original fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) plan has soared past its $AUD15,000 funding target and now has a war chest of over $40,000 to splash. The campaign's original aim was to raise enough cash to pop …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2013
Scotland

Rubbish broadband drives Scottish people out of the Highlands

It's not the midges, weather or crappy nightlife to blame for driving people out of the rural Highlands – it's dodgy broadband speeds, Scottish politicians have been told. At a meeting of the devolved Scottish Parliament's rural affairs committee, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) were told that sluggish internet …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Oct 2013
Mobile Broadband Comparison

Mobile downloads limp, fixed surges: ABS

Australians might be buying as many 4G devices as they can get their hands on, but the uptake isn't being reflected in their download habits. The volume of data downloaded by Australians over mobile connections slid slightly between December 2012 and June 2013, while fixed line downloads continue to surge, according to the …
NBN Co logo

Ziggy Switkowski appointed NBN Co executive chair

As widely predicted, Australia's new communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Doctor Ziggy Switkowski as executive chair of NBN Co, the entity charged with building the nation's national broadband network (NBN). The appointment and the title of executive chair means Switkowski is now the leader of NBN Co, as its …

'Instant translation' glasses to come online for 2020 Olympics

NTT Docomo has wasted no time ramping up the excitement ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games, in announcing a 5G network 100 times faster than LTE and augmented reality “instant translation” glasses – both of which should be ready by 2020. Both innovations were unveiled at IT and electronics show CEATEC 2013 in Tokyo this week. It’ …

Analyst says Brit rail broadband plan is TRAIN CRAZY

Analyst outfit IDC has found fault in a new plan to “fix” broadband blackspots around Britain's rail network. UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced the plan on Monday, declaring it is time to start fixing “areas along rail corridors with intermittent or poor coverage of mobile phone signals” so that “hardworking …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

MVNO misery will be pain for Oz mobile users as well

With the departure of yet another mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) from the Australian market, it's clear that margin protection has become the next obsession of Australian carriers. The collapse of ISPOne earlier this year, which sent some MVNOs (such as Aldi) scrambling for new arrangements and ended Kogan's push into …

AT&T takes on Google fiber, fixin' to give Texans GIGABIT GUNS

America's dominant telco will take on Google in fitting 1Gb/sec broadband in Austin, Texas, engaging in a numbers battle which will delight a few while doing nothing for the majority. The "GigaPower" service will only stretch to around one per cent of Austin homes, but enables AT&T to match Google's boast of 1Gb/sec broadband …
Bill Ray, 1 Oct 2013

How long will the next NBN Co board last?

Wanted: NBN Co board members. Essential: telecommunications network rollout experience; ability to conduct a thorough review of the current NBN rollout; conduct weekly performance reviews of network rollout without interruption to operations. Desirable: willing to be dismissed at short notice. Cost blowouts and missed targets …
Malcolm Turnbull

'I shot the sheriff': Turnbull asked for NBN Co board scalps

New communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has told a Sydney press conference that the government specifically requested the resignation of the NBN Co board, “to give the government complete flexibility in remaking the board in light of the policy agenda.” Turnbull said that “I have never criticised any of the individuals on …

Mobile broadband 'fastest growing technology in history' says ITU

Mobile networks are fast outrunning fixed broadband in terms of growth, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and that's going to put pressure on wireless spectrum's ability to cope. Singapore, Japan and Finland top the world in mobile broadband penetration on a per-100-inhabitants basis, with Australia …
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ENTIRE NBN BOARD offers to walk the plank: report

The chair of NBN Co, Siobhan McKenna, has tendered her resignation to the new communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, along with those of the organisation's entire board, according to Fairfax Media. In this report, the Sydney Morning Herald notes that the move would open the door for Turnbull to appoint former Telstra CEO and …

Axe falls: Virgin Media plans to kill 600 management jobs

Virgin Media is shedding up to 600 management jobs in the wake of Liberty Global's takeover of the British telco. The Register understands that the cost-cutting restructure is intended to help the company focus on growth. A source close to the situation told us that, in the coming months, most of the other UK-based positions – …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2013

TPG floats fibre cherry-pick

Second-tier ISP TPG is eyeing the big league, announcing a plan to use its fibre network to connect a 100 Mbps fibre-to-the-building service to high-density apartments around Australia. At the company's 2013 full-year financial briefing, TPG chairman David Teoh discussed the plan and said the company had begun design work on the …
Broadcom 5G Wi-Fi 802.11ac wireless technology logo

iiNet getting ready for 802.11ac

While there might be political controversy surrounding the question of how much broadband is enough, iiNet is preparing for a near-term future in which consumer kit has to cope with multiple high-definition TV streams being distributed around a single household. Lifting a veil from its future product plans, the number-two DSL …
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Virgin Media gives TiVo users access to Netflix

Virgin Media is planning to let Netflix subscribers watch the video-on-demand service through their set-top TiVo boxes. The cable company announced that the Netflix app would be coming to 1.7 million TiVo homes this year, starting with a pilot rollout this week. Around 40,000 customers have been chosen for the pilot scheme, …
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Telstra's Thodey is NBN kingmaker after Oz election

With Saturday's emphatic election result putting almost certain to put Malcolm Turnbull into the communications ministry, the business of rejigging the National Broadband Network is about to begin in earnest. Step one, once Turnbull assumes the ministry, will be a promised “100 day” review of the NBN. This will presumably …

Ofcom launches idiot's guide to traffic-shaping

UK net regulator Ofcom has published an idiots' guide to traffic shaping to try to encourage people to see how wonderful it is ahead of the inevitable battle over net neutrality. Starting with a history of the internet, the document (PDF, as silly as it sounds) explains that in the early days there wasn't any congestion – …
Bill Ray, 4 Sep 2013
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

Deloitte research says NBN a winner for households

As Australia races towards a federal election likely to kill off the country's current model for a national broadband network, the (probably) outgoing government has released a report saying the annual value of the network to households will be in the order of $AU3,800. The study, by Deloitte Access Economics, suggests that most …