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NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn special: See the FTTN and HFC cabinets coming to your street

Reg Roadtrip Last week, The Register was invited on a tour of new installations comprising part of Australia's national broadband network (NBN). nbn, which is building the NBN, paid for an airfare, buses and lunch. nbn also provided some of the photos in the video below, which shows key pieces of the NBN. You'll see a phone exchange …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

nbn tries to shift the conversation to future copper upgrades

Reg roadtrip In the best possible world, all terrestrial internet connections would use fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). Everything I've learned over years writing about broadband suggests that a fibre optic network has a longer working life and will scale to greater bandwidth than technologies that rely on existing or new twisted pair copper …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2016

Optus cable routers let anyone change passwords, says tech

University of Sydney tech Paul Szabo says Netgear routers provided by Australian telco Optus contain a vulnerability that allows attackers to change admin passwords without knowing the existing credentials. The bug in the CG3000v2 cable modem means attackers could enter anything into the current password field to change the …
Darren Pauli, 17 Mar 2016

Silicon photonics boosted with UK fabrication research

Silicon photonics is one of the industry's hottest research fields, because it holds out the promise of accelerating on-chip communications without the extra heat that faster copper-based comms generate. One of the big challenges is fabrication, and that's the subject of research announced by University College London, Cardiff …
FTTDP distribution point unit

nbn says Telstra's copper in better shape than expected

nbn, the organisation building Australia's National Broadband Network, says the copper network it acquired from Telstra requires less remediation than it budgeted for. At a press briefing today the nbn CEO Bill Morrow said he ordered a review of the state of the copper network. “I had a team do a survey of pits out there,” he …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2016
Photo by Mike Mozart

Comcast now touts unlimited gigabit service (that you can't get)

Comcast has opened up its unlimited gigabit-a-second internet service to customers. Perhaps "opened" is a bit of a stretch: the US cable giant is only letting a handful of customers in a few select neighborhoods get their hands on the all-you-can-download service. Comcast said that the service, which will be the first to pipe …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Mar 2016
Chattanooga

Plucky cable billionaires defeat menace of small-town broadband

The city of Chattanooga in Tennessee has been told it cannot expand its broadband service to other counties. The state's legislature has effectively canned a bill that would have allowed Chattanooga's municipal broadband service into neighboring Hamilton and Bradley counties. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Mar 2016
Tangle of cables attached to a telegraph pole

Optus cable can't connect 500,000: NBN CEO Bill Morrow

nbnTM, the builder of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), says it now does not expect to make the 500,000 connections it's previously said would be made on the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) network for which it paid Optus AU$800 million. Under questioning from opposition senator Stephen Conroy at a hearing of the Senate …
shutterstock_gold

SoftBank crashes into America's broadband spectrum party, checkbook in hand

US carrier Sprint could be getting in on the upcoming FCC wireless spectrum auction after all. According to a report from financial news service CTFN, SoftBank, based in Japan, is reportedly mulling a run at the upcoming 600MHz auction. The report claims SoftBank would form a new company that would bid on the spectrum space …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Mar 2016

If your ISP is selling info about you, that has to be opt-in, says FCC boss

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has proposed new rules that would bring ISPs in line with general data privacy laws and give citizens the right to opt out of their personal information being shared commercially. Wheeler has put forward a proposed "notice of rulemaking" to the other FCC Commissioners, who will vote on it later this …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Mar 2016

Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

Something for the Weekend, Sir? “Ah, it’s sod’s law,” murmurs the person sitting next to me. I nod agreeably. It was inevitable. I am attending a brief awards ceremony for student journalists prior to this year’s Hugh Cudlipp lecture. Young journos, we were reminded, were masters of digital content and were making their names through the use of social media …

Another week, another leak: is morale that low in Australia's NBN?

The company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is once again denying the veracity of a leaked document. This time, the leak to Fairfax Media says nbnTM “quietly” trialled technology to make fibre-to-the-premises installations cheaper. That information is, in itself, completely unsurprising. Looking for ways …

Net neutrality: Email trail reveals how Prez Obama bent the FCC to his will

US Republican senators have today published emails that suggest the President "unduly influenced" the FCC – America's nominally independent telco regulator. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) switched tack on bringing about "net neutrality" after feeling the heat from President Barack Obama, who intervened on the …

Institute of Directors: Make broadband speeds 1000x faster than today's puny 2020 target

Forget the government's paltry promise of universal broadband speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020. The Institute of Directors is today calling for a target of 10 gigabits per second by 2030. In its Ultrafast Britain Broadband report, author Dan Lewis said Blighty currently lives in a paradox. "It has some of the worst broadband speeds …
Kat Hall, 29 Feb 2016
Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. If you haven't seen it, it's about a man forced to endure reliving the same day over and over. Pic: Columbia Pictures

NBN rollout behind target, claims yet another leaked report

The company charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is denying a Fairfax media report that its multi-technology model (MTM) rollout is stalling. Over the weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald got its hands on a leaked nbnTM internal document dated February 19 suggesting a slow-down. …

Competition? No way! AT&T says it will sue to keep Google Fiber out of Louisville, Kentucky

Updated AT&T is suing to block the city of Louisville from moving forward with its plan to bring in the Google Fiber service. The telecoms giant filed a complaint [PDF] in federal court on Thursday seeking to prevent the Kentucky's largest city, and Jefferson County, from allowing Google's contractors to access utility poles in order …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Feb 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Opinion The publication of Ofcom’s 2005 Strategic Review of Telecoms was preceded by many long evenings of intense debates within Ofcom and with BT and other stakeholders. The review took 18 months and resulted in the UK having the most competitive broadband market in the world. It’s worth remembering why that happened – because Ofcom …
Chi Onwurah, 26 Feb 2016
Bernie Sanders

FCC gets Bern notice on Charter-TWC deal

A group of US Senators is asking broadband watchdog the FCC to mull over their concerns about the proposed $78bn merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. In a letter [PDF] to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Ron Wyden …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2016
A broken cable box

Verizon only cares about fiber, lets copper nets lapse into ruin – gripes

Verizon is taking heat in two US states over reports its cable lines have become dangerously neglected. Officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are investigating complaints that the copper lines serving Verizon's DSL and phone services are posing a safety hazard as the wiring, poles and boxes under Verizon's care have not …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Feb 2016
Soaring costs in San Fran. from www.shutterstock.com

San Francisco* to get 1Gbps Google Fiber

Google has announced that its Fiber gigabit internet service will finally be arriving in San Francisco. Sort of. The Mountain View advertising broker said that it has signed on to be the ISP for a handful of apartments and condos where fiber lines have already been laid. The move will likely limit the reach of Fiber service …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2016

Interception clouds Deutsche Telekom's pan-Euro network utopia

MWC16 As Deutsche Telekom ramps up its virtualized all-IP pan-European network, dubbed Pan-Net, Europe’s fragmented set of privacy and legal interception laws could thwart the operator’s plans for a delivering cross-border services, according to a senior operator executive. “Legal interception and privacy are the most critical …
Longhorn image via Shutterstock

Austinites outraged as Google Fiber tears up Texas capital

Residents of Austin, TX may be regretting the decision to bring Google Fiber to the city. The Austin American Statesman says that last year, 254 complaints were filed with the city over problems related to construction of the network. The complaints include reports of landscape and property damage caused by crews tasked with …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Feb 2016
Rocket park in Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, Alabama, has NASA, US Missile Command ... and now gigabit Google Fiber

Add Huntsville, Alabama, to the ranks of cities with the Google Fiber broadband service. The city announced on Monday that Google will lease part of a new municipal broadband network it is building. No timeline has been given for when the high-speed service will launch. The ISP will be part of the larger Huntsville Utilities …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2016
Service Stream Warehousing for NBN by https://www.flickr.com/photos/29053105@N04/  cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Sell the NBN not long after rollout ends says Infrastructure Australia

Australia's nascent national broadband network (NBN) should be sold sooner rather than later, according to the new Australian Infrastructure Plan published today by Infrastructure Australia (IA). The plan (PDF) says that “Over the medium term, the National Broadband Network Company should be transferred to private ownership …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2016
Faceplant

Comcast celebrates Presidents Day with Gerald Ford impression

Comcast says it is still working to figure out the cause of an outage that hit subscribers across the US Monday. A company spokesperson told The Register that as of Tuesday morning, "Our engineers continue to work on this issue to determine its cause and find a solution to prevent it from occurring again." This after users in …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

Ofcom must tackle 'monopolistic' provider BT, says shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah

Shadow digital economy minister and former Ofcom head Chi Onwurah has called on the communications regulator to tackle BT’s hold on the broadband market, ahead of its major sector review next week. Speaking to The Register, Onwurah said it is imperative that the once-in-a-decade review addresses the nationwide lack of …
Kat Hall, 15 Feb 2016
Money falling, image via Shutterstock

If you're going to protect people's privacy, protect our profits, too – US broadband biz to FCC

Groups representing telcos, cable operators, and wireless carriers are pressing the FCC on its plans for privacy protections in the US. In an open letter [PDF] to the regulator's boss Tom Wheeler, the groups ask that the FCC consider "balancing" the business considerations of service providers with user privacy rights. "If …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Feb 2016
Louisville Kentucky

Louisville says yes to Google Fiber. Funny story: AT&T, TWC didn't want that to happen

The city of Louisville, Kentucky, has approved a plan to bring Google Fiber service to residents and businesses. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the US city's Metro Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance granting Google and other high-speed carriers access to city-owned utility poles. The move provides …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Feb 2016
Netflix

Want blazing fast Netflix streams? Book a flight to Northern Europe

Northern Europe and Scandinavia enjoy the fastest streaming speeds for Netflix. This according to the video streaming giant's latest ISP speed index, where Luxembourg (4.12Mbps), Norway (4.07) and Belgium (4.02) claimed the top spots. Rounding out the top five were Denmark (3.97) and the Netherlands (3.96). The US, meanwhile …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Feb 2016

Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

The Government has brokered a deal between BT Openreach and The Home Builders Federation (HBF) which means “new build homes [are] to have superfast broadband connectivity”. This is a tad optimistic as there is no legal compulsion for house builders to comply with the new arrangement. BT Openreach is making easier for …
Drew Cullen, 8 Feb 2016
Service Stream Warehousing for NBN by https://www.flickr.com/photos/29053105@N04/  cc 2.0 attribution sharealike https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

NBN activations to rise from 10,000 per week to 8,400 ... wait, what?

Last Friday, nbnTM congratulated itself on a positive user experience and a record number of activations. With its half-year results out and an election year beginning, it's hardly surprising that the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is touting the success of the multi-technology model with the …

T-Mobile US's BingeOn does break net neutrality, says law prof

The T-Mobile US Binge On video service does in fact break network neutrality and so is illegal. That's according to Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick, who has gone to the trouble of writing 51 pages of analysis [PDF] over the controversial throttled service to reach her conclusion. "Binge On undermines the core …

Google to pump free gigabit Fiber into homes of hard-up families

People living in public housing in Kansas City, Missouri, will soon be getting free gigabit internet connections. Google said that it would be rolling out its fiber service to nine public housing facilities in the area, providing gigabit downstream bandwidth to about 1,300 households. The strapped-for-cash residents will also …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Feb 2016
Man rools out fibre cable from a large wooden cable reel on a suburban street. Pic via Pixabay

Speaking in Tech: How good is the UK's broadband? Really awful

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week your hosts, tech gurus Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela, are in Austin for TECHunplugged to discuss Apple data centres, rumours of Yahoo! layoffs and Software Defined Storage, and why setting up a Raspberry Pi to tweet at UK ISPs every time the internet speeds drops …
Team Register, 3 Feb 2016
Mr Creosote prepares to gobble

World's annual mobile data intake to hit 367 exabytes by 2020

Continued growth of mobile broadband, connected devices and economic development will have data consumption rising by 53 per cent yearly from now to 2020. So says Cisco, who reports in its annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) that as the next decade dawns, 4G use will finally eclipse 3G and 11.6 billion mobile devices will be …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Feb 2016
Woman in bathrobe is shocked by something she is reading on her laptop. Pic via Shutterstock

BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

BT has blamed a faulty router for knocking its network offline yesterday, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without the internet. The telecoms giant apologised for the failure, which began at around 2pm yesterday afternoon. Customers across the country were unable to get online, with reports of the outage affecting …
Kat Hall, 3 Feb 2016

BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Updated UK telco BT is suffering a major broadband outage: it appears the comms giant is caught up in a near-nationwide blackout, with more than 12,000 reports of service problems on Down Detector. The web connectivity monitor has been flooded with complaints from vast parts of the UK, from London and Birmingham to Manchester and …
Kat Hall, 2 Feb 2016

TalkTalk admits losing £60m and 101,000 customers after THAT hack

TalkTalk has reported a loss of £60m related to its major hack in October, attributing the write-off to IT costs and shedding 101,000 customers during its third quarter. The biz said the costs of restoring its online capability and enhancing security are expected to total £40m-£45m. It also took a £15m hit "arising from Q3 …
Kat Hall, 2 Feb 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016

TalkTalk CuffCuffs 'ScamScam CrimCrims'

UK ISP TalkTalk is considering cutting ties with its Indian call center provider after three employees at the site were arrested for allegedly scamming customers. The budget telco said police in Kolkata have nabbed a trio of Wipro call center workers as part of an investigation into security practices. Wipro runs the customer …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2016

CableLabs certifies first gigabit-class cable modems

Broadcom's grinning like the Cheshire Cat, with its OEMs apparently dominating the first round of DOCSIS 3.1 device certification. DOCSIS 3.1 is a standard allowing for gigabit-and-above data transmission rates over existing hybrid fibre-coax cables widely deployed around the world for cable television delivery. The BCM3390 …
scissors cut cable

Map of Tasmania to be shorn of electrical, data links to outside world

Internet service providers in the Australian state of Tasmanian are bracing for a temporary loss of connectivity, as the owner of the Basslink cable connecting the island state to the mainland scrambles to fix a break in its electricity transmission system. Basslink operates electricity and telecommunications connections …