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What balls! India blocks 0.00008 per cent of web in anti-pr0n move

The Indian government has got a grip on the Asian nation's masturbation issues and dished out an order to ISPs to block access to a staggering 857 pornography websites. While the private perusal of pornography is perfectly permissible in India, both its sale and distribution is a criminal offence. The nation, birthplace to …

Remote Queensland fibre hookup hopes dashed, for now

Remote communities in Queensland believe they've been dudded out of a promise to give them a connection to the long-haul fibre connections being built as part of Australia's National Broadband Network. Barcoo and Diamantina shires had wanted AU$7 million, part of the cost of extending the NBN's fibre footprint to their towns, …

New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality

Analysis When an entire page of a lawsuit is taken up just listing the lawyers on the case, you know you have hit some vested interests. And so it is with the opening arguments [PDF] of the US Telecom Association et al versus the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aka status quo versus Open Internet. There are seven …
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Sri Lanka braves monsoon with Loon broadband balloons

Service to launch just weeks before monsoon hits, complete with rain and wind a-plenty Sri Lanka has signed up for broadband services delivered by Google's “Project Loon” broadband balloons. The Indian ocean nation's minister for foreign affairs, telecommunications and IT Mangala Samaraweera this week took to the stage …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015
FCC paddling

FCC swamped by 2,000+ net neutrality complaints against ISPs

The FCC has reportedly received over 2,000 complaints related to alleged violations of its Open Internet rules. A report from the National Journal cites FCC records it obtained in reporting that thousands of complaints allege throttling of internet service by local carriers. The National Journal was able, via a Freedom of …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015

BT hands £129m back to after beating rural broadband targets

Both BT and the Ministry of Fun – or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, if you prefer – have spun BT’s toeing-the-line-of-a-contractual-obligation as unbridled generosity towards taxpayers. A statement from the Minister of Fun, John Whittingdale, said: It's fantastic to see that the rollout of superfast broadband is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2015

So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

Analysis According to the most recent survey of online usage by Americans, 15 per cent of adults are still not online. What is just as interesting is the fact that this 15 per cent appear to be stubbornly refusing to get online despite numerous efforts by the US government and others to get broadband to both rural and low-income areas …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jul 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT broadband in broad-based brownout and TITSUP incidents

If you can't reach a chum in the UK, chances are they've fallen victim to a substantial outage that's hit BT's voice and broadband services. Or a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident. The carrier appears to be suffering from two issues, the first reported to us by Reg readers Colin and Neil who've …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2015

FCC now regulates ISPs – but don't take your complaints to the watchdog just yet

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, chairman of America's broadband watchdog the FCC, has insisted that "we know what we're doing," as his regulator gobbles up more and more power. This is despite him acknowledging that the FCC isn't sure how far its authority stretches – and that it doesn't have crucial rules and guidelines in place. At a …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2015
You can't shut me up, Jennifer Moo, Flickr, CC 2.0

Optus tells Department of Comms to sit down and shut up

The relationship between the Australian government and the telco sector continues to deteriorate, with more carriers pushing back against Canberra's micro-management of their operations, with both industry regulation and security reforms as ongoing battlegrounds. Optus is the latest to raise its voice against the Department of …
Virgin Media Tivo

Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

Virgin Media subscribers are complaining that their TiVo set-top boxes are randomly and repeatedly restarting in what appears to be a widespread service disruption. Lots of Brits posting to the UK cableco's support forum say the TV boxes, provided by Virgin Media, being thrown into reboot loops. The issue appears to have …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
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Cheaper broadband will slow NBN adoption, says Turnbull

Australia's Department of Communications has argued that higher broadband prices are necessary in order to protect the under-construction National Broadband Network (NBN). The Department, helmed by Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, has written to the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as that …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Regulator okays Optus exit from HFC network

The deal between nbnTM and Optus has taken another step towards regulatory approval, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issuing a draft decision to let the deal go ahead. The two carriers have been waiting since December 2014 for the rubber-stamp. The deal will progressively transfer elements of …
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

The government of Canada has ruled that large broadband providers will have to open up their fiber data lines for use by smaller carriers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Wednesday that large incumbent companies who control high-speed data lines will now be required by law to make …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015

BT's Openreach plots end-user trials

BT's Openreach has taken another step in the introduction of services, and late last week briefed Brit ISPs on how to join customer trials. The talks, held on Friday 17 July, were staged to get providers on board for what it has dubbed “NGA2” (Next Generation Access). The G.Fast trial will be run in conjunction with a …
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Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Australia's government is looking for industry input into National Broadband Network (NBN) migration policy, and wants submissions by August 20. Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's statement says the new round of consultation seeks a migration framework that is both industry-led and focussed on the end user. The …

Free internet for kids! Obama's offering free internet to kids! (Yes, there's a catch)

President Obama will officially launch Wednesday afternoon a new program to get kids in flat-broke households online. ConnectHome is a joint partnership between the federal government (the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)), local communities, and a number of different profit and non-profit organizations that …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2015

Telstra vid downloads getting SLOWER says new Netflix speed test

Netflix's latest ranking of Australian service providers again shows that Telstra is the nation's worst-performing network when it comes to downloading the streaming video company's content. Netflix speed rating data for australia Netflix speed rating for streaming video downloads in Australia, April-June 2015 In its May …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
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nbnTM plans for future backhaul upgrade to FTTN cabinets

+comment nbn™ , the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has argued it is better to re-configure its fibre-to-the-node network than to build it to handle high levels of traffic. In a new post by nbn™ chief architect Tony Cross, the network builder explains “getting the balance right …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Fibre Optic by Barta IV cc 2.0 attribution

Comcast: We're twice as fast as Google's 1Gbps Fiber (for x4 the price)

Google's stated aim of bringing some competition into the US broadband market has led to an interesting offer from Comcast – it'll double the Chocolate Factory's connection speed for more than four times the monthly cost. Comcast's Gigabit Pro Xfinity service, launched on Monday, will offer residential customers living within …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2015
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Practice makes perfect: NBN fibre deployments accelerate

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has jumped the gun on nbnTM's annual report, trumpeting that the company has exceeded its June 2015 performance targets. The long-anticipated acceleration of the fibre rollout was evident in February, when nbnTM announced its 2014-15 half-year results. The official full-year results are …
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Bernie Sanders wants FCC to probe broadband prices (but wait, is there an election coming?)

A group of US Senators led by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders want the USA's broadband regulator FCC to investigate whether Americans are being overcharged for internet access. In a letter (PDF) to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ed Markey (D- …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2015
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iiNet warns NBN circuits too expensive in the Netflix era

iiNet reckons the runaway success of Netflix in Australia is going to put the National Broadband Network pricing model under pressure. The problem is that the prices retailers pay the network company nbnTM is heavily influenced by download volumes. Backhaul from nbnTM points of interconnect back to a retail service provider ( …
Facebook laser

Facebook prepares to STRAFE the developing world with FRICKIN' internet LASERS

Facebook has been showing off a new laser communications system that CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to mount on massive solar-powered drones so as to beam the interwebs to inaccessible parts of the world. "As part of our efforts, we're working on ways to use drones and satellites to connect the billion people who don't …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jul 2015
NBN logo

New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

nbnTM, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap. The new plan (PDF) reveals that retail service providers will be provided with a Network Sandpit for HFC” in 2015's fourth quarter. In Q2 of 2016, “HFC Business Readiness Testing” will commence …
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

While city slickers argue about the NBN, rural retailers are smiling

While debate continues in Australian cities about the technology employed to build Australia's national broadband network (NBN), a regional specialist reckons things are on the improve beyond the sandstone curtain. Tony Bundrock, CEO of NBN satellite and wireless retail service provider (RSP) Activ8me, told Vulture South the …
BT Openreach at work

Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe

Blighty's communications watchdog declined this morning to comment on Sky's demands for an in-depth competition probe of BT's broadband biz. Sky has argued in its submission (PDF) to Ofcom today that the regulator should ask the Competition and Markets Authority to intervene with a full inquiry into BT's strong grip on the UK' …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Jun 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Turnbullnomics trashed as Oz regulator cuts telecoms prices

A bunch of Australian fixed telephony and broadband users are about to suffer under a regime of lower prices. In spite of communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2014 assertion that lower prices are against consumer's interests, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has told Telstra to cut its wholesale fixed …
Three Telstra vans restore one line

ACCC clears copper for the NBN

The ACCC has rubber-stamped the agreements needed to let nbnTM absorb Telstra's copper for fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) broadband. The approval of the deal means nbnTM can take ownership of Telstra’s copper and HFC networks for the government's multi-technology model broadband delivery. “Using existing infrastructure means we can … is coming, so get ready, telcos tell ACCC

The Communications Alliance has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission it wants deployment rules to leave room for in the future. In this submission (PDF) to the ACCC's Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS) declaration inquiry, the industry group notes that it's already working on VDSL2 deployment …
Three Telstra vans restore one line

The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

From the day I arrived in Australia, I’ve had a high-speed broadband connection. The owner of the ISP came over to my flat to set it up, attaching a point-to-point wireless link to my terrace, then aiming it at his offices. Within a few minutes I had the very same 5 Mbps symmetric connection that I’ve enjoyed ever since - even …
Mark Pesce, 25 Jun 2015
Virgin Tivo

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

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
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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

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

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 to tech mix

Under pressure to accelerate Taiwan's broadband deployment, Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will start rolling out 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