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Sprint: Net neutrality means we can't stamp out download hogs

Sprint says America's new net neutrality rules – which kicked in last week – have forced it to stop throttling download hogs' mobile broadband connections. Everything's fine, though, the US telco insists: it turns out this traffic strangling wasn't really needed in the first place. Sprint, the third-largest carrier in America, …
Shaun Nichols, 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

AT&T fined about 3 days of profit ($100m) for limiting 'unlimited' plans

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined AT&T $100m (£63m) after accusing it of unfairly limiting "unlimited" mobile data plans. The telco insists it has done nothing wrong. The regulator said AT&T broke its Open Internet rules by deliberately slowing subscribers' download speeds when they went over their 3GB to …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2015

British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

It's the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta: the document that King John was forced to sign by English barons in 1215, and which has served as the cornerstone for many of the world's judicial systems ever since. And to commemorate it, the British Library has published its crowdsourced version for the digital world. The Digital …
Kieren McCarthy, 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
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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
germany

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
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Belgium privacy commish ambushes Facebook with lawsuit

Facebook won't quit stalking people who aren't its users, so after months of wrangling, Belgium's Privacy Commissioner is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against The Social NetworkTM. According to this report in Belgian news site De Morgen, the tracking is flagrant and sweeps up people who don't want to be tracked. The Commission …
CIE Oz Data Set

Australia's comms regs broken says Vodafone (as it would)

Telstra's continuing incumbency is an expensive luxury, according to the carrier's competitors, that sucks more than AU$3 billion into the carrier's maw each year. That's the conclusion of a study which reckons a fixed-line customer buying from Telstra is paying AU$20 too much each month, or $9 per month for mobile services. …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

Taiwan incumbent adds G.fast to tech mix

Under pressure to accelerate Taiwan's broadband deployment, Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will start rolling out G.fast. 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 …
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ISP Level 3 goes TITSUP after giganto traffic routing blunder

ISP Level 3's customers have been left without internet access since this morning, after the provider seems to have leaked routes to a Tier 1 transit provider in Malaysia. An incident report from CloudFlare said that while "the Tier 1 transit provider of the ISP leaking routes appears to have stopped accepting these …
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

ECJ: Hey Belgian telcos - don't bother serving the huddled masses

European governments cannot force mobile providers to pay for providing a minimum service to disadvantaged people, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The Universal Service Directive requires EU countries to make basic communication services “such as making a phone call from a fixed location at an affordable price or …
Jennifer Baker, 12 Jun 2015
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Exit-tel customers can't even upgrade their plans to stay

More detail has come to Vulture South's attention about second-tier ISP Exetel dumping customers without any explanation whatsoever. After yesterday's report, other customers have come forward to complain that they're not even offered the option to shift their accounts to a higher-price plan. One customer that contacted Vulture …

Screw you, ISPs: Net neutrality switches on THIS FRIDAY – US court

The US Court of Appeals for the DC circuits has denied a motion to halt the FCC's radical net neutrality rules, meaning they will officially kick in tomorrow. "Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the three-judge panel noted. The decision is a win for those who believe that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Jun 2015

Toothless Ofcom: C'mon consumers, show your teeth on broadband speeds

Consumers experiencing consistently shonky broadband speeds will have the power to walk away from their contracts, new Ofcom chief exec Sharon White will announce today. The body will publish a "beefed-up" Code of Practice on broadband speeds, White will announce in her inaugural speech to consumer body Which? White joined …
Kat Hall, 11 Jun 2015
Cellular basestation antenna

Nokia adds German uni to 5G research ecosystem

With World+Dog working to define their technologies into standards, build their 5G patent books ahead of the anticipated rush, and try and work out what 5G's use-case will be, Nokia has tapped Germany's University of Kaiserslautern to help its 5G research efforts along. The company says the university will be working on network …

BT: G.fast is fast and we want it FASTER

BT has told a US broadband conference it's confident that G.fast will do what it says on the box – so long as ongoing standards work bears fruit. However, The Register notes with interest that the dependencies highlighted by BT Wholesale CTO Colin Bannon are many. As noted at LightReading, Bannon reckons G.fast is good for 300 …
8K video on YouTube

Spooky ghost town vid perfectly sums up YouTube's 8K playback: It's virtually no use to anyone (yet)

Vid Ultra-high definition 8K videos are appearing on YouTube, despite the fact that few home broadband connections on the planet can stream them, and even fewer screens are capable of showing them in their full glory. The video arm of the Mountain View ad giant turned heads this week when a mini-flick called "Ghost Towns in 8K" …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2015
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Exetel becomes Exit-tel, shows customers the door without explanation

Australian internet service provider (ISP) Exetel is firing customers, with no explanation for its actions. Customers have sent Vulture South a “Notice of termination of service” from Exetel that offers the following non-explanation of the decision: Service number: XX XXXX XXXX 10 June 2015 - Today's Date 10 July 2015 - …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2015

Net neutrality starts this Friday! Kinda! Sorta! It's a little complicated ...

Rules to protect the internet's neutrality in America will go into effect this Friday, causing a flurry of efforts of undermine it and some suspicious activity on the part of the cable companies. The regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the end of February were formally published in mid-April …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2015
Voda App lets guest use your wi-fi

Fourplay frolics: Vodafone launches landline broadband

As expected, Vodafone has launched Connect, a consumer broadband service - and, as expected, the speeds are disappointing. While AQL and Gigaclear will let you have a gigabit or more, and Virgin Media offers 152Mbps, the new Vodafone service is aimed at BT’s 76Mbps Infinity 2 package. Vodafone claims that it will offer speed …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2015
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Net neutrality? Meh. But don't you dare slow my video streaming

Advisors to the European Commission have found that consumers do grasp the principles of net neutrality and make choices based on it — even when they don’t really know how traffic management, which is key to net neutrality, works. “Attributes of an internet access service offer that relate to traffic management and net …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Jun 2015
Google UK reception

Google shares optical layer SDN with its friends

Google's getting more cozy with the world of SDN, opening up some of its network configuration models to give things a kick along. LightReading reports that Chocolate Factory network architect Bikash Koley wants more SDN adoption at the transport layer. To that end, the company has shared its multivendor optical terminal …
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Facebook decides space isn't its final frontier after all

Just days after it looked like the tech sector's love affair with satellite broadband was getting legs, Facebook has reportedly abandoned its spacefaring. Various reports indicate that the billion-dollar plan to distribute the Facebook Internet.org walled garden via satellite has been abandoned, because The Social NetworkTM …
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Competition risk? BT faces rigorous frisking over £12.5bn EE takeover bid

The UK's competition watchdog has agreed to hasten a probe into BT's planned multi-billion pound merger with EE. Last month, the one-time state monopoly urged Blighty's Competitions and Markets Authority to swiftly move on from the first phase of its inquiry into BT's bid to slurp up the mobile operator. The regulator said in a …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Jun 2015
Dispatchers are vital to co-ordinating on the ground activities

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

The £1.2bn emergency services contract which The Register flagged up as an omnishambles six months ago has now, as we predicted, collapsed. After a year-long bidding process the government had whittled the tenders down to two companies: EE and O2. Now O2 has pulled out as a result of Telefonica selling the network to Three’s …
Simon Rockman, 9 Jun 2015
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Verizon splits with carrier-led bonking and invests in SimplyTapp

Verizon Ventures has invested in NFC technology company SimplyTapp. What makes this interesting is that SimplyTapp is a cloud-based service using Host Card Emulation (HCE) for the security element in Android phones. Operators have traditionally supported the rival Single Wire Protocol (SWP) standard and Vodafone recently teamed …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jun 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Vodafone IS talking to Virgin Media daddy Liberty Global

Rumours of all kinds of talks between Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media in the UK and Vodafone, have been rumbling for months. Vodafone's now come out and confirmed those rumours are true. Vodafone put out a release this morning saying: “Vodafone Group Plc ("Vodafone") notes the recent media speculation regarding a …
Simon Rockman, 5 Jun 2015
Facebook Lite app

Facebook Lite: Website strips off to lure in another billion users

Facebook has built Facebook Lite for folks in bandwidth-challenged nations – a stripped down version of The Social NetworkTM that won't wipe out anyone's monthly download allowances. The Silicon Valley giant says the new app weighs in at under one megabyte, offers “core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, …
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T-Mobile has a network, Dish has spectrum it can't use. Oh, HELLO

T-Mobile US and Dish Networks are in talks about joining forces. Consolidation and quad-play are all the rage between mobile networks, and mobile networks and other networks. The Wall Street Journal reports that the two companies have even decided that Dish boss Charlie Egan would head the beast as Chairman, with the outspoken T …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jun 2015
Telenor Norway CEO Berit Svendsen

Telenor Norway projects 2020 switch-off for its 3G network

Norwegian telco Telenor has outlined plans for switching off 3G, which may be a model for other operators. Norweigians love 4G so much that the Telenor group is looking to ape America in the growth of 4G. CEO Berit Svendsen (pictured) says that the network will follow the raid adoption of 4G found in the US and Asia. Telenor’s …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jun 2015
War of the Worlds

SpaceX asks to test broadband in SPAAACE

Elon Musk's SpaceX has filed its long-anticipated application to test a satellite-based broadband service with the Federal Communications Commission. The filing requests permission to beam signals down to “three broadband array test ground stations” on the US West Coast. Elon's satellites won't suffer the unbearable delays …
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

LTE will catch up with 3G by 2020: Ericsson

Here comes 5G, except for one thing: most of the world will still be on pre-4G by 2020. That's the conclusion of research by Ericsson, which finds that today's 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions are dominated by GSM/Edge services. By 2020, the biggest slice of the world's 9.2 billion services will be the 3.8 billion WCDMA/GSM …
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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

A high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida, has been suspended without pay for using a jamming device to keep students off their cellphones. Science teacher Dean Liptak will spend five days on the naughty step at Fivay High School for employing a device that prevented nearby phones from making or receiving calls, sending and …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jun 2015
DirecTV

AT&T: We'll play nice with net neutrality, just let us gobble DirecTV

AT&T will give in to net neutrality rules in the US – provided it is allowed to buy DirecTV. The telco wants to gobble up DirecTV for $49bn, and the FCC (America's broadband regulator) wants the telco to obey new rules for an open internet. According to the Washington Post, execs at AT&T are willing to drop their objections to …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jun 2015

MEPs, Council still deadlocked over EU telco laws

After three years of negotiations, the proposals to overhaul Europe’s critical telecoms rules could come to nothing, with political power blocks seemingly deadlocked. The so-called Telco Package has been shorn of many of its original proposals and has now been whittled down to just two major issues: net neutrality and roaming …

Your mobile, your car, and you – three become one

Software which enables the screen of your phone to pop up on the screen in your car dashboard has been ported to the (relatively) ancient systems used by automobile manufacturers. The Nucleus operating system was once popular in mobes, a dozen or so years ago, and the car industry is still using it. So, Cambridge tech company …
Simon Rockman, 3 Jun 2015
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Mass break-in: researchers catch 22 more routers for the SOHOpeless list

Yet another disclosure tips 22 SOHO routers in the security bin, with everything from privilege escalation and authentication bypass to hard-coded credential backdoors. That disclosure – more than 60 vulnerabilities from big-name vendors including D-Link, Belkin, Huawei, Linksys, Netgear, Zyxel and Sagem – was made by Spanish …
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ONOS Cardinal adds IPv6, MPLS

The Open Network Operating System (ONOS) has okayed its latest version, Cardinal, for general release. Top of the list in the latest release, the community says, are enhancements to its Application Intent Framework. This gets MPLS and tunnelling support, which Sheryl Zhang, ON.Labs' chief of strategy and partnerships, said were …

Time Warner CFO Artie Minson quits to join babble-filled upstart

Time Warner Cable's chief financial officer, Arthur Minson, is stepping down just a few days after after Charter Communications agreed to merge with his employers for $78.7bn in cash and shares. "Artie" Minson will join WeWork, a start-up platform which describes itself as "the platform for creators. We provide everything you …