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Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Photo by Shutterstock - must mark as editorial use only

EU operators’ 5G manifesto misses the point

Never before have events coincided so neatly to demonstrate the gap between mobile operators’ thinking about 5G, and how future networks will really be deployed for disruptive effect. While Europe’s leading MNOs were presenting a backwards-looking "5G Manifesto" to the European Commission, veiling pleas for net neutrality …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jul 2016
Angry businesswoman shouting on phone in office. Image via Shutterstock

Using Comcast biz phones? Hope you liked your afternoon off

Comcast says it is still investigating the cause of outages that killed its business phone service in the US on Tuesday. Reports of problems with the phone service began around midday, and the American telecom giant said that as of approximately 2:30pm Pacific time it was still trying to figure out why those on its small …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016

No, Google you still can't have dotless, one-word domains

A surreptitious effort to introduce so-called "dotless domains" – where you type a single word into your browser to reach a website – has been noticed and shot down. Despite an explicit ban on the Google-pushed idea – which would, for example, let you simply type the word "search" and be taken to the internet address https:// …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jul 2016

Keep up the pressure on the telcos, Canada

Sysadmin Blog Bell Canada has lost their second appeal of the July 2015 decision by the CRTC requiring the opening of fibre networks by Canada's major telcos for wholesale consumption by third party ISPs. The result solidifies Canada's presence amongst the nations embracing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and heralds a round of massive changes in …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Consumer advocates call on Telstra to set customers free after outages

Australian consumer group CHOICE wants Telstra to release customers from their contracts, after months of repeated outages. Presenting its latest analysis of telecommunications plans, which unsurprisingly bells Telstra as the most expensive kitty in the litter, CHOICE says “free data days” are no longer an adequate response …

Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

The UK's possible future prime minister thinks all websites should be classified with minimum age ratings, just like films. Andrea Leadsom is one of two candidates left in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party; the winner of which will become the country's Prime Minister. Although many are concerned with the …

Unmasking malware in TLS connections? It can be done, say Cisco researchers

A group of researchers who work for Cisco* reckons malicious traffic in TLS tunnels can be spotted and blocked – without decrypting user traffic. That's good news in the corporate setting, because today's protection relies on the controversial approach of terminating the encryption to inspect the traffic. In this paper at …
OpenCellular prototype

OpenCellular: Facebook tests its open templates on base stations

Facebook's unleashed a slab of mobile networking technologies which that hint at how it would like remote communities to connect to the outside world. OpenCellular draws on what Facebook's learned in its Open Compute Project and open networking efforts like 6-Pack and Wedge: a design that will be open-sourced over time, to …
Tappy phone testing machine

Huawei sues T-Mobile US: Why can't we be FRANDS with benefits?

Huawei is suing T‑Mobile US for patent infringement – claiming the American carrier's core network is reliant on its technology and yet T-Mob isn't opening its wallet. In a lawsuit filed to the notoriously plaintiff-friendly Eastern Texas District Court this week, Huawei said T‑Mobile US has been using software and hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Jul 2016
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

CityFibre takes on Ofcom over pledge to open BT ducts and poles

Small broadband provider CityFibre has complained to the competitions watchdog that Ofcom is backtracking on its promise to break the country's dependency on BT's Openreach by forcing greater access to its ducts and poles. In its Digital Communications Review (1.23, page 10) in February, Ofcom said it would open up the former …
Kat Hall, 6 Jul 2016
Man checks mobile while sitting on skateboard ramp. Photo by Shutterstock

Verizon, KT, Telefonica: On three continents, operators prepare for 5G

In the week of Brexit and Iceland, a London event perhaps did not need any more reminders about falling behind the rest of the world – but a final, unavoidable conclusion from last week’s 5G World was that the east Asian operators, always very technically progressive, are also in a league of their own when it comes to detailed …
Compressed version of Log Jam

HPE rushes out patch for more than a year of OpenSSL vulns

HP Enterprise has popped into its Tardis, and gone back in time to patch OpenSSL bugs dating back to 2014 – including the infamous Logjam bug. The bugs are in various network products: Intelligent Management Center (iMC), the VCX unified communications products, and the Comware network operating system. The company's notice …
stripped copper for recycling

Oz competition regulator seeks input on ending wholesale ADSL declaration

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether the eventual advent of the National Broadband Network (NBN) means wholesale DSL regulation can be retired. Wholesale ADSL – that is, where a reseller is taking the service from an infrastructure owner like Telstra, and adding their own billing – …
Detroit skyline

Detroit Rock(et Fiber) City: Startup brings 10Gb service to Motown

A project born out of finance house Quicken Loans is making a push to bring broadband to the city of Detroit. Rocket Fiber, which was launched by three former Quicken employees and still operates under its umbrella of companies, began feasibility studies in 2013, laying out cables a year later and finally launching as a …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Jul 2016

Verisign keeps its dot-com cash cow until 2024

Verisign will retain control over the dot-com registry until 2024, providing it with a multi-billion-dollar cash cow for the next eight years. Verisign's contract to run the internet's most valuable naming structure is not due to end until 2018, but in a sign of the power politics at the top of the internet, the agreement will …

UN council: Seriously, nations, stop switching off the damn internet

The United Nations officially condemned the practice of countries shutting down access to the internet at a meeting of the Human Rights Council on Friday. A resolution [PDF] entitled The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet effectively extends human rights held offline to the internet. It was …
Handshake, image via Shutterstock

Cisco takes deep breath, plunges into Puppet's DevOps pool

Cisco's embrace of open networking tools continues, with the company opening up code to connect its IOS-XR operating system to Puppet via YANG. The snappily-named Ciscoyang module bundles a Puppet type, provider, Beaker tests, and sample manifests for configuring and managing IOS-XR. IOS-XR is the service provider-scale …
Cartoon - Private SNAFU

Telstra's business network in six-hour collapse

Telstra is red-faced yet again, after suffering a long outage centred in Victoria. The TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance) began around 2pm on June 30, and it was six hours before Telstra reported services back online. On the way, the outage forced airline Jetstar to manually process passengers at …
Three cows image via Shutterstock

Cisco looks to LoRaWAN for IoT device connectivity

Cisco has anointed another industry alliance into its Internet of Things embrace, with LoRaWAN The company's added a LoRaWAN-capable gateway to its sprawling product set, a decision that its global marketing and corp comms veep Doug Webster explains lets service providers create networks of low-powered sensors – “devices and …
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Trans-Pacific FASTER fibre fires first photons, finally

Backed by Google and built by NEC, the FASTER consortium submarine cable has been lit up. The 9,000 km trans-Pacific cable connects two locations in Japan – the Chiba and Mie prefectures – to US hubs covering Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. As well as The Chocolate Factory, the 60 Tbps design …
Telstra copper in broken pit

Telstra restarting long-stalled ADSL investment

Telstra CEO Andy Penn, while promising to spend AU$250 million improving the Telstra network, has, without much fuss, re-started investment in ADSL infrastructure. That announcement is in the context of a National Broadband Network that's supposed to make ADSL obsolete. In this blog post, Penn says the mobile network's $50 …

Internet takes another step away from US govt and into ICANN's hands

The internet's move away from US government control took a significant step forward Wednesday with the signing of a new contract. The agreement between DNS overseer ICANN and the five regional internet registries (RIRs) AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE covers the provision of public IP addresses across the internet – a …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jun 2016
A freight train travels through the Bow Valley - Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Photo by Brian Lasenby via Shutterstock

The problem with Canada? The price of broadband is too damn high

Opinion Openmedia, a digital rights advocacy group, has quickly become one of Canada's leading civil liberties organizations. Established in 2008 by Steve Anderson, Openmedia has run a series of successful campaigns which have made it the bane of Canada's telecoms oligopoly. Past campaigns have focused on everything from net …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jun 2016
Sun shines on the clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Brexit, schmexit: BT and Oracle join hands for a cloudy tryst

BT has hopped into bed with Oracle in a deal that promises to provide the underlying network connectivity for Oracle’s hybrid cloud. BT Cloud Connect for OracleFastConnect is built on BT’s IP Connect virtual private network (VPN) and will link customers' on-premises IT to Oracle data centres in London or Amsterdam. The deal …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2016
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3GPP sets 2018 as freeze date for 5G air interfaces

The 3GPP has told the industry to get cracking on standardising the air interface for 5G. The standards body wants the “5G New Radio” (NR) to be frozen by June 2018, which should help vendors have devices ready for the planned 2020 date for 5G standards to be ready to fly. Behind the radio, there will be two architectures: …
SABREnet network detail

Can gigabit fibre services revive Adelaide?

The South Australian SABREnet, the local academic network that connects universities to the national AARNet network, is going to be expanded to provide high-speed connections for Adelaide businesses. Premier Jay Weatherill said yesterday the government will sling AU$4.7 million at the project, which will offer services up to …
Telstra copper in broken pit

Aust Federal Police keep lid on docs that triggered NBN raids

The Australian Federal Police has determined that one of the least-secret projects in the country can't be discussed lest it endanger national security. On that basis, the AFP's decided not to release the December letter that sparked off its investigation into leaks surrounding the National Broadband Network (NBN). Fairfax …
Cut cable

Sliced your submarine cable? Fill in this paperwork

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules that will require companies to report outages in submarine cables. Although submarine cables account for 95 per cent of the US' international internet traffic, as well as voice and data, the rules over reporting outages are weak and in most cases are simply …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jun 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Dev boss: What will Microsoft do with Windows 10 Mobile? Surprise – it's for work!

One of the puzzles about Microsoft’s platform in 2016 is Windows 10 Mobile. In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, the plan seemed to be that a unified operating system across PC and mobile, combined with applications developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), would boost Windows Phone and create a …
Tim Anderson, 24 Jun 2016
US Navy man crawling under barbed wire in tough mudder competition

Ericsson: 5G migration won't be a terrifying slog. No. We have ‘plug-ins’

Analysis All the network equipment providers are engaged in major operator projects which they hope will guarantee them a place in those MNOs’ 5G rollouts in the coming years. This week, it was certainly the turn of Ericsson to score 5G marketing points, with a series of operator engagements around the world, and the announcement of 5G …
Wireless Watch, 24 Jun 2016
Aligator eating a crab

Google beefs up Fiber with Webpass gobble

Google has acquired fellow ISP Webpass in a move designed to expand the reach of its high-speed Fiber service. The deal will give Google yet another way to deliver its internet service to additional markets in the US, specifically those in apartment buildings in markets where Google does not already have cable laid. Webpass …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jun 2016

In brave new 5G world, data centres are pizza boxes... or football fields

OPFVN 2016 Flexible tech such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation will be a prerequisite for our brave new 5G world, reckon Intel and Ericsson. Speaking at the open-source network function virtualisation (OPNFV) project, the general manager of Intel's SDN division, John Healy, said the technologies …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
huawei store in shanghai , china   http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-511162p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00 by J. Lekavicius /Shutterstock - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Huawei: Come 2017, we'll also deal in pure, uncut software

OPNFV Summit Huawei is poised to make its big push into flogging pure software products next year - an area its cloudy chief architect believes will come to dominate other parts of the biz. Speaking at the the open-source network function virtualisation (OPNFV) project summit in Berlin, Uli Kleber, chief architect of cloud platform for its …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Linux's NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be 'cool' like, er, Facebook

OPNFV Summit Network operators have a jealous eye on the likes of Facebook and Google and want to ditch their clunky networks to compete for "cooler" consumer services, the head of the open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) project has said. Heather Kirksey is director of the collaborative Linux foundation's OPNFV project – the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Fat-thumbed a BGP entry? Relax, now your pain has a name

Users are familiar with those occasional events in which a sysadmin fat-thumb results in traffic getting deep-sixed – like, for example, this week's huge Telia outage. It's a problem that plagues the Internet and has done for years: the foundational Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was designed in an era long-gone where sysadmins …
Fibre below

Quigley: FTTP wasn't a failed project

Founding NBN CEO Mike Quigley has given a speech defending both his legacy and the original fibre-to-the-premises network plan. The speech, given to Melbourne University's Networked Society Institute and the Telecommunications Society, is most notable for the extensive detail Quigley provides to support his case. Posted here …
Microsoft Wallet

Microsoft hops onboard bonk-to-pay bandwagon

Microsoft has launched its entry into the near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments space. The Microsoft Wallet app will allow Windows Mobile users whose phones are equipped with NFC hardware to link their bank accounts and credit cards to their handsets for retail transactions. Currently, the Wallet app is limited to a …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016

Boffins map Netflix's Open Connect CDN

Brit boffins have peeled back the covers of how Netflix has built its CDN, by requesting movies from all over the world and working out what the responses told them about the hosts. The research incidentally explains why the entertainment biz wants the Internet exchange (IXP) industry to trim its costs: in the USA, IXPs …
Gilligan's Island

Maine town plans to become 'Gigabit Island'

A small community on an island off the coast of Maine says that it wants to give Gigabit internet service to all 560 of its residents. The town of Islesboro says it will be covering the costs of building and installing a municipal high-speed network. This despite having fewer than 300 households. Just three hundred households …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jun 2016

CloudFlare apologizes for Telia screwing you over

Content delivery network CloudFlare has apologized in part for the massive outages its customers experienced yesterday, but placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Tier 1 provider Telia. In a blog post, the company's Network Engineering Manager Jérôme Fleury put up a post-mortem of the incident – and of an incident a few …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016

Pressure mounts against Rule 41 – the FBI's power to hack Tor, VPN users on sight

The campaign against Rule 41 – which will give cops and Feds in America the power to hack people's computers around the world – has kicked up a gear. Leaders of the US House of Representatives and Senate got a letter today urging them to block the rule change before it becomes permanent in December. The proposed legislative …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jun 2016

Top boffins detail how to save the open internet from breaking itself

Analysis The internet could go one of three paths in the next decade, according to an elite group of policymakers: open and global; unequal and uneven; or dangerous and broken. And the path to righteousness? It's contained in the recommendations of the 140-page report that the grandly named Global Commission on Internet Governance ( …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jun 2016