Networks > More stories

shutterstock_282226826-Internet-of-things

The Internet of Things can transform your business … once your networks are ready

Promo The Internet of Things (IoT) creates possibilities to transform every industry, and some of those possibilities will emerge this week at Huawei Connect 2016, the company's flagship conference in Shanghai. But you'll struggle to even pilot IoT ideas if the networks you rely on aren't ready. And the IoT gives your network a big …
David Gordon, 1 Sep 2016
An upset woman with an empty wallet

US spectrum auction falls short by, oh, you know, $66bn thanks to tightwad mobile giants

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will have to change its plans for the 600MHz radio spectrum auction for mobile broadband – after the latest stage of bidding raised just $22.4bn of an $88bn goal. "Bidding in the forward auction has concluded for Stage 1 without meeting the final stage rule and without meeting the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2016

US appeals court slaps down FTC, AT&T walks free, cats and dog living together, mass hysteria

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has thrown the issue of who can protect American consumers into confusion with a decision for AT&T and against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The decision [PDF] could see the telecom giant walk away from a $100m judgment for throttling its customers' data speeds without …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Aug 2016

AT&T trash talks Google over Fiber fiasco: Leave ISP stuff to the experts

With Google deciding to cut back on its Fiber workforce and reconsidering its plan to deliver broadband service, competing ISPs are cackling with glee at the Chocolate Factory's misfortunes. In a post to the company's public policy blog, AT&T vice president of federal regulatory issues Joan Marsh took a moment to needle Google …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2016

Net neutrality activists claim victory in Europe

Net neutrality activists are claiming victory following the publication of final guidelines by European regulators. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications, or BEREC, has published 45 pages of rules [PDF] that will act as the baseline for national regulators. They impose strict neutrality regulations on …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Aug 2016
jeremy_corbyn_648

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the party will not win elections using strategies from the past, as he promised to "democratise the internet" in his Digital Manifesto today. During the unveiling of the manifesto this morning, Corbyn said the party should build on the campaign social media tactics of Democratic …
Kat Hall, 30 Aug 2016

NZ-funded Hawaiki cable signs DRFortress for landing station

Australia and New Zealand got a small step closer to a third Pacific crossing, with submarine cable upstart Hawaiki signing DRFortress in Hawaii to operate its landing station. The on-again, off-again, on-again cable signed TE SubCom as its construction partner in 2013, but the project went into cold storage while the builders …
Boy with a backpack hides his eyes and cries. Pic by Shutterstock

Shock: AT&T totally not OK with FCC saying it ripped off US schools

AT&T has issued a rebuttal to the FCC's July complaint that it overcharged schools and libraries in Florida for internet service. The US telco giant said in a policy blog post that the FCC's allegations it violated of pricing rules for the federal E‑rate service program were "factually wrong." AT&T had been accused of …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Aug 2016
Ireland map, photo via Shutterstock

Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

Comment How do Blighty’s future broadband plans compare to its Irish neighbour, which arguably has its sights on a much more ambitious target than BT? The UK’s state-subsidised broadband deployment scheme ends next year, with the scheme on track to deliver “super fast” coverage to 95 per cent of Great Britain. Plans for connecting …
Kat Hall, 29 Aug 2016

Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

Analysis Google Fiber was supposed to be the White Knight of US broadband, riding to its rescue. But this horse has bolted. In the opposite direction. Rumours of the scale back had already been reported - we just didn’t know by how much. Now it emerges that Alphabet CEO Larry Page has not only slashed Google’s FTTH operation in half, …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Aug 2016

EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

UK telco EE will next month hike fees for people using their phones outside their price plans, with international calls increasing as much as 60 per cent. Under the new price plan that will come into force from 28 September, UK calls to mobiles, landlines and voicemail will increase from 40p to 50p per minute, while …
Kat Hall, 26 Aug 2016
A confused man

Sprint learns that a 'rebate' includes paying people money

US wireless carrier Sprint will pay $2.3m to settle allegations it withheld rebates from customers. The state of Illinois will collect and distribute the money to 32,000 residents who signed up for Sprint's mobile services between 2003 and 2011, when the carrier was offering rebates to new customers. State Treasurer Michael …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2016
Wi-Fi

MIT brainiacs triple the speed, double the range of Wi-Fi

Video Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) think they have perfected a system that dramatically improves Wi-Fi connections by eliminating signal interference. Dubbed MegaMIMO 2.0 (multiple-input and multiple-output), the technique uses a processor, a real-time baseband processing system, and …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2016

Biz phones 'n' broadband bods Gamma suffer a network TITSUP

Business broadband comms outfit Gamma is experiencing a service outage. According to monitoring site Down Detector, the problem began this morning just after 8am. One customer told us: "I am a reseller and we are having issues with customer phones also... Still ongoing." Another said: "We have customers reporting one way …
Kat Hall, 25 Aug 2016
A farm and house

Just a little FYI: Small town ISPs want out of FCC privacy rules

An advocate group for rural broadband providers is asking the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to omit small ISPs from its planned privacy rules. The WTA (formerly known as the Western Telecommunications Alliance) has written [PDF] to secretary Marlene Dortch to request that the regulator omit small ISPs from rules …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2016

Unlimited mobile data in America – where's the catch? There's always a catch

Analysis Sprint and T-Mobile US are introducing "all you can eat" internet plans, and as you might expect, someone at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco is horrified. Somebody always is. The EFF tut-tutted at dirt-poor Indian farmers getting Ceefax pages on their mobiles for free – and the Indians obligingly banned it …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Aug 2016
Trucker, image via Shutterstock

Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Another industry alliance is gearing up to pitch mobile phone spectrum access to spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band – this time using frequencies formerly devoted to Citizens Band (CB) radio users. Following a decision by America's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to free up 150 MHz of the “truckers' Internet” for unlicensed …
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

LTE-U’s window is closing and bigger 5G disputes may be coming

One of the presumed outcomes of the 5G process is full convergence of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, with one or more air interface standards which can span both, using frequencies entirely flexibly according to requirement. This is a very long way off, if the current quarrels over extending LTE into licence-exempt bands are …
Wireless Watch, 22 Aug 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

BT and Nokia slink off together, muttering about 5G tech

BT and Nokia have signed a research collaboration agreement on 5G at the BT Labs at Adastral Park, Suffolk. The two companies have agreed to work together on potential customer use cases for 5G technologies, the creation of 5G proof-of-concept trials and the development of technology standards and equipment. The trials will …
Kat Hall, 18 Aug 2016

BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey

BT's Openreach is the internet provider best placed to deliver the government's plan for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) of 10Mbps by the end of the decade, former digital minister Ed Vaizey has said. Speaking to The Register, Vaizey said: "I think if you want the most effective, quickest and likely-to-be-delivered …
Kat Hall, 18 Aug 2016
Australian $20 burning

Australia's Telstra and Optus outed as two of the world's six most expensive ISPs

Content delivery network Cloudflare has outed Australia's Optus as one of the six most expensive internet service providers in the world, and says the other major local player Telstra is rubbish too. CloudFlare's measuring transit costs for its assessment: as a CDN it is more concerned about shuttling data over carrier …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2016
A stomach feeling bloated

Verizon fingered in Android bloatware-for-cash cram scandal

Verizon has reportedly approached app developers about pre-installing their software on customer handsets in exchange for cash. A report from Ad Age cites marketing industry execs who say that, since late last year, they have been approached by the nation's largest carrier with offers to install their mobile apps on millions …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2016
Auctioneer with hammer

FCC airwaves auction opens bidding

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally opened the bidding process on a spectrum auction that looks to raise billions in revenues and expand the coverage and quality of wireless broadband networks. The Commission on Tuesday kicked off the "clock phase" portion of the auction, in which telco providers submit …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2016
Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Colour us shocked: ISPs not that keen to sign up for Universal Service Obligation

Telco regulator Ofcom has admitted that internet service providers are not particularly eager to sign up to the government's Universal Service Obligation. The USO is intended to give everyone the legal right to request 10Mbps by 2018. However, in its summary of responses for its call for input to the plans earlier this year, …
Kat Hall, 16 Aug 2016
 French bulldog puppy wears plastic devil horns and cute expression. Photo by Shutterstock

Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Vodafone is withdrawing its free legacy Demon email service and is giving customers the choice of either moving their addresses to another, paid-for service or losing them altogether. The operator has struck a deal with NamesCo that allows customers to transfer their accounts for £30 per year. Previously the legacy Demon …
Kat Hall, 16 Aug 2016
NBN CEO Bill Morrow

NBN delivers boring, solid result for 2015/2016

nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network, has delivered a pretty dull set of annual results. The headline numbers are straightforward: there are now 1.1 million active customers (compared to 486,000 last year), and ready-for-service premises hit 2.9 million. Revenue is up to AU$421 …
Google+

Google+ subtracts live videoconf service 'Hangouts On Air'

Google has slipped a death notice for Google+ Hangouts On Air into its support stream. Hangouts On Air are multi-party videoconferences, spewed live on the internets. Like the rest of Google+, they're hardly a household name and do not boast legions of slavering fans likely to fight for their retention. Even if those fans …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Aug 2016
A fiber optic cable

EFF vows to take up muni broadband cause after FCC denied

With a US court having recently overturned the FCC's attempts to push for municipal broadband networks, online activists are readying their own campaign. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is putting its weight behind efforts to overturn or amend state laws that restrict cities from building their own broadband networks …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Aug 2016
NBN logo

Labor's new comms spokesperson Michelle Rowland gets off to a bad start

The new communications spokesperson of Australia's opposition Labor has made a mess of her first foray into the portfolio. New comms shadow Michelle Rowland's parliamentary CV suggests she's got the experience for the job: she was shadow assistant comms spokesperson and has spent two stints on the standing parliamentary …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2016

IBM makes meek apology for Oz #CensusFail, offers no fail detail

IBM has finally broken its silence about the failure of Australia's online census, but only with meaningless PR blather that leaves the cause of the mess a mystery. Australians were supposed to complete their census forms online on Tuesday evening, but the site crashed, leading to allegations that offshore hackers had staged a …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2016
Speed

Cisco gives cable industry tech for 10Gbps uploads on DOCSIS 3.1

Cisco has dropped an open reference design for DOCSIS silicon into the CableLabs standards body. The group has been working on Full Duplex DOCSIS for some time, and in February announced that the gigabit up / gigabit down effort was worth pursuing. Switchzilla has been pursuing it, and has handed over its design for a digital …

Judges put FCC back in its box: No, you can't override state laws, not even for city broadband

A US circuit court has torpedoed the FCC and its efforts to champion city-owned broadband networks. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday [PDF] that the American regulator lacks the authority to overrule state laws that prevent cities from operating their own ISPs. Last year, the watchdog declared it was unfair …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Aug 2016

UK local govt body blasts misleading broadband speed ads

The representative body for 370 councils in Blighty has hit out at Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for advertising misleading broadband speeds, particularly in rural areas. Current rules allow providers to promote "up to X" download speeds if they can demonstrate that at least 10 per cent of their customers can achieve them …
Kat Hall, 10 Aug 2016
A 56k dial-up modem

ISP roundup: Google mulls fiber-less Fiber, America goes Wow, Comcast still terrible

A flurry of news from internet service providers (ISPs) in the US has picked up what is normally a slow summer season. According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News, Google's planned rollout of its Fiber broadband service in the Bay Area has hit a snag, as the Chocolate Factory is considering a change of course. The …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Aug 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Vodafone bins line rental charges as it moves onto TalkTalk's turf

Vodafone has scrapped line rental charges as it tries to muscle into TalkTalk's lower-end market – and comply with imminent regulatory changes for an all-in-one price for broadband and phone services. Under the move, rental charges will no longer apply for new and upgrading fibre optic home broadband customers, which means …
Kat Hall, 9 Aug 2016
Shouting match

AT4 labs to put LTE-U to the test in Wi-Fi Alliance tie-up

The row over Wi-Fi spectrum access is continuing, but the Wi-Fi Alliance is pressing ahead with coexistence tests to be conducted by US test laboratory AT4 Wireless. LTE-U (LTE unlicensed) has caused heated exchanges ever since the proposal first emerged: its aim is to let cellcos send data over spectrum most often used by Wi- …
Tony Montana on the phone in Scarface

AT&T dinged for $7.75m after letting scammers gouge customers (again)

US telco giant AT&T has been fined $7.75m after scammers were found sneaking bogus charges onto customer bills. The punishment was levied by America's comms watchdog the FCC. The regulator said the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was to thank for uncovering the scam in which criminals were duping landline customers into …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Aug 2016

Ofcom cans Virgin Media's Premier League live footy match probe

Blighty's communications regulator Ofcom has dropped its probe into how the Premier League sells live UK audio-visual media rights for football matches. The investigation, carried out under the Competition Act 1998, considered whether the selling arrangements of the Premier League restricted or distorted competition. In …
Kat Hall, 8 Aug 2016
Indian rupee

Again with the cheap internet access in India, Facebook?

Facebook's trying to bring affordable internet access to rural India again. The company has dangled a programme called “Express Wi-fi” at Internet.org, the platform it used for its Free Basics programme. India banned that service on net neutrality grounds. The Register notes that the "Express WiFi" page at Internet.org offers …
Cables containing fibre, etc. Photo by Shutterstock

Virgin signs up record ultrafast broadband subs

Sales at Virgin Media rose 3.2 per cent to £1.2bn for the UK broadband provider's second quarter compared with the previous year - as it signed up record ultrafast broadband subscribers. Operating income fell 24 per cent to £79m mainly due to "increases in related-party fees". Business sales rose 5.5 per cent to £167m, while …
Kat Hall, 5 Aug 2016

'ICANN's general counsel should lose his job over this'

Interview It has been four years since Shaul Jolles, as CEO of Dot Registry, filed applications for five new internet extensions – .corp, .inc, .llc, .llp and .ltd – and wrote a check for just under $1m to have them considered by domain name system overseer ICANN. Unlike the other applicants for the three US corporate entity suffixes . …

UK telco market worth £37.5bn, Ofcom reports

Total UK telecoms revenues grew for the first time in five years – increasing by £0.2bn to £37.5bn between 2014 and 2015, according to research from communications regulator Ofcom. This was partly due to a sharp increase in people switching to superfast broadband, with 9.2 million homes having speeds of up to 30Mbps in 2015 …
Kat Hall, 4 Aug 2016