Networks > More stories

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
india

Phone-home service Lebara launches prepaid TV offering

Low-cost mobile virtual network operator Lebara is following the non-virtual operators in a step towards quad-play with a TV offering — and for the moment at least skipping broadband and fixed. As with the existing phone service, Lebara Play will be prepaid, with customers topping up their allocation at a local corner shop. …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
shutterstock_206717503

Giganto French telco merger: Altice makes eyes at Bouygues

Despite Margrethe Vestager – the EU’s anti-trust supremo – railing against telco mergers earlier this month, French mega-company Altice has made a €10bn bid for the telco part of rival Bouygues. Altice has made the bid thorough Numericable-SFR, formed when Numerical bought the SFR network from Vivendi last year for €17bn. A …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
parcels_shutterstock_648

Post Office launches mobe service for aged greybeards

The Post Office has launched its own mobile phone service. The organisation plays hard on the value for money that its new pre-pay tariffs offer, but in practice the market is so competitive it’s hard to make that stand up. While the headline prices are cheaper, many rivals – notably Tesco Mobile – offer top-up bonuses, which …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
top of the bt tower

Tower of BT Bubbly: Fancy nibbling atop a strategic data hub?

The rotating restaurant at the top of the BT Tower will open for two weeks this year to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The GPO Tower, as it was named many decades ago, used to be open to the public, with both a restaurant and a public viewing galley. A 1971 IRA bomb led to the closure of the gallery, with the restaurant closing …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jun 2015
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/blachswan/

Telstra wi-fi hotspots go dark ahead of commercial roll out

Telstra’s free wi-fi hotspots have gone dark ahead of a commercial launch of the service sometime later this year. The service trial saw public phone boxes transformed into wireless hotspots, the first rolling out at the end of last year. The six month trial was designed to provide the telecoms giant with information about user …

Thing users: you need national narrowband

A couple of Australian telco industry veterans reckon the Internet of Things needs an access network of its own, to meet the requirements of cheap, low-volume traffic. Industry newsletter Communications Day reports today that founder Rob Zagarella told a Communications Alliance workshop that the outfit wants to create an open …
Speedometer by Nathan E Photography, Flickr under CC2.0

ITU: we'll have 5G standards ready by 2020

Following a working party meeting in San Diego, the ITU has announced the timeline for 5G standardisation. The IMT-2020 process, outlined here, envisages completing standards for 5G during 2020. The standards body expects to complete its 5G vision statement to be completed this year, which will let it start serious work on 5G …
Throttling

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

The world .sucks at a minute past midnight on Sunday

At a minute after midnight on Sunday, UTC time, .sucks domains will go on sale to anyone who wants one. The flick of the switch to general availability is expected to produce a feeding frenzy as brands and celebrities scramble to make defensive purchases – there's no way Coca Cola wants Coke.sucks in the wrong hands – and …
Simon Sharwood, 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
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

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
NBN Logo

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
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

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
Facebook down

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 …
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

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
scissors cut cable

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
scissors cut cable

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
net_neut_actors_648

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 …
Zuckerberg

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 …
Red telephone boxes near royal opera house

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
shutterstock_263560157-nfc

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