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Feeling ripped off by your ISP? It's getting cheaper to pipe your packets globally

The cost of IP transiting – the cost to transfer internet data across ISPs and other large public networks – continues to fall. This mean it's getting cheaper to send webpages, messages and other traffic. London has seen a 22 per cent price drop to just $1 per Mbps per month. As a global average, in the past three years, the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Sep 2015

Beardy Branson says own OneWeb sats can replace Australia's birds

Are things going to plan for the Richard Branson-backed OneWeb satellite venture? A few months after signing its build contract with Airbus and nominating Arianespace and Branson's own Virgin Galactic to build its launch rockets, Branson apparently hopes OneWeb can somehow replace Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) …

Hi. Ofcom? My mobe's call quality is crap – but you said it was fine

Consumers will soon get proper information on how well their phone makes calls. Regulator Ofcom is to use an independent lab to test and rate phones for how well they actually make calls, and will release the information to the public. Too good to be true? Not according to the Telegraph. Ofcom reportedly told the paper that …

Netflix to complete global rollout, add 120+ countries by end of 2016

Netflix has announced it “will expand into South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan in early 2016 as it moves to complete its global rollout by the end of next year.” The last part of the sentence is perhaps the most significant as the company has previously merely hinted at its rollout plans, telling investors in a letter …

ICANN has $60m burning a hole in its pocket – and it needs your help blowing it all

Domain-name overseer ICANN wants your suggestions for how it should spend the $60m it made from auctioning off new dot-words. In a discussion paper [PDF] published today, the wannabe-master-of-the-internet notes that it has $58.8m in a special bank account. Just under half of it stemmed from Google, which paid $25m for the …
A shot from Verizon's 5G video

Verizon: we're going to start bringing you 5G NEXT YEAR (sort of)

Verizon is planning to test its 5G wireless broadband network next year. The US telecom giant said it would be working with a group including Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Qualcomm, and Alacatel-Lucent to launch a 2016 trial for technology that could power the network. Verizon said it plans to have a pair of "sandbox" test …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Sep 2015
United nations flag by cc 2.0 attribution

United Nations pledges to get everyone online… by 2030

The United Nations has pledged to provide universal internet access by 2030. Currently 3.2 billion people are online, but that represents just 43 per cent of the world's population. In response, the UN last week launched a new "sustainable development" agenda with a goal of 2030. It is due to be signed by all member states …
Herdwick sheep walk towards the camera

Court battle date set for £300m BT Cornwall termination dispute

A legal showdown between BT and county of Cornwall, over the local council's plans to prematurely exit its £300m outsourcing contract with the telco giant, is to be heard in the High Court in December. The adversaries are to fight out their dispute over the termination of the BT Cornwall contract this year, due to BT …
Kat Hall, 8 Sep 2015
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Broadband powered by home gateways? Whose bright idea was THIS?

Fibre-to-the-node can help squeeze the last drop of sweat out of copper telephony networks, but it has a problem: nodes need electrons, and there might not be a copper path upstream to the exchange for 48V power. So the standards body The Broadband Forum thinks powering nodes using household electricity is a good idea. The …

ICANN descends into farce as bigwigs try to cling to power

Analysis The process to bring greater accountability to domain-name overseer ICANN descended into farce last week when the organization's board tried to skewer plans to force it to answer to the internet community while simultaneously claiming it supported the idea. In an extraordinary, almost surreal three-hour teleconference, the …

Ofcom issues stern warning over fake caller number ID scam

Telecoms regulator Ofcom is warning customers of the dangers of CLI spoofing – the process which allows incoming calls to display fake originating numbers on recipients' phones. The organisation has pointed out that there are valid reasons for spoofing – “for example, a caller who wishes to leave an 0800 number for you to call …
Simon Rockman, 7 Sep 2015
Train wreck

Malcolm Turnbull's run Australia's NBN for two years. How's he done?

Updated One of the big issues at Australia's 2013 election was the nation's National Broadband Network (NBN). Championed by the then-Labor government, the project was pitched as a nation-building effort to re-wire Australia with optical fibre, but cast as a failed black hole for cash by the then-opposition Liberal/National Party …
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Microsoft's 'successful' Nokia slurp kills off Lumia photo apps

The debacle that was Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business continues to unravel, with Redmond turning the end-of-life gun on a bunch of Lumia applications. In the kind of announcement that could have been put together by the marketing division of Sirius Cybernetics, Microsoft cheerily told the world that it …
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google to China: Please Play with us, we promise to respect your strict censorship diet – report

Google has reportedly been working hard to reboot its business in China, after the ad giant walked away from the country following a censorship spat with Beijing in 2010. The Sundar Pichai-run company apparently hopes to return to the People's Republic armed with mobile services that suit the censorship sensibility of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 5 Sep 2015
NBN Logo

NBN vaults Australia into global top-10 … DDoS attack sources

Australia has won the dubious honour of being named in the global top-10 DDoS sources, and in its quarterly State of the Internet report, Akamai reckons our tiny number of high-speed fibre broadband users are the cause. In its Q2 report, Akamai says that attack traffic coming from Australia topped 4 per cent of global DDoS …
Job cuts jpeg

ACCC hopes to SLASH rural backhaul prices

In a move that Vulture South's crystal ball suggests will be hotly resisted by Telstra, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is proposing that rural backhaul costs be slashed. Backhaul – in ACCC parlance, the Domestic Transmission Capacity Service, or DCTS – has long been a thorn in the side for anyone wanting to …

Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

IFA Sketch While the business side of the Internet of Things looks in good nick, and isn’t actually anything new, the consumer prospects look remote. Samsung is one of the few global companies that’s able to project a vision of consumer IoT: it does technology as well as consumer electronics and white goods. And it tried to give us a “ …
Tangle of cables attached to a telegraph pole

NBN cable rules spark electricity network push-back

Stop us if you've heard this one before: the federal government has managed to alienate important stakeholders in the telecommunications industry, and they're pushing back. This time, its the companies that own retail electricity infrastructure. As part of the multi-technology model that mandated an end to the fibre-to-the- …
Robin phone is lightweight

The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

A motley crew of ex-google engineers is crowdfunding the “Robin” smartphone, which claims a whopping 100GB of storage. In fact, what makes the device special is its reliance on always being connected to dynamically provide off-loaded storage. The company behind the phone, Nextbit has developed some memory management software …
Simon Rockman, 2 Sep 2015
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Ericsson software upgrade targets great indoors, makes networks faster

A substantial software upgrade for Ericsson mobile networking kit will improve throughput, said the firm – adding it will need new hardware, meaning your existing device won’t automatically run faster. Ericsson called its new release “Ericsson Networks Software 16A” and it includes a suite of LTE software upgrades targeting …
Simon Rockman, 2 Sep 2015
Reinhard Ploss CEO

Infineon CEO admits auto-chip biz may be a takeover target

Former Siemens chip company Infineon may find itself on the shopping list of a bigger semiconductor company, thanks to its strength in automotive. Consolidation and specialisation has been the order of the day in the semiconductor industry, with fewer companies for each type of component. Where once there were a dozen or so …
Simon Rockman, 1 Sep 2015

T-Mobile US CEO calls his subscribers thieves, gripes about 'unlimited' limited tethering

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere launched a tirade Sunday over subscribers who make heavy use of tethering on his network. Legere said his company will tell 3,000 customers that they face having their "unlimited" mobile broadband plans cancelled if they don't stop circumventing T-Mob's limits on LTE tethering. Under the T-Mobile …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2015
Microsoft monopoly

US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Microsoft has swerved a potentially crushing blow to its vanishingly small mobile biz, after a US watchdog swiped away a request to block the import of its Lumia handsets into the country. InterDigital, which had been in a patent spat with Nokia many years before Redmond scooped up the mobile maker, said it was disappointed …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
Graph showing growing numbers

India, Myanmar lead the way as mobile bandwidth consumption mushrooms

Mobile data usage is exploding. In an update to its Mobility Report, Ericsson said mobile broadband subscriptions had passed three billion in Q2 2015, and the year-on-year traffic growth for the same period is 55 per cent. The startling figures bring the number of mobile subscriptions to 7.2 billion, but the report points out …
Simon Rockman, 28 Aug 2015

Germany to fork out BEELLLIONS for farmers' broadband

Under-investing cable companies in Germany are to get a €2.7bn hand-out to bring high-speed broadband to the countryside. Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told national daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the grants wil be given in an effort to give every German household speeds of at least 50Mbps by 2018. …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Aug 2015

Vodafone: Dammit Britain, your emergency services need 4G!

Despite not being part of the bid to supply the future Emergency Services Network, Vodafone wants to see public services using its 4G, and has commissioned a YouGov survey (something companies do when they want to put numbers in press releases) of front line workers, such as police officers, nurses, and social workers. The …
Simon Rockman, 28 Aug 2015
TV watcher, image via Shutterstock

Channel surfers and the irresistible rise of Content Delivery Networks

Fastly, a four-year-old content delivery network start-up, this month landed $75m in venture funding. It was the firm’s fifth intake of cash, the second in less than a year. What’s remarkable is that inventors are backing a firm that is going up against some big names – among them the massive Amazon juggernaut. Clearly, …
Tom Baines, 28 Aug 2015
Indian mobile use

Indian State shuts off mobile internet to stop rumours fuelling riots

An activist's call for the Indian State of Guajarat to restrict access to WhatSapp and mobile internet has been heeded by local authorities, in the hope that restricting communications will quell violence. Authorities complied with that request. 22 year-old Hardik Patel is a member of the Patidar caste, a group that has been …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2015

BitTorrent kills bug that turns networks into a website-slaying weapon

BitTorrent has fixed a flaw in its technology that quietly turns file-sharing networks into weapons capable of blasting websites and other internet servers offline. The San Francisco company said Thursday the patch for its libuTP software will stop miscreants from abusing the peer-to-peer protocol to launch distributed …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2015
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster satellite lands in French Guiana

PICS nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is just 34 days away from putting its very own satellite into orbit, and the organisation's communications operatives are starting to reveal a little about the bird. Here, for example, is a picture of the satellite. NBN SkyMuster satellite …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
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AT&T accused of Wi-Fi interception, ad injection

AT&T has been accused of grabbing user traffic from its Wi-Fi hotspots for ad injection. The news comes from Stanford lawyer and computer scientist Jonathan Mayer, whose previous work includes uncovering a browser history bug in 2011, and the use of Verizon zombie cookies by third parties. In Webpolicy, Mayer writes that …
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Qualcomm sells L-Band spectrum to Vodafone, Three for massive profit

As we reported in June, Qualcomm has been looking to sell its 1452-1492MHz spectrum – and it seems it's found willing buyers in the form of Vodafone and Three. It's thought the two networks paid over £100m in total for the spectrum. The chip company rather lucked out, having paid £8.3m at auction in 2008. At the time we saw …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015

BYOD? More like CYOD as companies still set the parameters

Companies are rapidly expanding the volume of mobile devices used by their employees. The number of devices enrolled in business grew by 72 per cent during the whole of last year, compared with 2013. Moreover, a Good Technology survey in the first quarter of 2015 found 72 per cent of those devices ran iOS, 26 per cent Android …
Andy Favell, 25 Aug 2015

Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

Analysis Arts and humanities graduates are schooled for years in metaphor and analogy - and these are very useful skills for understanding the world. But what happens when an approach based on metaphor and analogy meets hard science and engineering reality? And what happens when the chosen metaphor doesn't fit? While you can choose …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Aug 2015
Mats Granryd is the new GSMA Director General

GSMA appoints Mats Granryd as new director general

The new director general of the mobile phone operators organisation is Mats Granryd, who will take up his new role on January 1 2016. Granryd’s appointment follows the departure of Anne Bouverot last month. Bouverot has gone to head up French security and identity solution vendor Morpho. Granryd will be joing the GSMA from …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
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BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home broadband tech

The first customers were connected in a BT trial of its 330Mbps "" ultrafast broadband in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire today. The test, which was announced in July, will later be extended to Swansea, Gosforth and Newcastle. uses a fast link from a specially equipped cabinet to a distribution point, then employs …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
BT Openreach van

That thing we do in the UK? Should be ILLEGAL in the US, moans ex-State monopoly BT

Former state-owned monopoly BT is calling for tough rules to force US telecoms companies to let rivals – such as, err, BT – have access their networks. The move would emulate the reverse situation in Blighty, where UK rivals are allowed to use BT's broadband network through Openreach. However, regulators are considering …
Kat Hall, 24 Aug 2015

Shadow minister for Fun calls for Openreach separation

Chris Bryant MP has added his support to the lobby which wants to see Openreach split from BT. This is just one area under investigation as part of Ofcom's 2015 strategic review. The previous review a decade earlier saw Openreach ring-fenced as a separate BT organisation. However, the view of most of its customers – who are …
Simon Rockman, 24 Aug 2015
NBN logo

NBN cost blows out by at least AU$10bn and FTTN isn't launched yet

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has presented a cost overrun greater than AU$10 billion in the National Broadband nNetwork's (NBN's) peak funding requirements as a win because the former government's plan would have been worse. “The project we inherited from the Labor party in 2013 had failed,” he said, discussing the …
Bill Morrow NBN CEO

NBN Co yet to make a single fibre to the node connection but is eyeing off

nbnTM, the company building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has released its results for FY 2015 and says it has met all of its targets. The company's CEO Bill Morrow today said “the number of premises that can order an NBN service more than doubled from 553,000 premises to 1.2 million”. Of those premises, 486, …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015

Telstra News spews banking trojan after malvertising attack

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has been serving one of the world's most dangerous hacking tools after its news site was infected with malvertising. Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura says the attackers were likely dropping the Tinba trojan, considered to be the world's smallest malware by file size at about 20kb and …
Darren Pauli, 24 Aug 2015
   An outage has knocked TalkTalk’s website offline, along with internal systems.  The company tweeted that it was working on addressing the problems  <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are aware of issues affecting our website and help pages at the moment. We&#39;re working to restore this asap. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) <a href="">August 21, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>  On Twitter it has asked customers to call after 1pm, and the internal VoIP and data systems are affected.  The Website has been up and down intermittently and callers  re being told that the internal systems are slowly coming up.  A customer services person told The Register that the outage was caused by an upgrade to the systems and that the diagnostic systems were also being upgraded so  customers were being asked to call back in “one to two hours”. While access to customer systems had been down they were now back up.

TalkTalk not talking much as systems take a tumble

An outage has knocked TalkTalk’s website offline, along with internal systems. The company tweeted that it was working on addressing the problems: We are aware of issues affecting our website and help pages at the moment. We're working to restore this asap. — TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) August 21, 2015 …
Simon Rockman, 21 Aug 2015