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Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS

A grieving father has sued Google, Twitter and Facebook, alleging the web giants enabled the Paris terrorist attacks that killed his daughter. Nohemi Gonzalez, 23, was a student spending a semester in the French capital when she and 129 others were murdered by gunmen and suicide bombers aligned with ISIS. She was the only …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jun 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Fat fibre taxes strangling us – UK broadband providers

Broadband providers have hit out against a forthcoming hike in business rates which will dramatically increase the tax paid on fibre optic networks. The increase in tax is decided by the Valuation Office Agency, which sets rates for all businesses accessing land. The body is in the process of updating the rateable values of …
Kat Hall, 17 Jun 2016
IPv4

Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

IPv4 addresses are now so valuable that criminals are setting up shell companies so they can apply for addresses, then resell them to users desperate to grow their networks. Criminals are doing so because there are no more IPv4 addresses left: the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran out in September 2015. ARIN …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Nokia to Oz: 5G will need fibre, and lots of it

Any time the politics of the National Broadband Network arises, someone with a bagful of buzzwords and a spoonful of clue will claim that wireless is going to make fibre obsolete. It shouldn't be necessary to refute that old chestnut, but it is, so Vulture South is pleased that Nokia's Oceania head of mobile networks has cold- …
Piledriver. Photo by Shutterstock

Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Thousands of South Londoners have been knocked offline due to a blunder by a construction worker slicing through a Virgin cable. On Tuesday afternoon, a major segment of Virgin Media's fibre cabling was cut by a pile driver on a construction site in Brixton. The cabling has yet to be repaired. Approximately 4,300 customers …
Kat Hall, 15 Jun 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

NBN chairman's rant breached caretaker conventions says public service boss

An op-ed written by nbnTM chairman Ziggy Switkowsky defending the company's handling of leaks breached the “caretaker conventions” that apply during election campaigns. That's according to the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, in a letter published by Fairfax today. Following the …
Dallas, Texas

Who shot JR (that great Dallas broadband)?

Add Dallas, Texas to the ranks of cities set to enjoy Google Fiber broadband. The Chocolate Factory has begun exploring the Lone Star city as a likely market for the broadband service. The third-largest city in Texas would be among the largest US markets to benefit from the Chocolate Factory's high-speed broadband network. " …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016

Net neutrality victory: DC court backs full rules

Analysis Net neutrality rules that make it illegal for ISPs to interfere with data traffic across their networks have been upheld in full by the Washington DC Court of Appeals. The split decision (2-1 in favor) is a big victory, both for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Obama Administration, and a dramatic sign that …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jun 2016

Users fear yet another hack as TalkTalk services go down

TalkTalk is down again, with frighteningly little being said by the business as to why. A post on its official forums copped to the problem, apologising for the lack of services. The website at TalkTalk.co.uk has been replaced with a holding page, where the telco is informing visitors that the "Customer Service team are …
milhouse_vs_nelson_648

Imagination: Come back to MIPS, Wi-Fi router makers, we have an FCC ban workaround

A fairly straightforward idea by Imagination Technologies could rescue American geeks' ability to run Openwrt on their routers. The freedom to tinker with Wi-Fi routers has been a hot topic ever since the Federal Communications Commission issued an edict that devices be locked down to protect America's spectrum. Its concern …
Telstra pit by https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/ cc. 20 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

NBN 'copper guru' ads pulled from Monster.ie

Job ads in Ireland seeking “copper jointers” and “copper gurus” for the National Broadband Network have been pulled from Monster.ie after they were spotted by Australian media. The advertisements were placed by a recruiter, and while they were seeking staff to work on the National Broadband Network, the company in charge of …
scissors cut cable

Tasmania: back on the map, sometime today

The saga of the Tasmanian electrical and telecomms interconnect Basslink is due to end today. The company has announced that repairs on the submarine cables have been completed, and by last Friday all tests showed they were ready to return for service. Basslink continues to investigate the causes of the cable failure, which …

FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard

Howto With the news that Twitter is looking for yet another head of product – the fifth in under three years – it's clear the social media company is still at a loss over what to do next with its service. So here is a simple guide to turn things around and go from the company that everyone shakes their heads at to a bastion of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jun 2016
Cut cable

You. Comcast, TWC, Charter, DirecTV, Dish. Get in here and explain yourselves – Congress

The US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has called on the nation's cable and satellite providers to testify about their customer service failings. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Rob Portman (R-OH) said that they have requested that executives from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, DirecTV and Dish …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016

US govt OKs handover of internet's control panel to ICANN

The US government has formally approved a plan to transition control of the internet's administrative tasks to the private sector. In an announcement Thursday, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) gave the green light to a plan developed over two years by the internet community to hand control of …

TalkTalk says 8-month app outage lasting 'bit longer than we hoped'

TalkTalk's Talk2Go app has been offline for eight months - since that breach, in fact - but that hasn't stopped the business reminding those trying to leave that they'd be missing out on it if they went elsewhere. Talk2Go is a free app allowing customers to "make calls to friends and family using your landline minutes on your …
NYC

Time Warner Cable, you've 'earned your miserable reputation' – NY Attorney General

The New York's Attorney General office is taking Time Warner Cable (TWC) to task for its poor service in the Big Apple. In an open letter to the recently embiggened US cable giant, enforcement counsel Tim Wu laid into TWC for failing to live up to its promises and provide adequate service. "In short, what we have seen in our …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Jun 2016
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Net neut: Equal treatment of traffic doesn't mean equal service quality for users

Internet service providers (ISPs) do not need to ensure that the quality of service received by internet users is the same across all of their customers to meet their obligations on treating data equally as it passes over their networks, an EU regulatory body has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 8 Jun 2016
Bribes

Akamai-oh-my: Network biz coughs up $650k over China bribes rap

Content delivery network Akamai will pay the US government more than $650k to settle charges it bribed Chinese officials to secure service contracts. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it has inked a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with Akamai that includes the network pipeline specialist paying back $ …
Shaun Nichols, 8 Jun 2016
NASA F-18s working on formation aerodynamics

US military tests massive GPS jamming weapon over California

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is warning aircraft to stay a few hundred miles away from the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California, because the military is testing a new gizmo that disrupts GPS – and may also mess with flight control systems. gps jamming map Like Bob Marley, the US military is jammin …
Iain Thomson, 7 Jun 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

O2 chief techie: Light up dark fibre and unleash the small cell army

When it comes to improving mobile network coverage and increasing capacity with small cells, the UK needs more access to dark fibre and easier planning permissions. So says O2 CTO Brendan O’Reilly. Speaking to El Reg recently, O’Reilly said dark fibre was a prerequisite for small cells and heterogeneous networks (HetNets) as …
Man looks suspiciously over his shoulder while working on laptop. Photo via Shutterstock

African IP address body exec half-apologizes for 'Whites are taking over' race-row email

The former CEO of African regional internet registry Afrinic has apologized for claiming that there was a race-related conspiracy to take over the organization. Adiel Akplogan responded to his original email noting that he had intended it to be a private message. He then apologized "to my many friends and colleagues globally …

'Whites are taking over': Race storm hits heart of Africa's internet body

A race row has broken out at the organization responsible for the allocation of IP addresses across Africa. The former CEO of AFRINIC (African Network Information Centre), Adiel Akplogan, has responded angrily to the news that among the candidates planning to run for its board of directors in an election next week is a …

TalkTalk scam-scammers still scam-scamming

Updated TalkTalk customers are still being targeted by scammers, following a series of data breaches at the company. In the last four years, TalkTalk has had to admit to four different breaches of data, two directly from the company itself and two others from partners here and in India. Most notorious was its attack in October last …
Kat Hall, 3 Jun 2016

Controversial opinion time: Comcast sucks a tiny bit less this year

Comcast sucks less than last year, but still has a pretty miserable customer rating, according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The organization's new report [PDF] for 2016 shows a remarkable increase in satisfaction with the cable company – up 15 per cent, or eight points. But then it was starting …
His master's voice

EU bureaucrats claim credit for making 'illegal online hate speech' even more illegal

The European Commission has claimed the credit for getting Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to agree on a code of conduct which will address "illegal online hate speech", despite the companies already following practices demanded by EU bureaucrats. The three-page code of conduct (PDF) seeks to establish how online …
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Goa grabs Google, whispers 'come here, you Loon'

The Indian state of Goa wants to attract Google to the region for its Project Loon balloon broadband trials. The news comes as the Chocolate Factory gets close to agreement with Indian carrier BSNL about spectrum sharing. India's national government has long shown an interest in Loon. In November 2015, the minister in charge …
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Switkowski wades into NBN leak debate, ALP is furious

nbnTMchair Ziggy Switkowski has penned an article for Fairfax saying the “NBN leakers” aren't whistleblowers, but partisan ideologues. The article, coming as it did during an election campaign, has drawn immediate fire from the ALP's Tony Burke, who accuses Switkowski of breaching the “caretaker conventions”. With the …

FCC swivels to online privacy, gets bitten in the ass by net neutrality

Analysis When America's comms watchdog the FCC passed its net neutrality rules despite an onslaught of criticism from telcos, the world rejoiced. But, as many of us noted at the time, the Open Internet Order was achieved through an imperfect approach: equating internet providers with phone companies by deciding they are Title II …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 May 2016
Portland, Oregon

Comcast slapped with eight-figure tax bill after package fails to impress

The US state of Oregon says it will charge Comcast tens of millions of dollars in taxes after revoking a tax break the cable giant had claimed on its broadband service. The state's Department of Revenue (DOR) has denied a request by Comcast that it be granted an exemption reserved for companies that offer gigabit internet …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2016
Verizon workers on the picket line

Verizon, union make peace after 35,000 strike techies put telco on hold

Verizon has reached a deal that will end the six-week strike by many of its network technicians. The US Department of Labor (DOL) says it has brokered a deal for a four-year contract between Verizon and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Verizon workers …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2016

As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

The sysadmin-activist at the center of a bizarre legal battle over a smart meter network in Seattle, Washington, says he never expected a simple records request to turn into a lawsuit. Phil Mocek told The Register that when he asked Seattle City Light, a public power utility, to provide details on the designs and rollout of …
Shaun Nichols, 27 May 2016
Bill_Halbert_Kcom

It's a Hull of a thing: Kcom takes a break from 8-year sales slide

Telecoms provider Kcom stemmed its declining revenue for the first time in eight years, reporting growth of 0.4 per cent to £349.2m for the full year 2015/16. However, operating profit fell to £6.3m from £50.9m mainly due to increased investments, compared with the previous year. That was mainly due to its fibre roll-out in …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2016
Screenshot from the movie Airplane!

In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? It’s sunny outside, which can mean only one thing: I am about to go on holiday to a place where it will be pissing down with rain and sleet for the next fortnight. My globetrotting exploits have been limited this year, so I’m looking forward to enjoying my first experience of in-flight entertainment via Wi-Fi to my own device …
Alistair Dabbs, 27 May 2016
Telstra pit by https://www.flickr.com/photos/newtown_grafitti/ cc. 20 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Telstra's confession to DNS-messin' explains broadband borkage

Australia's dominant carrier, Telstra, has revealed that a botched fix for a DNS service is the reason for a week-long outage that has taken some of its broadband customers offline. The company has explained that a seemingly-innocuous software update to Domain Name Servers (DNS) caused some of them fail and Telstra's DNS …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2016
The route of the MAREA submarine cable funded by Microsoft and Facebook

Microsoft and Facebook, swimming in the sea,
N-E-T-W-O-R-K-I-N-G

Microsoft and Facebook have decided to fund a submarine cable together. The MAREA cable will run from from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain. Virginia's new territory for trans-Atlantic cables, so Microsoft and Facebook are talking this up as adding resiliency to traffic between the USA and Europe. Bilbao's already a …
Simon Sharwood, 27 May 2016
hand in chain mail glove cutting meat with sharp knife

Republicans move to gut FCC and crush its net neutrality crusade with paralyzing budget rules

A new budget proposal would effectively bar the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from enforcing its net neutrality provisions. Buried deep within the House Appropriations Committee budget proposal [PDF] is a set of new rules that limit the FCC's ability to use its funds for activities including the regulation of " …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016

One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Mobile operator Three is pushing ahead with plans to block ads on its network in the UK during a one-day trial next month. Sam Barker, an analyst at Juniper Research, said other operators are likely to follow suit. "Although the operators are likely to push this as a consumer-focused benefit, the reality is that the operators …
Kat Hall, 26 May 2016
Jam

Florida man, Chinese biz fined $48k, $35m on mobe signal jam raps

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined a Florida chap and a Chinese business over cellphone jamming boxes. The watchdog said it will try to extract [PDF] $34.9m from Shenzhen-based retailer CTS Technologies for marketing illegal jammers and, in a separate case, will fine [PDF] a bloke $48,000 for using a …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Big Cable uses critics' own arguments to slam set-top box shake-up

Analysis Amid a battle to end Big Cable's $20bn annual windfall from rented set-top boxes, the industry has hit on a novel strategy: use its opponents' own arguments against them. In a filing on the last day of public comment to the FCC's plan to open up the market, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2016
wireless

German boffins smash records with 37km wireless spurt at 6Gbps

A team of German scientists has managed to establish a 6Gbps wireless link over a distance of 37 kilometers using newly developed antennas and receivers. The Advanced E Band Satellite Link Studies team established a connection between a base station and the town of Wachtberg using hardware with monolithically integrated …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2016
NBN Logo

NBN raid fallout continues, with Conroy formalising privilege claim

The Australian Labor Party's (ALP's) senator Stephen Conroy has formalised his claim of parliamentary privilege over documents seized in last week's Australian Federal Police raid of his office and the homes of two of his staffers. Conroy has sent a letter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), a procedural step required to …