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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
CSIRO's 1992 WiFi Testbed

First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

The National Museum of Australia (NMA) has chosen Wi-Fi hardware as Australia's greatest contribution to world history. The NMA will shortly host an exhibition titled A History of the World in 100 Objects featuring a variety of artefacts from the British Museum and other institutions, and chose to add an Australian object. …

Simply not credible: The extraordinary verdict against the body that hopes to run the internet

In an extraordinary judgment, the organization that hopes to take over running the top level of the internet later this year has been slammed by an independent review as at best incompetent and at worst deliberately mendacious. The decision [PDF] by ICANN's Independent Review Panel (IRP) over the organization's decision to …
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra CIO Erez Yarkoni quits to return home to family

Telstra's Chief Information Officer Erez Yarkoni has decided to leave the company. A Telstra spokesperson told The Register that "After developing and leading the refreshed IT strategy, and realigning the IT operating model Erez has made the decision to move permanently back to the US to join his family." "He departs Telstra …
Indian rupee

Mobile banking for the poor has flopped in India

India is trying to figure out why it has failed in efforts to replicate the success of mobile banking programs that have succeed in other countries. The nation noted with admiration programs like Kenya's M-Pesa, which made it possible for people living in rural and remote areas to access banking services with feature phones. …
handshake_648

Akamai, Limelight bury hatchet (not in each other) to end patent spat

Internet backbone facilitators Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks have agreed to end their long-running patent battle, and instead forge a $54m licensing agreement. The deal will see Limelight pay the $54m to Akamai in a set of 12 installments beginning this month. In exchange, Akamai agreed to drop the $51m letter of …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Aug 2016

123-Reg drowns in ongoing DDoS tsunami

Beleaguered web host 123-Reg has suffered a "huge scale" distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to its data centre – knocking the Brit outfit's website offline and a number of users' services. The attack began this morning and is still ongoing but no performance-related issues have been reported since the traffic was …
Kat Hall, 2 Aug 2016
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123-Reg goes TITSUP – again

Updated It seems the wheels of 123-Reg's clown vehicle have fallen off once again. The UK-based web host's website is out of action and customers are reporting a lack of email access. One reader got in touch to say: "Over the past month or so the email service offered by 123-Reg has been up and down and very poor for this small …
Kat Hall, 2 Aug 2016
Pop art-style illustration: Woman holds head in despair. Illustration via Shutetrstock

Sky fibre down at breakfast-time across the nation

Sky broadband customers have been hit by an outage this morning, which appears to be disrupting services nationwide. Sky tweeted: "We are aware that fibre customers are having issues browsing, engineers are investigating. Sorry for making your morning more stressful." According to its service status page, the issue started at …
Kat Hall, 2 Aug 2016
A TP Link router

TP-Link fined $200k, told to be nice to wireless router tinkers after throwing a hissy fit

TP-Link will cough up a $200,000 fine to America's broadband regulator the FCC – and has agreed to let people tinker with the firmware in its 5GHz wireless routers. On Monday, the networking gear biz admitted [PDF] it broke US rules on radio frequency use by providing a setting in its Wi-Fi kit that ramped up the power output …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Aug 2016
Grand Ole Opry in Nashville

And now we go live to Nashville for the latest on Google Fiber v AT&T and, yup, it's a mess

Nashville's Google Fiber rollout has hit a pair of snags: rival carriers are, and this may surprise you, stalling the installation of lines needed for Google's new broadband network. AT&T in particular is battling Google's efforts to run cables from telephone poles around Music City, in Tennessee, US. The issue centers around …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Aug 2016

US state sues Comcast for $100m in row over 'worthless' repair plans

Washington state is suing Comcast and demanding $100m in damages for allegedly misleading customers. At a press conference on Monday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson claimed the US cable giant's Service Protection Plan (SPP) had cheated at least 500,000 people out of their money. People who take out the optional $4. …
Iain Thomson, 1 Aug 2016
Ice cream

EE roaming outage hits Brits basking abroad

EE customers basking in the first days of their hols abroad have frustratingly been unable to access their phones due to a major outage across the network. The biz, which was bought by BT for £12.5bn earlier this year, is Blighty's largest mobile carrier and has 31 million connections across its mobile, fixed and wholesale …
Kat Hall, 1 Aug 2016
A crying child

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Telcos try to kill net neutrality

A group of US telcos has formally asked the courts to overturn the Open Internet rules put in place by the FCC, America's broadband nanny. A series of petitions filed by the likes of AT&T, CTIA and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) asked the court to throw out a June verdict from a district court …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2016

Give .gay to the gays, roars exiting ombudsman

The independent ombudsman at DNS overseer ICANN has used his last day on the job to fire a broadside over the ".gay" top-level domain. In a ruling published on his own website, Chris LaHatte argues that the organization's board should reject a recommendation by its own governance committee (BGC) and should grant special …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jul 2016

Someone (cough, cough VeriSign) just gave ICANN $135m for the rights to .web

An unnamed organization just paid $135m for the rights to sell ".web" domain names. This is three times the previous record of $45m for .shop, and seven times the average auction price for top-level domains. The massive price tag has raised eyebrows in the domain name industry, not least because one of the companies taking …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2016
NBN truck on Mount Cotton

nbn™ switches on first Telstra HFC-powered broadband services

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has announced its first services delivered over the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) cables formerly owned by Australia's dominant carrier Telstra. Ocean Reef, a suburb of the Western Australian capital Perth is the lucky recipient of the new service …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2016
Speed

IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Accessing websites via IPv6 is not only comparable in speed to IPv4, but is actually faster when visiting one in five of the world's most popular sites, according to German researchers. In a new paper, Vaibhav Bajpai and Jürgen Schönwälder from the University of Bremen looked at the response times for the internet's top 10,000 …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2016

O2 sales dip 9% as tight-fisted Brits cling to their old handsets

Sales at O2 UK fell by 8.9 per cent to €3.46bn (£2.91bn) for the first half of the year, as customers opted to hang on to their old handsets rather than upgrade. Sales for the quarter fell even further by 12.3 per cent year-on-year to €1.71bn (£1.4bn). However, Philip Carse, an analyst at Megabuyte, notes that, given the weak …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

How to upgrade cities to 40Gbps broadband without replacing today's fiber network

Verizon will soon test communications gear that can provide next-generation 40Gbps fiber broadband services in America. Crucially, the hardware is compatible with today's fiber lines, meaning it can be deployed to massively boost speeds without the need to dig up and replace the miles of cables running underneath our cities …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2016
Heart falls into crack. Photo by Shutterstock

Heart Internet goes TITSUP again

UK-based web host Heart Internet has restored service to customers whose email has been titsup since Monday. Users were unable to use the service due to a single server failure. One reader got in touch to complain: "Apparently in a modern environment, hosted email clustering means only having one server for any individual …
Kat Hall, 27 Jul 2016

Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again. It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “ …
Verizon corporate building

Verizon blames striking workers for dent in sales

Fresh from its $4.8bn acquisition of Yahoo!, Verizon says its sales dropped five per cent year-on-year in its latest quarter, the three months to the end of June. Essentially, US telecom giant's wireless and wireline revenues fell over the year-ago quarter. Here's a summary of VZ's Q2 2016 results: Revenues of $30.5bn were …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jul 2016
Image by gyn9037 http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-691846p1.html

Odds are your office is ill-prepared for network-ransacking ransomware

Organizations are unprepared for future strains of more sophisticated ransomware, a report by Cisco warns. The networking giant's 2016 Midyear Cybersecurity Report concludes that the next wave of ransomware is expected to be more pervasive and resilient. While current strains typically infect a single computer, future …
John Leyden, 26 Jul 2016
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

Sharon White, the boss of UK comms watchdog Ofcom, hopes plans to legally separate Openreach from BT will force it to increase its investment of two million fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connections over the next four years. White was speaking at a briefing following the announcement by the regulator this morning that Openreach …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry's new best pals: Microsoft, Google, Samsung

BlackBerry didn't drop any bombshells at its annual Security Summit last week. Unlike previous years, there were no surprise acquisitions or products. But it did conspicuously share the limelight with a number of partners, some of which may make jolly good new owners. On the stage were Samsung, Google and Microsoft. The latter …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016
Money down the drain

I'm good, I'm fine, solid quarter, real well ... pants Sprint as it limps past, spilling $300m

US telco Sprint says it is bringing in new customers by the boatload, despite another quarter in which its losses reached well into nine figures. The fourth-largest carrier in the US logged a net loss of $302m as it continues a campaign to rebuild its business model. For the first quarter of Sprint's financial 2016, ended …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2016

Hans off! Ericsson unplugs CEO after gräsliga results

Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg has been unceremoniously dumped after another set of disappointing results. The Swedish telecoms' board unanimously decided to ditch their chief exec after he failed to meet analyst expectations, despite having slashed jobs and done his best to cut costs. He has been at the company for 28 years and …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jul 2016
Zen garden

Zen loses its chill: UK biz ISP falls offline for four hours and counting

Updated Beloved business-friendly ISP Zen has been suffering an outage for more than four hours today in the UK – and the carrier has no timetable for when service will be restored. A Zen status notice said that many of its business and residential customers are unable to connect to its network from mid-afternoon, UK time, due to what …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Jul 2016
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Not-BT-Openreach' biz CityFibre sextuples pipeline

Cable-layer CityFibre has booked a six-fold increase in contracts during its first half of 2016, with £53.8m in the pipeline compared with £8.1m for the same period last year. New contracts signed in the period comprise 3,702 new customers, more than three times the total amount on the books in 2015 (1,110), and more than …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
Phone Booth

Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released the 2016 edition of its Facts and Figures (PDF) on technology adoption, and among the many data points it contains is an odd concentration of connected “things” in countries with Fjords. Sweden handily tops the table of nations when one counts machine-to-machine …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2016
Telstra from Shutterstock

Telstra's head of ops drops after network flops

Telstra's chief of operations, Kate McKenzie, has “retired” from the carrier. As Telstra's canned announcement points out, McKenzie has since 2013 been “responsible for Telstra’s field services, IT and network architecture and operations.” That statement also heaps praise on McKenzie, who has been with Australia's dominant …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2016
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Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. Overall revenue dropped by 4.5 per cent to €13.37bn (£11.2bn), with sales in Europe also dipping by 3.5 per cent to €8.7bn (£7.3bn). The biz blamed its …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
NBN logo

nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has started to talk up the scalability of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it will use to provide services to many Australians. The company commissioned analyst firm Ovum to research the role of HFC in broadband around the world. In what …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

AT&T: Money? Oh, sure, no I'm fine – I'm doing great (if you ignore my phone business)

AT&T says wireless revenues are down in what was an otherwise solid quarter for the US telecom giant. Its second quarter of 2016 [PDF] period was, overall, a success thanks to solid returns from the newly-acquired DirecTV. They were, however, tempered by falling revenues in other areas. Quarterly revenues were $40.5bn, up 22 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016

IETF boffins design a DNS for digital money

Digital currency engineers are working on a domain name system (DNS)-style protocol to enable money to be shared across different networks. The idea of digital currency – and particularly blockchains – has taken off in recent years, but there remain a number of competing networks that are unable to talk to one another: the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016
Downtime, outage

BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

BT customers in the UK are once again banging their heads against their keyboards this morning: a power outage has thrown them offline for the second day running. Today the issue is a power outage at Telehouse North in London. An email message from BT Wholesale, with the subject line 'Major Service Interruption' – seen by The …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2016
Facebook laser receptor

Raving mad: Glow sticks are secret weapon in Facebook's 2.1Gbps laser internet drones

At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed more details about his laser-firing drones that will encircle the world and relay Facebook, sorry, the internet to far-flung places, reaching potentially all seven billion of us. The first solar-powered Aquila autonomous drones to do that job have now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016