Networks > More stories

EU lawmaker committees call for single EU telco regulator

The EU's telecoms market should be regulated by a single authority, two committees at the European Parliament have said. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, made the recommendation in a motion tabled for a new European Parliament resolution on the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2016

FRITZ!Box home broadband routers' security FRITZed

The FRITZ!Box range of home broadband routers, popular in Germany and Australia, needs patching against a variety of remote code execution bugs. Germans RedTeam Pentesting turned up the bugs in model 3272, 7272, 3370/3390/3490, 7312/7412, 7320/7330 SL, 736x SL and 7490 devices. The vulnerabilities are present in all firmware …

NY to Charter: Sure, we'll approve that TWC merger, if you boost our broadband speeds

The state of New York has given its blessing to the proposed merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications, winning itself a nice boost in network speeds in the process. The state's Public Service Commission has signed off on the proposed $78.7bn mega-merger with the condition that the TWC-Charter conglomerate …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jan 2016
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

Brits using mobile networks EE, O2, Giffgaff, and BT Mobile are unable to make calls this evening, UK time, amid an ongoing network breakdown. Judging from complaints online, subscribers cannot make outgoing calls, and some can't receive any, either. It appears the fault lies in the BT national network. "There seems to be …

American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout

A big fight has broken out between ISPs and their regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in the US. The FCC's annual Broadband Report will be published shortly, and late Thursday, chairman Tom Wheeler put out a "factsheet" about its main finding: that broadband is "not being deployed in a reasonable and timely …
BT Openreach van

BT and Openreach: Splitsville or not? We'll not find out till Feb – at the earliest

UK comms regulator Ofcom's much-awaited digital communications review, which will determine whether to break BT's broadband monopoly by forcing a spin-off of Openreach, will not be released until late February at the earliest. The Strategic Review of Digital Communications will set the regulatory framework for the industry for …
Kat Hall, 8 Jan 2016
Microsoft's app for its own Windows 10 SIM card

Microsoft offers pay-as-you-go data SIM for Windows 10 devices

Microsoft will include its own SIM card in some Windows 10 devices, thanks to a partnership with French mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Transatel. Customers can install an app from the Windows Store, though it does appear to be little more than a set of instructions for suitably equipped Windows 10 devices. Microsoft's …
Tim Anderson, 8 Jan 2016

Half of AT&T's networks are controlled by open-source SDN code

AT&T says it has replaced nearly half of the software in its vast operations with open-source software-defined networking (SDN) code. Speaking to developers just before this year's CES conference kicked off on Tuesday, technology and operations veep John Donovan dropped that figure as evidence that the operator's SDN strategy …

T-Mobile US boss John Legere calls bulls*** on video throttling claims

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has called BS – literally – on claims that his company's video service is throttling streaming speeds and hence quality. In a video set in what looks like his basement and sporting a pink-streaked tracksuit, Legere said in response to criticism from YouTube: "There are people out there saying we're …
BT Openreach at work

CMA to review BT whinge over superfast broadband price setting

Blighty's competition watchdog is to review an appeal by BT against new rules designed to prevent the telco from setting unfair wholesale fibre prices for its rivals. In March last year the regulator Ofcom ruled that BT must maintain a sufficient margin between its wholesale and retail superfast broadband charges in order to …
Kat Hall, 7 Jan 2016
shutterstock_282226826-Internet-of-things

Wi-Fi standard could make Internet of Things things even easier ... for hackers

CES A new standard for Wi-Fi for IoT devices may create yet more ways to attack vulnerable kit, according to a security consultancy with a storied history of hacking into internet-connected gizmos. Many legacy IoT products – thermostats, remote switches, burglar alarms, weather stations etc. – already communicate in the sub-1GHz …
John Leyden, 7 Jan 2016
sale_648

MediaTek to spin out Ethernet biz – reports

Fabless semiconductor design house MediaTek is continuing its "focus on the core business" strategy, with reports in Asia suggesting it plans to spin off its Ethernet chip operations this year. The company's Ethernet switches mostly target the home broadband router market, a segment that makes up a relatively small chunk of …
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon drafts blueprints for its own home router, IoT gateway ARM chips

Amazon is readying its own ARM-compatible processors to power home routers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and network-attached storage boxes. The Alpine system-on-chips were designed by Annapurna Labs, a fabless biz founded in 2011. It is based in San Jose, California, and Israel, and was bought by Amazon in early 2015 for about $350m. The …
Facebook Lite app

Oh, Zuck off: Facebook under attack for its attacks on net neutrality

A group of 30 non-profits and net neutrality advocates have posted a snippy open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg complaining about his "attacks" on Indian internet users. Last month, the social media giant's Free Basics program, which provides free access to specific internet websites and services, was paused in India …
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

BT and EE, O2 and Three: Are we in for a year of Euro telco mega-mergers?

Analysis So far 2016 looks to be the year of mega telecoms deals in Europe, with the soon-to-complete £12.5bn EE/BT deal in the UK set to have a major impact on the market. On top of that is the £10.25bn merger between O2 and Three, which could go ahead later this year, although European regulators have treated this with a less-than- …
Kat Hall, 6 Jan 2016

Comcast's Xfinity home alarms can be disabled by wireless jammers

Comcast's wireless home alarm systems can be trivially jammed, rendering them useless and allowing burglars to slip in undetected. By flooding the airwaves around an Xfinity Home Security System with network deauthentication frames, crooks can prevent intrusion sensors from sending data to the base station in the customer's …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jan 2016

Furious Easyspace customers moan about 'random' site outages

Websites hosted by Easyspace have been dropping since Christmas with no explanation given to customers, whose complaints were only confirmed by the company this morning. Easyspace's customers are complaining of hosting problems and of poor customer service in response to their complaints, leading some to opt to switch their …
Broken piggy bank with coins surrounding it. Image via Shutterstock

HSBC COO ‘profoundly apologises’ for online outage

Updated HSBC has pushed forward its chief operating officer to "profoundly apologise" for the online outage that began on Monday morning and which is continuing to cause havoc for millions of internet banking customers. The bank's online banking for personal accounts continues to be out of action, with business banking running at a " …
Kat Hall, 5 Jan 2016

Look what Gbps fiber brings: Competition, then new router chips

It's not often that a couple of services create a market segment on their own, but that's what Google Fiber and Comcast's 2Gbps home broadband rivalry seem to have done. To cope with such high speeds, Broadcom has baked up silicon that once would have been at home in an enterprise-grade router: a 1.8GHz, 64-bit quad-core ARM- …
AT&T logo

Remember the Carrier iQ mobile snoopware? It's in AT&T's hands now

The once-controversial Carrier iQ phone support software has been acquired by AT&T. The phone giant said it had agreed to purchase the software assets of Carrier iQ as well as a handful of its employees. Carrier iQ, meanwhile, appears to have closed up shop, with its site now offline. "We have acquired the rights to Carrier …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Jan 2016

New OpenDNSSEC doesn't want you to ... ride into the danger zone

A new version of OpenDNSSEC – an open-source implementation of DNSSEC – is hoping to plug a problem it is happy to have: increased use. Release candidate of version 1.4.9 was put out Monday for testing, with the key new feature being the ability to deal with a large number of zones – more than 50. "Too much concurrent zone …
802.11ah

HaLow, is it me you're hacking for? Wi-Fi standard for IoT emitted

The Wi-Fi Alliance has formally unveiled the 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard, dubbed HaLow, which has been designed for low-power, high-range uses by connected Internet of Things devices. "Wi-Fi HaLow is well suited to meet the unique needs of the Smart Home, Smart City, and industrial markets because of its ability to operate using …
Iain Thomson, 4 Jan 2016
woman binoculars photo via Shutterstock

Missed our Christmas crackers? Top stories from the break were...

Things might have slowed down for Christmas and New Year in your workplace but the news did not take a break. Whether you were away for the Christmas and New Year period or logged on but not exactly present, here are the biggest stories you may have missed from The Reg. The death of Debian GNU/Linux daddy Ian Murdock aged …
Gavin Clarke, 4 Jan 2016
Samsung UHD TV with Christmas tree

Dust off those White Space devices: New rules finalised by Ofcom

New UK regulations are set to come into force at the end of this year to allow telecoms providers to use special devices to provide wireless data services via "white space" - licensed portions of radio spectrum which remain unused locally. The Wireless Telegraphy (White Space Devices) (Exemption) Regulations will come into …
OUT-LAW.COM, 4 Jan 2016
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, speaking at the 2015 F8 conference

Facebook 'Free Basics' service frozen in Egypt

Facebook's “Free Basics” service - which bundles together the Social NetworkTM's pick of news, weather and health apps and delivers it via UAE telecoms giant Etisalat to millions of Egyptians - has been shuttered in the land of pyramids. The giant ad platform told the Associated Press it hopes to "resolve the problem soon." " …
Kat Hall, 31 Dec 2015
Error 500 on BBC News website

BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break

Updated The BBC News website evidently decided earlier today that it'd had enough of 2015, and took a New Year's Eve break which extended to several hours. Error 500 on BBC News website In solidarity with the hard-working site, we at El Reg knocked off for a few lunchtime liveners ahead of welcoming in 2016 tonight. We'll be back …
Lester Haines, 31 Dec 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

Good news! US broadband speeds are up. Bad news – they're still rubbish

Average internet speeds have increased in the US over the last year, but America is still falling behind many other developed economies when it comes to data speeds and latency. The annual survey by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that maximum advertised speeds rose from 37.2Mbps in September 2013 to …
Iain Thomson, 31 Dec 2015
CeBIT 2013 VIP Showfloor Tour - Senator Hon Scott Ludlam023 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

iiNet struggles through five-day outage to get thousands back online

Engineers at ISP iiNet are still battling to restore connectivity to subscribers left for days without internet access in Western Australia. The telco – gobbled up by TPG this year for AU$1.56bn – reckons the trouble started on December 27, but some folks say they dropped offline on Christmas Day. According to the ISP's …
Chris Williams, 30 Dec 2015
The Mosque at the Taj Mahal, shot from within the Taj Mahal through the marble screens

India may have binned Facebook's freebies on net neutrality grounds

Facebook's “Free Basics” program, which sees its Indian telecoms partner Reliance Communications offer free internet access to a select group of sites, has reportedly earned the ire of India's telecoms regulator. The Times of India reports that India's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has asked Reliance to pause provision …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2015

Cisco probes self for Juniper-style backdoors, silently mouths: 'We're doing this for yooou'

In the wake of the Juniper firewall backdoor scandal, Cisco is reviewing its source code to make sure there are no similar nasty surprises lurking within. "Our development practices specifically prohibit any intentional behaviors or product features designed to allow unauthorized device or network access, exposure of sensitive …
Iain Thomson, 22 Dec 2015

Comcast 'rolls out' 'world's first' DOCSIS 3.1 modem, pumping 1Gbps over existing cable

Everyone's favorite ISP Comcast says it has switched on its first live gigabit internet service without having to lay a single inch of new cable. The lovable American giant has installed what it says is the world's first DOCSIS 3.1 modem in a home in Philadelphia, offering download speeds of 1Gbps without having to install new …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2015
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

No £160m for you: BT to receive termination notice from Cornwall before Christmas

The High Court has ruled in favour of Cornwall Council's decision to ditch its 10-year £160m outsourcing deal with BT, following moves by the telco provider to stop the authority canning the deal. Back in August, BT filed an injunction preventing the termination of the agreement after Cornwall sought to formally can the …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2015

UK ISP Sky to make smut an opt-in service from 2016

UK internet service provider (ISP) Sky Broadband will turn on family filters by default for all new subscribers as of 2016. Sky's “Broadband Shield”is currently an opt-in affairs and offers three levels of content filtering – PG, 13 and 18. The first two settings filter out material related to suicide, drug use, file-sharing …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2015

An on-demand video subscription isn't just for Christmas... Oh. It is

Premium video content is a must have for the Christmas period and to avoid missing out consumers are signing up to a multitude of over-the-top (OTT) services, but this will only be a festive fling for a large proportion. According to results of a recent survey from UK subscription and billing specialist PayWizard, 69 per cent …
Faultline, 21 Dec 2015
stripped copper for recycling

Telstra wins copper repair contract on the copper it sold to nbn

You can't make this stuff up: after selling its copper hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks to nbn, Telstra has won contracts to maintain those networks and to re-design the latter to carry the DOCSIS 3.1 data transmission standard. nbn is the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network. …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2015

The Firewall Awakens: ICANN's exiting CEO takes internet governance to the dark side

ICANN's exiting CEO has stunned internet governance experts by fronting a new Chinese government initiative to expand its view of how the internet should be run. On the last day of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, the conference organizers unexpectedly announced they had set up a new "high-level advisory committee" …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

13,000 Comcast customers complain to FCC over data caps

More than 13,000 people have complained about Comcast's imposition of a new 300GB monthly data cap, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed. The request was filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by the Cut Cable Today blog, and the response includes more than 2,000 letters about the cap that was …
Iain Thomson, 17 Dec 2015
EE Power Bar

EE Power Bar recall: Telco will waive £5 fee for laggards

EE has confirmed it will not apply extra charges to customers who don't return their Power Bars, despite the mass recall announced this morning. Half a million of the devices have already been recalled by EE, following an exclusive story by The Register revealing that managers had been warned the bar was not safe to use. The …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Dec 2015
EE Power Bar

EE recalls all 'Power Bar' USB batteries due to 'fire safety risk'

British carrier EE has issued a recall for all “Power Bars”, the company's name for external USB batteries. The company had already recalled 500,000 of the devices, after being warned by The Register they posed a safety risk. The Register subsequently reported that the devices appear not to comply with European safety …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2015

Canadian live route map highlights vulnerabilities to NSA spying efforts

Researchers at the University of Toronto have created a mapping tool that shows how internet data moves around and how the NSA can use just a few surveillance sites to scoop up online traffic. IXmaps is a visual, interactive database of traffic routes, and uses real data to help Canadians get a sense of what happens when they …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Dec 2015
Ethernet by https://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ CC2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

FCC gives small ISPs a pass on open internet rules

The FCC has extended a rule that will exempt small broadband carriers from portions of its 2015 Open Internet rules. US internet service providers who have less than 100,000 total connections will not be required to provide the detailed transparency reports mandated by the FCC rules. The reports include detailed information …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2015
Apple iPad Air 2

Google says Project Fi wireless network now slabable

Google has extended its Fi wireless service to support LTE-equipped tablets. The Mountain View ads giant said the latest update for Fi will bring support for data-only LTE plans. Users can purchase the LTE data SIM for their tablets and access Google's Project Fi mobile network at a flat rate of $10 per GB billed monthly. " …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Dec 2015