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Telstra being paid to fix Telstra's network for NBN – AGAIN
Monday, 11 April 2016 09:39

Telstra has once again won work with nbn, the entity building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), announcing it's secured a contract worth AU$1.6 billion to work on the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) cable broadband network to sold to nbn.

The biggest beneficiary of NBN policy of successive governments, the incumbent announced the new deal here .

The contract covers planning, design, construction, and construction management services in the Telstra HFC footprint, and follows a contract last December to redesign the network to support DOCSIS 3.1.

DOCSIS 3.1 is a key plank of the government's strategy, since it runs so fast it

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NBN shenanigans: someone wants broadband speeds hidden
Monday, 11 April 2016 08:14

Last week The Register brought you news that the Australian Bureau of Statistics' most recent Internet Activity data combined data for broadband services advertised as “8Mbps to less than 24Mbps” and “24Mbps or greater” into a single category titled “8Mbps or greater.”

At the time we suggested this was an odd categorisation, because who has anything to lose by revealing advertised broadband speeds of more than 24Mbps? It's obvious who has something to lose if there aren't many advertised plans over 24Mbps: nbn, the entity building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), which could find it hard to explain poor availability

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We're not in Kansas City anymore, Toto ... Google axes free fiber internet
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 04:33

Google says it will no longer offer free Google Fiber internet in Kansas City, Missouri.

As of May 19, customers in the first US city to get Fiber will no longer be able to sign up for the no-charge 5Mbps service, according to a new set of pricing plans .

Those who are already on the free plan will be able to keep their service through the duration of their contract. New customers will now pay a $50 monthly fee for the 100Mbps Fiber 100 plan or $70 per month for the 1Gbps Fiber 1000 service.

The Free Basic internet

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Can you hear me now – over the picket line? Verizon workers strike
Thursday, 14 April 2016 03:26

The workers who handle Verizon's wireline services in the Eastern US have gone on strike.

At 6:00am local time Wednesday morning, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said that members in districts ranging from Maryland and Delaware up through New York and New England were officially on strike barring failed negotiations with the telecom giant.

The union cited labor issues including overtime pay, wages, pensions, and the use of outsourced contractors to handle support calls among the reasons its workers were walking off the job and picketing Verizon.

While the striking workers are mostly those who handle the copper and

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Ofcom promises to have details on duct and pole access by summer
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 00:05

The communications regulator Ofcom has promised to release more details on how it intends to give BT's competitors greater access to Openreach's poles and ducts by the summer.

The details follow Ofcom's decision in February in the once-in-a-decade Digital Communications Review to open up BT's network of telegraph poles and underground tunnels to rivals so competitors can connect fibre to homes and offices.

Speaking before MPs today, Ofcom head Sharon White said greater network access to Openreach would improve competition and reduce the country's reliance on one single dominant supplier. Such a move ought to improve the number of fibre-to-the-premise

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CarontePass: Open Access Control For Your Hackerspace
Friday, 15 April 2016 01:01

A problem faced by all collaborative working spaces as they grow is that of access control. How can you give your membership secure access to the space without the cost and inconvenience of having a keyholder on site at all times.

[Torehc] is working on solving this problem with his CarontePass RFID access system, at the Kreitek Makerspace (Spanish, Google Translate link) in Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Each door has a client with RFID readers, either a Raspberry Pi or an ESP8266, which  connects via WiFi to a Raspberry Pi 2 server running a Django-based REST API. This server has access …read more

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