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New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4
Thursday, 02 July 2015 08:58

nbn TM , the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap.

The new plan (PDF) reveals that retail service providers will be provided with a Network Sandpit for HFC” in 2015's fourth quarter. In Q2 of 2016, “HFC Business Readiness Testing” will commence. As the NBN will use existing hybrid fibre-coax (HFC cabling installed for cable television) to provide millions of connections, the looming release of the sandpit and the readiness testing plans suggest much work has been done towards the planned Q2 2016 “initial product release” of DOCSIS 3.1

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iiNet warns NBN circuits too expensive in the Netflix era
Monday, 06 July 2015 09:10

iiNet reckons the runaway success of Netflix in Australia is going to put the National Broadband Network pricing model under pressure.

The problem is that the prices retailers pay the network company nbn TM is heavily influenced by download volumes. Backhaul from nbn TM points of interconnect back to a retail service provider (RSP) network is carried on a per-Mbps per month basis.

That part of the service, called the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC), costs AU$17.50 per Mbps per month (after a price cut earlier this year), a sting on retailers whose customers are on a fixed monthly price (such

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Bernie Sanders wants FCC to probe broadband prices (but wait, is there an election coming?)
Saturday, 11 July 2015 04:41

A group of US Senators led by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders want the USA's broadband regulator FCC to investigate whether Americans are being overcharged for internet access.

In a letter (PDF) to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ed Markey (D-MA) ask that the watchdog looks into the monthly charges being issued by service providers.

In the missive, the Senators worry that the lack of competition amongst service providers is allowing cable and phone companies to raise the charges for service without any fear of losing business.

"With increasing concentration

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Comcast: We're twice as fast as Google's 1Gbps Fiber (for x4 the price)
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 09:39

Google's stated aim of bringing some competition into the US broadband market has led to an interesting offer from Comcast – it'll double the Chocolate Factory's connection speed for more than four times the monthly cost.

Comcast's Gigabit Pro Xfinity service, launched on Monday, will offer residential customers living within a third of a mile of the telco's fiber network a symmetrical connection of up to 2Gbps for $299.95 a month, although that doesn't include Xfinity TV, Voice, or Home services. Installation costs $500, and activating the line costs "up to" $500.

The telco has been extending the range of

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Practice makes perfect: NBN fibre deployments accelerate
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 08:46

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has jumped the gun on nbn TM 's annual report, trumpeting that the company has exceeded its June 2015 performance targets.

The long-anticipated acceleration of the fibre rollout was evident in February, when nbn TM announced its 2014-15 half-year results. The official full-year results are expected in August.

Turnbull's media statement says the company beat its June 30 “premises serviceable” target by 10 per cent, with a total coverage of 1.143 million; and at 485,000, its active connections was one per cent ahead of target.

Turnbull is also keen to take credit for accelerating activations –

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Free internet for kids! Obama's offering free internet to kids! (Yes, there's a catch)
Thursday, 16 July 2015 07:19

President Obama will officially launch Wednesday afternoon a new program to get kids in flat-broke households online.

ConnectHome is a joint partnership between the federal government (the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)), local communities, and a number of different profit and non-profit organizations that will provide free or low-cost internet access to homes, as well as teach people how to make the most of the internet.

The program is being touted as a pilot program that will initially cover 27 cities and one tribal nation and impact 275,000 hard-up households. Its focus is on getting internet access to

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