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Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
 
nbn tries to shifts the conversation to future copper upgrades
Friday, 18 March 2016 10:23

Reg roadtrip In the best possible world, all terrestrial internet connections would use fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). Everything I've learned over years writing about broadband suggests that a fibre optic network has a longer working life and will scale to greater bandwidth than technologies that rely on existing or new twisted pair copper.

But you and I live in the real world, the world of political, financial and physical compromises. Australia's presence in the same real world is the reason its current government decreed that nbn, the organisation building the nation's National Broadband Network, must use a multi-technology mix (MTM) to re-wire

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Optus cable routers let anyone change passwords, says tech
Friday, 18 March 2016 09:49

University of Sydney tech Paul Szabo says Netgear routers provided by Australian telco Optus contain a vulnerability that allows attackers to change admin passwords without knowing the existing credentials.

The bug in the CG3000v2 cable modem means attackers could enter anything into the current password field to change the code to one of their choice. Details of the flaw have been published online.

Optus has asked Netgear to look into the security of the currently-sold routers.

"Optus takes security concerns seriously and we are investigating further," a spokesperson said.

"We have contacted the vendor to ask for a review to

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Silicon photonics boosted with UK fabrication research
Thursday, 17 March 2016 17:56

Silicon photonics is one of the industry's hottest research fields, because it holds out the promise of accelerating on-chip communications without the extra heat that faster copper-based comms generate.

One of the big challenges is fabrication, and that's the subject of research announced by University College London, Cardiff University, the University of Sheffield and the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The group reckons they've cracked one of the big fabrication challenges: growing a 1,300-nanometre quantum dot laser directly on a silicon substrate.

The key characteristics of the device, according to this UCL press release , are that

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nbn says Telstra's copper in better shape than expected
Thursday, 17 March 2016 14:54

nbn, the organisation building Australia's National Broadband Network, says the copper network it acquired from Telstra requires less remediation than it budgeted for.

At a press briefing today the nbn CEO Bill Morrow said he ordered a review of the state of the copper network.

“I had a team do a survey of pits out there,” he said. “They said on a per cent basis that the per cent [of copper requiring remediation] is almost half what we estimated.”

nbn has set aside funds for copper remediation, he added, and is currently “so far under budget on remediation compared to

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Comcast now touts unlimited gigabit service (that you can't get)
Thursday, 17 March 2016 09:02

Comcast has opened up its unlimited gigabit-a-second internet service to customers.

Perhaps "opened" is a bit of a stretch: the US cable giant is only letting a handful of customers in a few select neighborhoods get their hands on the all-you-can-download service.

Comcast said that the service, which will be the first to pipe unlimited gigabit through a standard cable line, will be available only in a few parts of Atlanta in homes with a DOCSIS (data over cable service interface specification) 3.1 modem installed.

People who live in the covered areas will have the option to purchase the service

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Plucky cable billionaires defeat menace of small-town broadband
Thursday, 17 March 2016 06:18

The city of Chattanooga in Tennessee has been told it cannot expand its broadband service to other counties.

The state's legislature has effectively canned a bill that would have allowed Chattanooga's municipal broadband service into neighboring Hamilton and Bradley counties.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press , the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee decided not to advance the bill from state representative Kevin Brooks that would have allowed for an initial demonstration project to show how Chattanooga's network could be expanded into underserved parts of the two neighboring counties, where they say the cable and phone companies have been

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