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India to spend up big on submarine cable to sparsely-populated but strategically-placed remote island group
Thursday, 10 December 2020 14:09

India has announced a new submarine cable connecting its mainland to the Lakshadweep Islands.

The Register forgives readers who aren’t familiar with Lakshadweep, because the islands in the group are at least 220km west of India, have a combined surface area of 32km 2 , a population of 64,000 and have not left much of a mark on history.

India’s announcement of the build says those souls need better internet access to avail themselves of e-government services and to fully-realise the nation’s vision of “Digital India”. It will therefore spend around US$140m to connect the Islands to the coast.

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UK competition watchdog fast-tracks investigation into mega-merger of O2 and Virgin Media
Saturday, 12 December 2020 00:00

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will subject the proposed merger of Virgin Media and O2 to an investigation to decide whether the combined mega-entity will hurt the market for certain telecommunications-related products.

Although Virgin Media and O2 are best known for their consumer-targeted stuff (like TV, broadband, and mobile), both do a brisk trade in B2B wholesale services for other competing telecoms providers, including backhaul. The CMA fears that this combined entity may have an incentive to raise prices or reduce the quality of these services, which will in turn will have a direct impact on consumers.

If

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IRC over LoRa, For When Things Really Go South
Monday, 14 December 2020 03:00

As a society, we’ve become accustomed to always-on high-speed data connections, whether we’re at home on the computer or out and about with a mobile device. But what happens if a natural disaster knocks out the local infrastructure? Sure some people will be able to fire up their radio if …read more

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Big Tech's Asian lobby slams Cambodian government's planned National Internet Gateway chokehold
Wednesday, 09 December 2020 14:57

Analysis The world's top tech companies have taken Cambodia to task over its plan to introduce a government-controlled internet bottleneck that would be the sole point of entry to the nation.

Big tech's objections were voiced in a statement by the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), an industry association whose members include Amazon, Google, Cloudflare, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, SAP, Amazon and Airbnb.

Cambodia's plan, which it floated in August 2020, calls for the creation of a "National Internet Gateway" that will be run by an entity that reports to local regulators and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Cambodia's government has

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The Macro Keyboard Is On Deck
Friday, 11 December 2020 18:00

The idea of a reconfigurable macro keyboard is a concept that has been iterated on by many all the way from custom DIY keypads to the polarizing TouchBar on MacBooks. The continual rise of cheap powerful microcontrollers with Wi-Fi and 3D printers makes rolling your own macro keyboard easier every …read more

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Uncle Sam throws Huawei CFO a bone in her extradition fight, but deal will require an admission of wrongdoing
Saturday, 05 December 2020 03:28

US prosecutors have reportedly offered Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou a deferred prosecution agreement. If accepted, the deal will have charges deferred and eventually dismissed, but will require Meng to admit to wrongdoing.

Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver, Canada, where she owns two homes, awaiting extradition to the US. The Justice Department is seeking her removal over claims she misled HSBC over Huawei's business dealings in Iran, resulting in the banking giant falling foul of US sanctions against the country.

The US government claims Meng lied to HSBC in 2009 about Huawei's ties to an Iran business, SkyCom, while

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