Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable
Friday, 04 December 2020 19:15

On Call Welcome back to On Call , this week with some pantomime-like japes. 'Tis the season after all.

A Register reader called "Geoff" (no, he's not really called that) shared this story of telephone tomfoolery at a certain computing colossus in the mid-1990s.

The company in question had an office in the UK city of Portsmouth and Geoff's task was to lead the PC network and support team for the telemarketing and telesales department.

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"Mostly," he said, "it was dealing with issues with printers, or the system that was used for capturing enquiries."

The usual day-to-day grind

Senators, net neutrality advocates rail against looming lame-duck confirmation of new FCC commissioner
Tuesday, 08 December 2020 11:23

Two leading Democratic senators and a range of advocacy groups have condemned a partisan effort to force through confirmation of a new FCC commissioner.

At an online meeting on Monday, senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) along with representatives from Fight for the Future, Access Now, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, among others, argued that Nathan Simington has “almost no relevant experience” for the critical post at America's telecoms regulator. Simington did, however, draw up the Department of Commerce’s request to the FCC to take a look at changing Section 230 internet protection laws, and has refused to

Roll Your Own Tracking
Thursday, 10 December 2020 00:00

The smartphone is perhaps the signature device of our modern lives. For most of the population it is never more than an arm’s length away, it’s on your person more than any other device in your life. Smartphones are packed with all sorts of radios and ways to communicate wireless. …read more

Uncle Sam passes comms act that sets aside $750m for the development of OpenRAN
Friday, 20 November 2020 02:27

The US House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Utilizing Strategic Allied Telecommunications Act of 2020, which earmarks $750m in grants to support the domestic development of OpenRAN.

The bill – which enjoys rare bipartisan support with 11 sponsors across both parties – places responsibility for administering the programme to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a body directed to begin issuing grants within 18 months of the bill's entrance into law.

These funds will focus on promoting the use of OpenRAN, accelerating deployment by carriers, and developing the underlying technology, with an emphasis on supply chains, virtualization, and security.

Northern Ireland announces £165m full-fibre rollout funded by 2017 DUP agreement with Theresa May's UK government
Thursday, 19 November 2020 02:30

The Northern Ireland Executive has awarded a £165m contract to local infrastructure provider Fibrus Networks to expand gigabit-capable, full-fibre broadband to more than 78,500 rural homes and businesses.

The initiative – called Project Stratum – will target regions where the prevailing speeds are under 30Mbps. These will largely be concentrated in the area described by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency as "Band H", which mostly consists of open countryside. Deployment is slated to start immediately and forecast to conclude in March 2024.

Project Stratum is largely a direct result of the 2017 Confidence and Supply agreement between the

UK Court of Appeal rebukes Home Office for exceeding its powers with bunkum 'national security' GSM gateway ban
Saturday, 21 November 2020 03:09

Updated The Home Office cannot order Ofcom to ignore its legal duties even when a government minister wants to shut something down because of unspecified "national security" concerns, the Court of Appeal has said, ruling that ministers acted outside their legal powers when banning GSM gateways.

The judgment ends a drawn-out saga that began with a dubious criminal prosecution a decade ago and saw several businesses destroyed by the dead hand of bureaucracy, as well as the questionable involvement of a Home Office permanent secretary in an issue well below his paygrade.

Ruling that the Home Office cannot order Ofcom

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