Many of you will be very pleased to hear that the Coalition has announced that it in no way supports the implementation of a mandatory internet filter in Australia and providing it wins the election on August 21, will most certainly scrap it.
During a conversation with ABC Radiop's Triple J, Joe Hockey said "We believe the internet filter would not work. We believe it's a flawed policy. It's not going to capture a whole lot of images and chatter that we all find offence (sic) that is going through email. The ISP-based filter system does not work."
In being opposed to the internet filter, the Abbott government's onus would be placed on parents to monitor their children's internet usage. "We will implement practical and effective measures to enhance online safety and security including PC-based filters for families" said Mr. Hockey.
It's become known today that Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull is going to host a forum this Saturday against Labor's plans to roll in a mandatory internet filter policy. Justin Milne will be accompanying him on the day who was the former OzEmail and BigPond chief.
Until this time a formal stance on the internet filter policy has not been revealed by the Liberal Party nor the broader coalition. It is now clear that Turnbull is heavily against this policy.
The event is scheduled to take place at 3:30pm this coming Saturday at the Paddingston RSL Club on Oxford St. Paddingston, NSW. The event wasn't being publicised in efforts to limit the turn-up count for capacity reasons.
Australian developed tool "Wave" was being promised to revolutionize the way people electronically message each other and was one of many projects Google was keen to add to its arsenal.
Unfortunately, Google Wave is a wipout after the company today announced it plans to axe the facility. It is being said that the main reason for its demise is due to the complexity of it; while it has clear advantages over any other types of electronic messaging services available, particularly e-mail, it was quite new and involved.
Google Australia's Lars Rasmussen who thought up and put the concept into action had this to say; "We had a lot of interest after we first showed a demo and then when we got it out into peoples' hands there was a fair bit of disappointment because it didn't change the world overnight.
Following a Federal Court decision which found iiNet not to have authorised customers to illegally download films using its service, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) along with the 34 film studios it's representing is in the process of appealing at the Federal Court in Sydney and states that iiNet had both the technical ability and powers to prevent customers from abusing its network for film piracy, yet failed to act.
Much of this morning's court hearing was spent by the AFACT in outlining the internal steps iiNet could (and should) have taken to prevent a user's ability to infrige; these steps in order of sequence being warnings, flagging their account, shaping, playpenning, giving suspension and then termination altogether.
A member of the AFACT has told the court yesterday that iinet has been given details of infringing customers every week for the past 59 weeks.
The appeal is expected to last through most of this week.
In providing a better broadband service for its inner city customers which will also allow it to compete head-to-head with the NBN for profitable household customers, Optus has just reached completion on a $25 million upgrade to make its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable network 4x faster, resulting in a speed of up to 75Mbit/sec, versus the NBN's 100Mbit/sec fibre line that's being rolled out over an eight year period.
Optus is allowing its 430,000 customers on its cable network in the surburban areas surrounding Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to get the much faster speeds now available to them for an additional $15 per month, though this will also require the cost of a new modem that can take advantage of the extra bandwidth on tap.
The folks at Aussie business news website, iTnews have an exclusive report on the performance of Vividwireless' 4G wireless broadband expansion which has reached Sydney and Melbourne.
Some maps that Vividwireless has let out reveal a much larger coverage area for Sydney when compared to Melbourne (at this stage), but both networks are still far smaller than their Perth network which kicked off around four months back.
The signal footprint for Sydney roughly covers areas like Rodd Point and Lewisham in the inner west, Mascot in the south, the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the north and Rose Bay to Matraville along the east coast.
iiNet has given confirmation to the Australian Stock Exchange that it is planning to acquire the consumer business of AAPT for a sum of $60 Million AUD. This acquisition will result in iiNet taking on an additional 113,000 DSL customers along with approx. 251,000 other consumer connections. The acquisition is expected to have occured in full in September this year.
The deal will also mean iiNet takes over AAPT's webmail domain, consumer billing system and also AAPT's outsourced consumer call centre in Manila, Philippines (comprising about 250 staff members). Around 40 of AAPT's employees will also transfer under iiNet wing whose roles are to continue managing the billing and other core systems.
Full details about the acquisition plans over at the source.
Labour is more confident than ever about its NBN project with Julia Gillard mentioning earlier today that there has been an expansion made to the project which will result in a 3% rise in coverage across the country. Previously set at 90%, the additional 3% promised today equates to another 300,000 more premises being catered to. With this expansion, Julia Gillard reaffirmed that the $43 Billion network is still on schedule and remains on budget.
The Federal Government also unveiled network maps today that outline transit links, fibre and fixed wireless coverage areas. Any premises in the geographical majority that was located outside of those areas can still be connected via 12 Mbps satellite.
As it stands currently, Australia has five major submarine telecommucations cables that carry internet traffic between it and other countries. Telstra has always owned most of the cable capacity that leaves the country. Needless to say, there's been a big void in terms of wholesale price competition in this area since day dot.
However, things are looking up with not only the recent launch of Pipe Networks' carrier neutral cable in Australia dubbed PPC-1 (soley for providing wholesale services to retail providers), but now plans are confirmed for a new 13,600-kilometre submarine cable to be laid that is said to double internet capacity out of the country.
The two companies making it happen are Pacnet and a new one called Pacific Fibre who are together investing an estimated AU$450 Million to make it happen, which they plan to have ready for use by 2013.
The end result should mean lower wholesale pricing thanks to more competition, which should be reflected in retail plans, if not so much with cheaper rates, higher quotas.
After a drawn out legal battle between Telstra and the ACCC, judgement was handed down to the largest Telco in Australia today which results in the company being required to pay out an $18.55 Million Dollar fine.
The fine was given to them for "exchange capping", whereby they were restricting exchange access to other internet service providers, leaving them with no alternative but to install their own DSLAM infrastructures to connect new customers.
There was no way Telstra could find the perfect excuse to dodge this one; it's clearly yet another dirty move on their part. In the end, Telstra said "Since the start of the case, we have acknowledged that mistakes were made. We accept the judgement which has been handed down. We will not be appealing."
In proving to be one of the leaders in innovation for leading edge telecommunications services, Primus has just announced the first business customer to be connected to the NBN in Tasmania. Primus had also previously announced the first residential customer to be connected, too.
The business customer to be connected with the 100Mbps connection is a small pharmacy located in a remote town in the northern region of Tasmania; Scottsdale. Thanks to the remoteness of this location, it adds good weight to the Government's vision of the NBN and is strongly indicative towards giving a trouble free rollout across the nation.
This excercise also puts more pressure on the Abbot coalition in trying to scrap the NBN in favour of an alternative policy.
Yesterday Telstra announced a huge 50% price cut on its top-speed 200GB a month ADSL plan, taking a dive from $179.95 down to just $89.95. Great news, right? - For us, hell'ye! - For the competition still paying premium wholesale rates to Telstra for their network? - Certainly not.
Both Internode and iiNet have made it clear they're not happy about the cut as Telstra continue to charge the same rates to its wholesale customers, of which are higher than what Telstra is now offering to its own customer base, making it impossible for the likes of iiNet, Optus and others to hand similarly competitive pricing down to its customers.
A spokesperson for Internode has stated this morning that the company plans to make a complaint on Telstra prices to the ACCC.
Website WiFi-in-Australia has provided a very useful resource via the use of Google Maps which allows people to easily locate WiFi hot spots throughout Sydney if mobile broadband is not in hand or the account's empty.
There are also free Wi-Fi maps available on the site for Canberra, Byron Bay, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and others.
Results of a survey in relation to the Federal Government's voluntary filtering service have come out and while hardly surprising for us guys, all ISPs should certainly open their eyes here if they want to retain full weight their customer base.
The survey makes it clear that if a given ISP implements this filter, they can wave goodbye to a significant mass of their broadband customers, which for the big guns might not be so much of a concern, as shown by three of the major players; BigPond, Optus and iPrimus whom have voluntarily agreed to it, but for some of the smaller players in particular, could spell doom.
In answer to this question; "If your internet provider starts to filter content (blocking websites promoting illegal activities), would you move to one that doesn't?" on broadband comparison site, Compare Broadband, a whopping 75% of the 283 polled members said they would make the jump without a second thought.
A 21 year old Adelaide man got what was coming to him today in court where he pleaded guilty to no less than seven charges after infecting 3000 PCs in both Australia and overseas last year.
The virus he designed and unleashed onto unsuspecting victims netted him credit card and banking details on the infected systems. Had authorities not caught on and stopped him when they did, the malicious software had the potential to infect up to 74,000 PCs worldwide.
Sentencing submissions will be heard this coming September 24th.
According to Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist of the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), the internet is going to run out of available IP addresses much faster than most people (incl. ISPs) realise.
The underlying protocol, IPv4 has a limit of about 4 Billion IP addresses. However, due to everything from computers to mobile phones to the latest high-tech refridgerators and air conditioners snapping up an IP address, the boundary is being neared with only about 232 million addresses left. Geoff Huston says he has worked out all the figures and at the rate of addresses being taken up, IPv4 address availability will reach the end of the line in about 340 days.
The answer? IPv6 which is capable of providing trillions of addresses for every person on the planet. However, ISPs and websites have been reluctant to move over to the new protocol as all devices connecting via that protocol would need to be either reconfigured or upgraded with new firmware, or in some cases, replaced altogether.
In efforts to round up more folks on competing 3G networks who are unhappy with sluggish performance in heavily populated areas, Telstra is offering a more attractive pre-paid Next G broadband service with a new "Telstra Turbo" Next G USB modem and no-contract.
For $89 you get the modem above along with 2GB of data to get you up and running, up from the 1GB that was previously available. There are a good range of pre-paid options available, starting at $20 which gets you 225MB of data with a 30 day expiry (working out to a data rate of 8.9c per MB). If it's more data you require you can get 6GB with 30 days expiry, working out to just 1.6c per MB or for $150 you'll get 4GB of data, but a more flexible 180 days to use it, equating to a data rate of 3.7c per MB.
All in all, much much more attractive, albeit still higher cost than most competitors; but you don't mind that so much when knowing you're on the best 3.5G network in Oz.
iiNet has ramped up its ADSL service some more with pair bonding used to increase ADSL2+ bandwidth, both upstream and downstream, effectively doubling overall performance.
In bonding together two copper pairs, iiNet has confirmed after testing across real customer lines a vastly improved level of performance, achieving 30.266/2.656Mbps down/up over 1336 metres; 17.533/2.297Mbps over 2585 metres, 31.800/2.102Mbps over 1933 metres; 40.288/3.304Mbps over 145 metres; 15.438/1.862Mbps over 2453 metres and 10.546/2.271Mbps over 3954 metres.
The service has been introduced as a low cost option for small business owners that have been finding their standard ADSL2+ service sub par for their requirements due to poor quality lines or exchange distance. This pair bonding techique deals with these issues and does away with the need for said business owners to have to resort to more costly alternatives such as fibre or SHDSL services.
Back in March I talked a bit about the new Trendnet 450Mbps router that had just been unveiled. The thing is one of the fastest routers on the market and Trendnet has now announced that the device is ready to ship.
In case you forgot, the router has three external antennas that use 2.4GHz spectrum. It can send three spatial streams per antenna to get the 450Mbps of theoretical bandwidth. The antenna tech also boosts coverage and signal strength.
Google recently announced that an unknown component in the software that its Street View vehicles use to capture SSID and MAC address info from secure WiFi networks they encounter was also capturing data from open networks. Google admitted that the "payload" was being captured from the open networks but claims it did not use the data.
Google says that the capturing of data from open and unprotected WiFi networks was discovered after a German regulatory commission asked for information on the practices of capturing information by Street View vehicles. Google says it has grounded the Street View fleet and has initiated a third party investigation.
Bigfoot Networks still feel content that there is a market out there in giving the fussiest of online gamers a better gaming experience. It has just polished the edges on its latest Killer series network card in the Killer 2100, stating it is the fastest network card available for online gaming purposes, period.
This is a PCI-E x1 card that uses a 400MHz network processor (NPU) and has 128MB of DDR2 memory onboard. The card of course features Gigabit connectivity and sports some advanced optimization technologies such as Game Networking DNA which accelerates latency-sensitive game traffic, an Advanced Game Detect function that prioritizes game traffic, Windows stack bypass and a Visual Bandwidth Control feature that enables users to manage their internet connection easier.
The Killer 2100 from Bigfoot will begin selling worldwide within the next few weeks from partners including Golden Arrow, Leadtek, TUL and VisionTek at a price point of around $130.