Repairs, installation targets for phone connections in UK could reduce under Ofcom proposals
British regulator Ofcom is considering changes to standards relating to installation and repairs to phone lines in the United Kingdom, as part of a three-yearly review. Openreach, the wholesale arm of BT which performs installations and fault repair for multiple telecommunications companies, as well as managing the infrastructure of the phone system, will receive lower fault repair targets and will be forced to offer reduced charges to customers, if Ofcom's proposals are accepted.
Piracy warning letters deal close to completion, lacks penalty for infringing
Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom are close to an agreement with parts of the entertainment industry, which will attempt to fight piracy in the country. The Voluntary Copyright Alert Program (Vcap), stemming from the Digital Economy Act of 2010, will see BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, and Sky sending warning letters to customers identified as possible infringers, though it appears that, unlike the Six Strikes system used by the Center for Copyright Infromation in the US, the scheme may not penalize infringers at all.
BT prepares sports channels for use on Chromecast
BT Sport will soon be available to watch on Chromecast in the UK. The sports channel, currently available as a paid service on Sky but free to BT Broadband customers, will appear on the streaming device in the future, reports the Financial Times. There is no mention of exactly when it will be rolling out to the Chromecast, though it seems to be likely BT will continue restricting access to anyone using their Internet service.
Flexgrid system testing increased bandwidth over existing fiber infrastructure
BT has worked with Alcatel-Lucent in the United Kingdom to achieve what the companies are calling the fastest "real-world" network connection. In a trial, the two companies saw speeds peaking at 1.4Tb/s over a pre-existing core fiber connection and using commercial grade hardware, something which is the equivalent of transmitting 44 uncompressed HD films in one second.
BT Wi-Fi app for iOS updates with automatic hotspot connection
UK telecommunications giant BT has updated its BT Wi-Fi app for iOS, allowing customers to automatically connect to supported wireless hotspots. The update, which could head to the Android and Windows Phone versions in the future, will find and connect to public BT Wi-Fi hotspots as well as those created by BT Home Hub routers in more than 5 million subscriber homes, reports The Next Web.
Move would become second time BT creates a mobile network
British Telecom will be using the spectrum it picked up in the United Kingdom's 4G spectrum auction to start up its own 4G network. BT CEO Ian Livingston claims it is "highly possible" that BT-branded SIM cards could be issued out to customers by this time next year, with the cellular usage being paid for through current landline bills.
Total of 4G auction winning bids lower than anticipated
UK regulator Ofcom has closed its 4G spectrum auction earlier than anticipated. Mainstream British carriers Vodafone, Telefonica, Everything Everywhere, and Three, as well as BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, have won various sections of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands, though the money earned by the UK Treasury through the auction is far below what it expected.
Claims four network-related patents infringed by carrier
Google has countersued UK telecommunications giant British Telecom over the use of our network-related patents. The countersuit is in retaliation over BT's original lawsuit, which claimed Google infringed BT-owned patents in the development of Android, Google Maps, other related services, and also basic search functions.
Major UK networks joined by PCCW, BT in auction
UK regulator of communications Ofcom has revealed the companies that can bid in its oncoming 4G spectrum auction. The list of seven companies that have qualified in order to take part includes all of the major phone networks in the UK, as well as two that do not currently operate as mobile carriers in the United Kingdom.
Security company analyzed more than 1,000 Android apps
Security firm BT is claiming that more than a third of all Android apps contain some form of malware. BT bases its statement on tests the security firm conducted that examined more than 1,000 Android applications. According to BT, the prevalence of malware could mean that nearly every device running Android is compromised in some manner or another.
BT tries to fast track Android lawsuit
UK phone giant BT has tried to accelerate its lawsuit versus Google over Android patents by reducing the scope of its patent claims. In addition to opposing a Google objection to the claims that it intentionally violated patents, BT in a motion filed Friday but discovered now that simultaneously dropped the demand for tripled damages that was creating the stumbling block. The opposition notice argued that Google's complaints were now moot and that the lawsuit should go ahead.
Commercial NGHs coming over next 12 months
Industry association Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) revealed on Thursday that some of the biggest carriers in the world have successfully tested Next Generation Hotspots (NGH). Wi-Fi access to these hubs is much simpler, and the second half of 2012 will see more tests that involve more advanced features. The first commercial NGHs will be built over the course of the next 10 months.
BT trials 300Mbps broadband, delays debut to 2013
UK telecommunications provider BT Openreach has held trials of its FTTP (Fiber To The Premises) on demand broadband service promised to launch this year. The fiber optics-based system promises speeds of up to 300Mbps. The trial happened in St. Agnes, Cornwall, where it used already existing fiber optic cables that join exchanges and local street boxes.
BT says Android and more violate its patents
British Telecom has continued its legal campaigns in technology by suing Google for allegedly infringing on its patents in an action filed on Thursday. The Delaware-based complaint, caught by Florian Mueller, accused Google of violating six patents for telecoms and navigation through its development of Android, Google Maps, and related services like AdMob, Google+, Places, and even basic search. BT considers the supposed violations "willful" and is asking for tripled damages as a result.
UK judge rules BT blocks pirate site at own cost
A judge has ordered UK Internet service provider BT to block access to the website Newzbin 2 website within 14 days, the BBC reported. Newzbin 2 is a members-only website that has primarily linked to pirated movies and other illegal content. If BT complies, this will set a precedent, as it's the first time an ISP in the country has been ordered by a court to block a website.
UK government working with ISPs on porn opt-in
In its latest attempts to curb online pornography, the UK government has worked with four of the country's biggest ISPs to develop an opt-in program. Under this measure, those who wish to access sexually explicit websites will have to let those ISPs know, The Guardian explained. The official announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron takes place Tuesday during the tenth meeting with the Mothers' Union.
UK Starbucks uses same simple Wi-Fi login as US
British Starbucks coffee houses took a large stride forward in encouraging Internet use Friday with a change in their Free Wi-Fi service. Similar to the US and Canada, drinkers now just have to visit a single sign-in page, here at BT Openzone, to get access to a hotspot. UK visitors previously had to sign up for a Starbucks Rewards card and login with a username and password, both of which discouraged some from signing in.
Openreach FTTP fiber service to offer 300Mbps
The UK's BT Openreach provider has promised to bring 300Mbps download speeds with its Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service in the spring of 2012. It currently offers 110Mbps downloads and will be available in six locations by the end of October, according to ITPro. The company is also holding trials for a 1Gbps version of the offering in Kesgrave, Suffolk.
UK plans nationwide 2Mbps Internet in four years
The UK is taking action this week on its promises of high-speed Internet access for the whole country by detailing plans to shift resources to its Internet plans. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt will be moving £530 million ($864 million) previously devoted to the BBC to get the promised 2Mbps Internet access to all 25 million homes in the country within the next four years. About 90 percent of those would get over 24Mbps.
OnLive gets Wireless Controller and Facebook
OnLive swung into action ahead of E3 on Thursday with the unveiling of a gamepad that should work on nearly every platform. Its Universal Wireless Controller can directly control the streaming game service from not just Macs or Windows PCs but also the MicroConsole, Android tablets like the HTC Flyer, the iPad, and some Vizio TVs. Bluetooth is available for those devices that can use it but is braced by a USB adapter that can plug directly into devices that normally want a wired link.
Remote UK town to trial 4G LTE network
UK wireless providers BT and Everything Everywhere are set to begin an LTE trial and are looking for volunteers in a specific area in the UK. The testing is to occur in South Newquay, UK, a rural area that is expensive to bring wireless services to between September and December. Those who test the technology will be the first to do so in the UK.
Ofcom broadband price cuts could lead to savings
UK telecommunications industry regulator Ofcom has revised the rates that Openreach, manager of BT's network, is able to charge other providers for using its services. This wholesale price could be reduced by over 10 percent per year. Companies that use Openreach, like TalkTalk and Sky, will benefit, but it won't help those such as Virgin Media that use their own cable network.
BT to introduce cap-free Internet plans
UK provider BT is reversing the status quo by offering subscribers to its Total Broadband and Infinity services will no longer be burdened by usage caps. Infinity services offer download speeds of up to 40Mbps and 2Mbps uploads for £20 ($32) a month and with a £50 ($80) activation fee. Thus far, however, some say speeds are throttled on the Total Broadband Option 3 plan and Infinity Option 2 plan once more than 300MB is reached.
BT intros Home Hub 3 with anti-interference Wi-Fi
BT on Friday added a new Wi-Fi router of its own designed to thrive in a wireless-heavy environment. Similar to some more advanced independent routers, the Home Hub 3 has its own intelligent channel selection to avoid interference. The approach minimizes the likelihood of a baby monitor or other 2.4GHz device slowing down or stopping the Internet connection.
BT to start six-month Wi-Fi trial in London tube
UK provider BT has announced it will hold Wi-Fi trials at the Charing Cross underground subway station in London, the BBC reported on Friday. The six-month technical test will be free for BT broadband customers and those with free Wi-Fi minutes at the ticket hall, Bakerloo and Northern line platform. The trial will kick off on November 1.
BBC trust approves Project Canvas, due in spring
The BBC's controlling trust on Friday approved Project Canvas but imposed a few important conditions. These include free-to-air access, access to the platform for content providers and ISPs and industry consultation. Project Canvas is a joint web TV venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva that would bring Internet content to the TV
BT tablet not an iPad rival, says chief
UK-based wireless provider British Telecom (BT) has revealed plans to create a portable tablet PC, but chief executive Ian Livingston is playing down allegations that the device will be a competitor to Apple's iPad. The unnamed device was shown off at a demo in London, but specs and other details are not yet known. Livingston says the device is meant for use around the home and not be carried around like an iPad, suggesting it may only have Wi-Fi and lack 3G data access.
OnLive to arrive in UK homes thanks to BT deal
Streaming gaming service OnLive has partnered with UK telecoms provider BT to bring its service to customers' homes. Under the deal, BT will own 2.6 percent of OnLive and get exclusive rights to bundle the service with its broadband service. The service is expected to come to the US this summer.
Eye-Fi gets automatic sign on for Boingo and more
Eye-Fi today added both a new card and a major expansion of its support for hotspot cards. The 4GB Geo X2 combines the geolocation support of the original Geo with the Class 6 (6MBps) transfer speeds, 802.11n Wi-Fi and "endless" memory of other X2 cards. It's targeted primarily at Mac users using Aperture 3 or iPhoto '09 and will be available only through Apple stores in May for $70.
TiVo making UK comeback with Virgin
As announced last fall, TiVo will return to the UK market after a seven-year absence. TiVo will partner with the UK's Virgin Media, which will develop the cable firm's next-generation set-top box. While details on the hardware are thin on the ground, TiVo chief executive Tom Rogers said it will be heavily based on the TiVo Premiere slated for other markets and confirmed for the US.
Fonera 2n Router
FON today significantly improved its core wireless router by launching the Fonera 2.0n. The device appropriately has 802.11n Wi-Fi for faster speeds and longer ranges than the older 11g model. More importantly, though, it adds USB and dedicated clients for multiple services directly on the router. Owners can download from BitTorrent, Megaupload or Rapidshare to USB storage without turning on a computer; they can also upload photos or videos to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or YouTube from an attached camera.
FilmOn HD Movies
A new service promises to offer HD video streaming without the typical long buffering times for typical internet connections. Online movie provider FilmOn says it has implemented a new video compression technique known as HDi that reduces the normally very large footprint of HD videos to as little as 2Mbps. While not explaining how this is accomplished, the provider claims that "HD-quality" movies can play on typical broadband connections in real time rather than caching some of that data in advance.
UK ISPs join piracy fight
The British music and film industries finally received the cooperation they have been seeking from Internet Service Providers in helping them fight illegal file downloading. A report on Thursday has six of the country's largest Internet providers sending warning letters to subscribers suspected of illegal file downloading and sharing. The decision to do so is commonly believed to be spurred by the British government, which announced earlier this year that it would impose its own laws forcing them to police how their services are used had they failed to cooperate voluntarily.
BT Wi-Fi for UK iPhone
O2 has published new information on its expanded Wi-Fi service for iPhone owners. Beginning with the launch of the iPhone 3G on July 11th, Wi-Fi will grow beyond The Cloud to include BT's Openzone, which incorporates over 3,000 hotspots located around the UK and in various businesses around the world. In total, owners of either first-generation or 3G iPhones will access to more than 9,000 hotspots.
BT VoIP and HTC Phones
BT on Wednesday formally rolled out Total Broadband Anywhere, its own approach to merging Internet and phone service. The plan gives users both an 8Mbps DSL connection from the British carrier but also two phone offerings that promise to avoid the need for traditional cellphone or landline service. A home router known as the BT Home Hub provides the basic connection and creates a Wi-Fi connection in addition to including a cordless voice-over-Internet phone for making calls when at home; the feature allows much less expensive calling, particularly over long distances.
BT and Comcast 100Mbps
At least two major Western Internet providers will have Internet access topping the 100 megabit per second (Mbps) mark before the end of the year, according to announcements. American cable provider Comcast has confirmed at CES that it is readying a service based on the new DOCSIS 3 cable modem standard that will bond together multiple cable channels to achieve Internet speeds far in excess of the version 2 speeds available today. Under good conditions, the technology translates to about 160Mbps for downloads and 120Mbps for uploads. This has led to full-length HD movie downloads in under four minutes during demonstrations, Comcast says.