Google transparency report among first to report disconnection
Following yesterday's unexpected disappearance of Syria from the Internet, service to the war-torn country seems to be completely restored with no feared large-scale attack by the Syrian government against the rebels. Both the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency and Google's real-time reporting have demonstrated that traffic is increasing in the country.
Aldermen voted, approved proposal to bring Gigabit Fiber to area
Google has officially announced that Grandview, Missouri is next in line for the search engine-provided Gigabit Fiber Internet service. No timetable for deployment has been announced, with the company saying that "it will still be a while" before the fiber deployment begins and customers can subscribe to the services.
Shawnee joins Olathe, Kansas City for Fiber rollout in state
Google is expanding the coverage of its existing gigabit Internet offering from Kansas City into another area of Kansas. The city of Shawnee, just outside of Kansas City, will gain Google Fiber in the future, and joins the high-speed connection construction waiting list alongside Olathe in the same state, Austin in Texas and Provo, Utah.
VTel charges $35 per month for gigabit Fiber connections
An Internet service provider has announced the launch of its fiber-based Internet service in the Vermont area, but this time it isn't Google. Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) has started to offer its customers gigabit Internet speeds over its new fiber optic network, and is managing to do so at half the price of Google Fiber.
Hopes to connect rural locations with unused TV spectrum
An Internet service provider based in California is offering residents connections using white spaces. Cal.net is using unallocated spectrum, left over after the transition from analog to digital television in 2009, to allow rural customers in areas without 4G LTE and land-based connections a wireless Internet connection.
Austin Gigabit Internet likely to cost same as Kansas City project
Google has officially announced it will be building its fiber Internet service in Austin, Texas. The expansion, leaked over the last few days, will see Austin become the second city after Kansas City to get the Gigabit Internet and TV service through Google Fiber, with the company hoping to "start connecting homes" to the network by mid-2014.
Messaging tools could be in violation of Saudi laws
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued orders to its regulatory bodies to ensure that communication tools like Skype and Whatsapp comply with the government's stringent requirements governing Internet communications. The kingdom's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced last week that it had "become evident that some communication applications through (the) Internet don't meet regulatory requirements." The regulatory body did not, though, specify which laws certain apps might be violating.
Denial of service attack over spam blacklist inclusion
The Internet is reportedly slowing down due to a large-scale online attack against an anti-spam organization, with the attack itself being declared the largest public denial of service attack in history. Non-profit Spamhaus is believed to be under attack from criminal gangs based in Russia and Eastern Europe, in a dispute that has escalated to a level that other services, such as Netflix, are feeling the impact.
Tourists denied Internet access, permitted long-distance calls
North Korea is stopping tourists visiting the country from accessing the Internet over 3G wireless connections, reversing what some believed was a major step forward for the secretive region. The change comes just one month after the regime opened up its digital borders, with carrier Koryolink launching its mobile Internet service for visitors, as well as international calling, texts, and MMS messaging.
Fiber-to-the-home to reach 35M more households by Q4 2013
The Chinese government hopes to cover more than 70-percent of Internet users in the country with a 4M broadband service by the end of 2013. The announcement from Miao Wei, a minister working for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is part of an initiative to increase the number of households with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) options by over 35 million.
Acquisition to give Virgin Media stronger position against Sky
British cable service provider Virgin Media has been acquired by Liberty Global. The deal, worth $23.3 billion in cash and stock, gives Liberty a bigger stake in European businesses, as well as providing both companies the chance to save around $180 million per year after regulatory and shareholder approval and the acquisition closes.
Proposal faces stiff resistance from telecommunications lobby
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed the creation of "super Wi-Fi" networks across the US. The networks, in theory would be powerful enough to allow people to access the Internet through them without needing separate coverage via a carrier, has seen a number of parties within the wireless industry lobbying against such a proposal.
Increase in accessing Internet over mobile devices, tablets
Internet use in China has gone up in China, with mobile user numbers increasing in tandem. New figures in a governmental report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimates that 51 million people joined the Internet in 2012, a 10-percent increase to 564 million users, a figure larger than the populations of the United States, Canada, and Mexico combined.
China policy aimed at curbing rumors, vulgarity
The Chinese Communist Party could begin requiring Chinese citizens to register their real names in order to sign up with Internet service providers. This according to a recent statement from the Party, which says that the new requirement would be aimed at cutting down on the incidence of "rumors and vulgarity." Currently, China requires that Internet service customers present providers with identity papers when signing up for service, but the new law under discussion would presumably solidify that requirement, even though how exactly it would differ from the current policy is not quite clear.
Customers to receive 15Mbps connection, up from 10Mbps
Time Warner Cable has boosted connection speeds for its Standard Internet customers for no charge. The free upgrade sees connections offered going from a downstream speed of 10Mbps to 15Mbps, an increase of 50 percent, with many customers already able to use the higher speed, though some neighborhoods will still have to wait for it to be rolled out.
Residents have new deadlines to choose Fiber plans
Google has announced the next areas to get gigabit Internet access in Kansas City. Five more "fiberhoods" will see the high-speed connection rolled out in early 2013, with the search giant setting deadlines for residents requesting installation in those areas to choose their package before construction work begins.
Internet governance pressure point forced withdrawl from talks
Representatives of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are refusing to sign a treaty relating to Internet governance. The three countries all objected to the International Telecommunications Union treaty, refusing to sign anything that would allow "all states to have equal rights to the governance of the Internet."
Unanimous vote to protect current Internet regulations
The US House or Representatives has voted unanimously to keep the Internet "free from government control." The passing of a Senate resolution to oppose United Nation control of the Internet comes while the International Telecommunications Union conference, to decide the Internet's future regulation, is in progress in Dubai.
Voicemail-based Twitter access re-opens amid mass disconnection
As Syria enters its second day of being cut off from the Internet, Google has reintroduced its voice-based Twitter update service, in an effort to allow Syrian users to contact the rest of the world. In collaboration with the microblogging service, Speak2Tweet lets users make a phone call to an international number, with the resulting voice recording posted on a dedicated Twitter feed.
Internet, telecommunications disrupted as fighting escalates
Syria is cut off from the Internet, according to an access monitoring firm, in what is being seen as a bid for censorship by the local government. All 84 of Syria's IP address blocks are currently unreachable, "effectively removing the country from the Internet," and appears to be linked to the current battle between the country's armed forces and Syrian rebels.
Failed registrations face 20-percent loss of application fee
Objections have been made to a number of generic top-level domain (gTLD) applications. The ICANN Government Advisory Committee, consisting of 50 countries, has posted an initial list of 250 objections where member countries claim there to be an issue with the gTLDs being registered. Rejected applications will receive 80-percent of their $185,000 application fee.
Wi-Fi cost passed from customer to retail store
Skype is offering free Wi-Fi access across the UK and Ireland through its app. A deal signed with hotspot provider Wicoms will let customers connect at no charge at various “high street venues and businesses” across the country, in a move that sees the service offer free Internet connectivity for far longer than previous short-term special events, such as in New York City during New Year's Eve.
Survey results suggest reversal of user numbers
Televisions are the primary screen for viewing free and paid video streamed from the Internet, according to the NPD. A recent survey suggests that 45-percent of Americans primarily use their TVs for online streaming, while 31-percent used personal computers instead. This is the first time that the TV has overtaken computers for web-based video.
Low bandwidth caps, high excess charges hurting users
Broadband caps in Canada are too low and too costly, according to a Netflix executive. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called out the Canadian Internet service providers at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference earlier this week, echoing other bandwidth-related comments against the country's ISPs earlier this year.
Quarter of targets hit in last 36 hours
Most neighborhoods in the initial Google Fiber cities have met their pre-registration targets. At least 180 of the 202 "fiberhoods" defined by Google in both Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, have signed up enough households for the high-speed Gigabit Internet service to be switched on, with only one fiberhood showing no interest whatsoever.
Internet connection between countries seen as politically significant
Data has been sent over a pair of undersea fiber optic cables between China and Taiwan. Traffic between the two countries flowed through the cables for four minutes as part of a completion ceremony, with some commentators suggesting the first data connection between the two countries as having some political significance.
Saudi Aramco disconnected from Internet as a precaution
The largest oil company in the world, Saudi Aramco, has acknowledged that it has been struck by a malware infestation on nearly all its user workstations. The breach is said to be similar to the attack on Iranian systems in April, but oil-production industrial equipment was not affected. The company disconnected its entire network from the Internet as a precautionary measure, and anticipates full recovery of its IT systems before the end of the week.
Provider declines full $90M grant over restrictions
CenturyLink is accepting $35 million from the FCC's Connect America Fund. The donation will go towards helping the telecommunications company connect around 45,000 homes in rural locations to the Internet, as part of an FCC plan to roll out high-speed connections to areas not typically covered by broadband providers due to prohibitive associated costs.
Selectable advertisement viewing adds service credits
A UK carrier is attempting to court customers with almost-free Internet access. Samba, an reseller carrier using Three's network, is giving users data access on its mobile service in exchange for watching advertisements every day -- although other conditions of use may be seen as too high a barrier of entry to the service for some.
Cut cable disrupting Bangladesh-based outsource businesses
Internet users located in Bangladesh are suffering from major disruption to their service. An undersea cable running between France and Malaysia has been severed, causing slow connections for all users in the area, according to the BBC. Other countries in the region affected by the outage are routing traffic through other channels while repairs take place.
Increased internet efficiency, static device IP expected
After years of preparations, the IPv6 communications protocol is live, worldwide. While the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols will have to run in parallel for some time -- using bridging technologies to ensure that one side can reach the other, the foundation has been laid for the future of the Internet. The various issuing bodies are running out of IPv4 addresses -- there are 4.2 billion possible combinations addressable with the current system. IPv6 allows for 3.4 x 10^38 (10 to the 38th power) addresses, accommodating more devices and users on the Internet as well as providing for greater flexibility in address allocation and Internet routing efficiency.
Blog post by Vint Cerf gives reasons for gTLD applications
Google has applied for various domain name suffixes, including .google, .docs, .youtube, and .lol. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) process has seen nearly 2000 applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including companies seeking to secure their own trademarks as well as potentially valuable domain endings that could be in high demand in some markets.
Fate of legislation remains unclear
New York State Senator Thomas O'Mara is attempting to push "right to know" legislation that would effectively ban online speech posted anonymously. The bill aims to "amend the civil rights law" to "protect a person's right to know who is behind an anonymous Internet posting."
DCAC in Quantico will allow FBI to increase Internet monitoring
The FBI is reportedly forming a unit to develop new technologies for electronic surveillance, enabling the agency to expand monitoring capabilities for VoIP, wireless signals, and the Internet. According to Cnet, the Domestic Communications Assistance Center, located in Quantico, VA, will serve to intercept Skype conversations and analyze data received from a social network or carrier.
Passengers more willing to pay for productivity
The percentage of passengers willing to pay between $5 and $13 for Internet access on flights has doubled in a little over a year to more than eight percent, and is expected to hit 10 percent by the end of the year, research firm In-Stat reports. On some flights -- particularly between technology-oriented cities such as San Francisco and Boston -- the rate can climb to more than a quarter of all passengers, says The Wall Street Journal.
Malaysia requires public Wi-Fi in restaurants
Residents of Belarus are reportedly facing a new law that bars attempts to access foreign websites. The new regulations also threaten to impose fines for Internet cafes, public Wi-Fi providers and individuals that share connections if they do not identify users who violate the law and submit the data to authorities. Separate reports suggest the government of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur has taken a contrasting approach, requiring restaurants all restaurants to offer Wi-Fi to customers.
Paid posters flood websites with misinformation
University of Victoria computer scientist Cheng Chen in a new report has gone undercover and then developed a computer program to expose the Chinese practice of paying people to post disinformation on the Internet about either a product or a competitor. The practice usually involves a company paying posters, often referred to as the 'Internet Water Army", to literally flood the Internet with deceptive comments, gossip, or innuendo. The objective is to mislead consumers into making a misguided purchase decision.
Service predated public Internet
France Télécom is closing its longstanding Minitel networking service. The carrier began offering this service in 1982, at a time when the Internet was still basically available only to researchers and defense organizations. Minitel will stop operating next June.
Public access points may require proof of identity
Danish police are reportedly pushing their government to bring tighter controls over Internet access, arguing that anonymous usage benefits terrorism. A group within Denmark's Ministry of Justice has voiced a recommendation that parliament should draft legislation banning anonymous access to the web, particularly in places such as Internet cafes or libraries.
FCC says US behind on broadband
An FCC report has shown that the US continues to lag behind the leading countries in the OECD when it comes to the Internet. Out of 29 countries evaluated for their mobile and fixed broadband adoption rates, the US ranked only 9th and 12th, respectively. Fixed broadband has been adopted by 63 percent of US households leaving it behind adoption rates in countries such as the UK, South Korea and Iceland.
“Great Firewall of China” leads to lawsuit
Chinese Internet search giant Baidu has been sued in the US by a group of free speech advocates for censoring Chinese freedom of speech websites. The group of eight New York residents has also included the Chinese government in its complaint. The group claims that as the Baidu site can be utilized in the US, that it violates the US Constitution by reportedly colluding with the Chinese government to omit search results.
Users would be able to opt out of tracking
The US Senate is currently considering a "do not track" bill (PDF) that proposes a number of regulations that may affect methods used to track user activity on the Internet. The bill, which was introduced by Senator John D. Rockefeller of West Virgina, would essentially block companies from logging website visitation details for users who choose to opt out of tracking programs.
Commission asks for input on "need for speed" info
The FCC is currently seeking comment on a proposal to simplify and standardize the presentation of broadband Internet plans to consumers. The Commission suggests many consumers are left uninformed regarding many of the essential differences between ISP offers, which tend to use a wide range of marketing techniques and inconsistent gauges for essential information such as connection speeds.
Country leads in availability of Internet access
Citizens of Canada reportedly spend more time browsing the Internet than any other country, according to data released by the research firm comScore. Over two thirds of Canadians frequently take advantage of their Internet connections, averaging 42 hours each month. France and Britain share the second spot with 62 percent, while 60 percent of Germans report similar habits.
Recommendations set for National Broadband Plan
The US is considering the possibility of providing free wireless Internet access, according to a statement (PDF) released by the FCC. The draft broadband plan, discussed at the recent Digital Inclusion Summit, outlines a variety of strategies aimed at expanding the percentage of connected Americans to 90 percent, from the current situation which leaves 35 percent without broadband.
Set parental control ratings on internet TV
InternetSafety.com has introduced Safe Eyes 6.0, the latest version of its parental control software for limiting access to unsafe or inappropriate web sites. The new release provides tools for filtering Internet TV, allowing parents to set the rating level, such as TV-G or TV-PG, that is appropriate for their child. The software enables each user profile to hold a different viewing rating, while parents can customize blocks for specific content.
The Internet celebrates being 40 years old
The Internet has turned 40 years old this week, with its beginnings occurring at 9pm on October 29th, 1969. On that day, engineers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) nearly 400 miles away sent data over the first two nodes. Back then, the Internet was known as Arpanet, after the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which commissioned its creation.
Home Wi-Fi users affected?
Two Texas-based US representatives have introduced bills that would require ISPs to store user information for two years. The bills may even require home wi-fi router users to track the same information, according to Macworld. The bills were introduced Thursday, one in the US Senate, by Rep. Senator John Cornyn, and in the House by Representative Lamar Smith. Each bill is called the Internet Safety Act, aimed at preventing child pornography via the Internet. The bills call for stronger penalties for accessing child pornography on the Internet and would require Internet and e-mail service providers to retain all records and related information about anyone using a network address temporarily assigned by the service.
EU considering freedom law
A law to uphold users' freedoms on the Internet similar to the Global Online Freedom Act drafted by the US Congress is not necessary in the European Union, said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding on Tuesday, according to a report. The law would protect surfers' rights, especially in countries where the government is blocking sites and intimidating users by policing their actions, which violates their human rights, say EU lawmakers in favor of the "freedom law."
Internet anonymity threat
A set of technical standards being developed behind closed doors by a United Nations agency that would potentially curb users’ ability to remain anonymous on the Internet has privacy advocates and technologists alarmed, according to a Friday report. The standards are proposed by the Chinese government and the US National Security Agency is also part of the IP Traceback drafting group, named Q6/17. Headed up the by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union, the group is due to meet next week to work on the proposal, though the meeting will be closed to the media and public, the report suggests.