Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I recently was pointed to - a seemingly legitimate site. A quick trip to the lookup-o-matic reveals:

This domain is managed by RegistryWeb Discount Domain Names
PO Box 334,Turramurra,NSW,2074,Australia

and that it was registered on 25th October 2005. (not the rather more famous is also registered to the same P.O. Box, and trawling through old forum posts reveals some phishing fraud attempts (possibly not related to RegistryWeb). So all in all there seems to be something fishy going on - not exactly kosher.

Since the SNO has not chosen a trading name, and the majority shareholder of the (real) SNO is based in India (.in, not .au*), perhaps we should beware this poor imitation. Perhaps it isn't fish I'm smelling, but rather spam.

* Nor .il - considering the kosher comment...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BT slow to implement LLU

(Some info from The Register)

BT's access service division Openreach, tasked with providing equal access to BT and competitors, is failing to deliver the required backhaul from unbundled exchanges (i.e. where competitors have access to facilities and can install their own equipment to serve customers) to the rival networks.

This means many ISPs have idle equipment - paid for, but not earning anything. And BT, intentionally or not, is the one benefiting. The UK watchdog (OTA) has said that BT's failure is "still unacceptable" and that "this has been an outstanding issue for some time".

Hopefully the South African situation will be a little better. If LLU is mandated, the other telecomms operators will be able to build their own backhaul. Sentech, in particular, should have some advantage in quickly-deployable 'fixed-wireless' links that should help buffer demand. Telkom itself now apparently has a WiMax strategy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Replacement of the Telecommunications Act imminent

The end of April should see the signing into law of the Electronic Communications Bill, which replaces the Telecommunications Act (and some others) - a month late.

The Financial Mail expect the Department of Communications to issue policy changes that will be wide-ranging and that will have a dramatic effect on competition. Finally. The changes are expected to be:

1)LLU (Local Loop Unbundling). Essential if any ISP is to provide service without going through Telkom's convoluted distribution and billing network. It also would allow the SNO to offer access on those lines without an 'agreement' from Telkom allowing them access.
2)Sentech allowed switched voice. This effectively makes Sentech a competitive telecommunications operator - from a policy viewpoint. This would help mitigate the decision to not license more than one extra operator (i.e. the SNO) as there will effectively be another competitor in the market.
3)Possible declaration of SAT-3/WASC/SAFE as an essential service. Telkom will obviously oppose any such move. Searching for 'STM-1' (i.e. a 155 Mbps connection) on MyBroadband reveals a 6-to-1 price disparity for such a link between other operators on SAT-3 and Telkom. Ghana and Benin have cheaper international access (for large volumes) than South Africa!

D-Link and The NTP of Death

D-Link are not the first vendor to ship a DDoS 'poor NTP implementation' in consumer network hardware: witness Netgear vs University of Wisconsin. And you would think that other vendors have taken appropriate action to prevent a recurrence.

D-Link forgot. I think.

Other people have views that aren't quite so Slashdot-crowd-aligned - viz some NANOG comments about poor network implementations (of course). And some indications that this problem (i.e. D-Link's effective-DDoS on Poul Henning-Kamp) might take quite some time to go away - 6 years or more!

Verizon and AT&T confirm 'net neutrality' at USTA

(from the latest edition of Dave Burstein's excellent DSL Prime)

From the USTA conference:
“If the consumer has purchased three megabits of capacity from us and there is video coming to them, whatever comes from the Internet we will deliver to them without any blocking, degradation, or other interference.” Tom Tauke, Verizon’s VP and D.C. lead, at USTA

“We’ve said very clearly we’re not going to block, effectively or otherwise. We’re not going to degrade,” added Jim Cicconi, his peer at AT&T.

Is this marketing-speak? Dave says he will post tapes of this press conference (I guess I just answered my own question - it is marketing-speak).

But there are some teeth showing at the FCC:
Kevin Martin joined in the battle, reminding the telcos “If you sell 3 megabits, that’s what you should deliver.”
This sounds like one to remember for posterity.