DDoS blackmailers scare users with empty threats, from AU

AustraliaIT News — An unknown group of criminals have been successful in extorting Cloudflare customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by threatening denial of service attacks, but never actually executing one. Cloudflare’s founder and chief executive Matthew Prince revealed that over a hundred Cloudflare customers had received emails from the “Armada Collective” demanding “protection fees” of 10 to 50 Bitcoin (A$6000 – A$30,000) over the past two months.


Telstra opens its 4G network to MVNOs

AustraliaIT News — Telstra has begun wholesaling 4G mobile services to its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partners, but speeds will be capped below those available to the carrier’s retail customers. The launch will see a number of retail service providers including AldiMobile, Woolworths, Telechoice and Better Life progressively enable 4G on customers’ existing 3G accounts from today.


Telstra to pour $50m into network after outage woes

AustraliaIT News — Telstra has announced a $50 million injection into its mobile network to avoid a repeat of the three major outages that hit the telco’s customers in the first few months of this year. The telco has spent the last month conducting a “deep dive” into its network to improve its resilience with the help of network partners Cisco, Ericsson and Juniper.


Telstra to return $1.5bn to shareholders

AustraliaSBS — Telstra plans to hand at least $1.5 billion back to shareholders from the proceeds of its recent stake sale in Chinese online carsales business Autohome. The telco giant says it isn’t yet sure what form the capital return will take and is still examining various options.


Cybersphere is the globe’s new battlefront, from AU

AustraliaThe Australian — If the ambitious goals of Malcolm Turnbull’s just released cyber security strategy are achieved, the document could turn out to be the most important and innovative government strategy yet written. Its great strength is that it provides a clear plan for harnessing Australia’s transitioning economy to the enabling technology of the internet, while recognising that a secure cyber space is critical to exploiting the benefits of the digital age and to protecting our interests online.


Hong Kong overtakes Japan as most mature Asia Pacific cloud nation

Hong KongCloud Computing News — Hong Kong is the most ‘cloud-ready’ Asia Pacific nation with an overall ranking higher than that of the US and UK, according to the latest analysis from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA). Japan, previously the leader, moved down four places to #5 in the chart with an overall score of 73.0 compared to Hong Kong’s 78.1, with the latter scoring top markets in broadband quality, privacy, and data centre risk.


Telstra launches cloud-based online video platforms

AustraliaTelecom Asia — Telstra has added two cloud-based online video platforms to its global media portfolio — the Video Monetization Solution (VMS) and Online Video Solution (OVS) — designed to help professional and digital media organizations more effectively stream, deliver and distribute online video content.


Consumers benefit from competition in Australian telco sector

AustraliaEnterprise Innovation — Consumers are reaping the benefits of competition in the telecommunications sector in the form of increased data allowances, new services, and lower prices, according to a new report released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).


Australia announces 6 new joint research centers with China

AustraliaEnterprise Innovation — Australia’s Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne announced six new Joint Research Centres (JRCs) with China, which will be funded for three years under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF). The grants, totalling $5.95 million, would support the objectives of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and help Australian research institutions build links with China.


Australia unveils anti-hacking plan worth hundreds of millions

AustraliaSYDNEY — Australia unveiled a massive cyber scheme to combat hacking on Thursday, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged an attack on the country’s weather bureau last year, but stopped short of blaming it on China. The Australian leader added that it was safe to assume “efforts are made by foreign actors, both governmental and nongovernmental, to penetrate” local agencies.


Telstra invests in NGINX web server

AustraliaZDNet — Telstra’s venture capital arm Telstra Ventures has invested an undisclosed amount in United States web server provider NGINX, boosting the company’s ability to expand throughout the APAC region. According to Mark Sherman, managing director of Telstra Ventures, Telstra eyed the investment as an opportunity to expand its provision of application delivery and deployment services.


Telstra to launch Cloud Gateway in June

AustraliaTelecom Asia — Australia’s largest operator Telstra will launch a product for businesses needing to connect to multiple cloud environments. The company has also added Amazon Web Services (AWS) to its list of supported cloud platforms. The service, named Cloud Gateway, will launch in June 2016.


CenturyLink Cloud launched in Australia

AustraliaDatacenter Dynamics — CenturyLink has announced the availability of CenturyLink Cloud in Australia, just over a year after its launch in Singapore. Located in Sydney, CenturyLink says the new cloud node will enable it to deliver enterprise-class control, agility, scalability and security through its global network.


Australia’s Telstra to sell major stake in China’s Autohome to Ping An Insurance for US$1.6b

AustraliaSCMP — Telstra Corp, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, has agreed to sell most of its stake in Autohome, China’s leading online car retail website operator, to Ping An Insurance for US$1.6 billion. The deal announced on Friday has Ping An acquiring 47.7 per cent of the total issued shares in New York-traded Autohome, while Telstra retains a 6.5 per cent interest in the online business that it has owned since 2008.


ACCC ‘concerned’ about Telstra’s NBN contracts

AustraliaIT News — Australia’s competition watchdog is “concerned” about the level of Telstra’s involvement in the national broadband network rollout and its effect on competition in the telco sector. Just hours after the telco and NBN announced a $1.6 billion deal for the rollout of Telstra’s hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network, the ACCC said it was worried the telco could potentially receive a competitive advantage from its various NBN contracts.


CenturyLink Launches CenturyLink Cloud in Australia

AustraliaSonoran Weekly Review — CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), an integrated communications company, said Wednesday that CenturyLink Cloud is now available in Australia. The CenturyLink Cloud platform delivers enterprise-class control, agility, scalability and security backed by CenturyLink’s global network.


Fastacash bets on social media payments surge

SingaporeSMH — Payments business Fastacash is predicting a multibillion-dollar boom in money transfers between people via social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp, as it eyes a potential Australian listing. The Singapore-based firm, reported to be planning a float on the ASX, is one of several companies targeting the potential for consumers to use social media apps to send money, as well as pictures or videos, to friends or family.


New Perth-Singapore cable on its way

APACChannel Life — A new Perth to Singapore submarine cable link is expected to bolster capacity and add redundancy as demand for international connectivity continues to rise. The new cable is being deployed by Bevan Slattery’s SubPartners, Singtel and Telstra. The new APX-West submarine cable, which is expected to begin construction by the end of July and be completed in 2018, is expected to provide redundancy and take some of the strain off the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable.


Aussie data downloads boom to 1.7 exabytes

AustraliaIT News — Australian broadband users downloaded a whopping 1.7 million terabytes (1.7 exabytes) of data in the last three months of 2015, an increase by half on the end of 2014. The boom in downloads was coupled with a doubling of fibre connections to 645,000 over the 2015 year, according to the Bureau of Statistics’ latest report on the nation’s internet activity.


NBN price overhaul won’t fix ‘Netflix effect’: Optus

AustraliaIT News — NBN’s proposed changes to its pricing structure for retail service providers won’t address long-held complaints about the costs involved in purchasing bandwidth in the Netflix era, according to Optus.The telco’s head of corporate and regulatory affairs David Epstein today told the CommsDay conference while it was pleasing to see NBN address the heated issue, the changes were not substantial enough.


Australian piracy code could reappear in 12 months

AustraliaA recently-dissolved industry code for online copyright infringement could rear its head again in a year’s time after rights holders and internet service providers agreed to lobby the government to put it on hold. Two months ago, Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke stunned ISPs by revealing his company would no longer pursue the scheme after a year of negotiatons.


Telstra customers hammer network on free data day

AustraliaIT News — Telstra customers used up 2686 TB of data on Sunday during the telco’s free data day mea culpa for its recent outages, outstripping previous records by 46 percent. The telco was forced to offer the unlimited day of data following three significant outages over the past few months.


Singtel in consortium to build Perth-S’pore cable link

SingaporeAsia One — Singapore – Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra on Thursday said they have signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new international submarine cable, called APX-West, connecting Perth and Singapore. The new APX-West submarine cable is expected to begin construction by the end of July and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Once completed, the new submarine cable will span more than 4,500 kilometres carrying traffic between Australia and Singapore.


​Is Australia losing its Cloud edge?

AustraliaAR Net — Australia has lost its edge as a low risk location for datacentres, with tax rates and labour efficiency to blame as the local market’s position as a leading Cloud services industry comes under threat. In sliding down the datacentre risk parameter in the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016 report, Australia now places behind Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand as the region’s most attractive cloud computing market, yet still leads the US, UK and Germany in terms of cloud implementation and growth strategies.


Australian govt to overhaul telco services procurement

AustraliaIT News — The Australian government intends to reduce the number of panels it operates for the purchase of telecommunications services after finding several are failing to provide any benefit. The Department of Finance operates five telco-based panels – for internet-based network connection services (IBNCS); telecommunications management (TMAN); telco invoice reconciliation services (IR); mobile; and Australian government telecommunications arrangements.


Defence R&D group to overhaul SA satellite ground station, from AU

AustraliaIT News — Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group is preparing for a major upgrade of the satellite communication ground station facility at its laboratories in Edinburgh, South Australia. According to tender documents, the existing base station at DST Groups’ Edinburgh facility had until now been operating under a waiver allowing it to access the US-operated wideband global satellite communication (WGS) constellation.


Hawaiki ANZ-US subsea cable gets green light

AustraliaIR News — Australian and New Zealand network providers will have an alternative to the Southern Cross Cable System for connections to the Pacific Islands and the United States, after Hawaiki Cable announced its link will finally be built. The 14,000 kilometre cable is expected to cost around A$452 million to complete, spanning Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Oregon in the United States, with spurs to the Pacific Islands.


Australia to get long-awaited Perth to Singapore subsea cable

AustraliaIT News — Submarine cable builder SubPartners has switched to a consortium model for its Perth to Singapore subsea cable system and partnered with Telstra and SingTel to finally get the long-running project off the ground. The APX-West project has been in motion for the past three years. In 2013, Telstra signed its first non-binding memorandum of understanding to buy one of four planned fibre pairs on the cable system.


Singtel joins Telstra and SubPartners on 20Tbps Perth to Singapore subsea cable

SingaporeZDNet — Telstra, Singtel, and SubPartners have entered a memorandum of understanding to construct a high-capacity Perth to Singapore subsea cable. The cable, named APX-West, will be 4,500km long, with two fibre pairs providing a minimum of 10 Terabits per second capacity each pair and two-way data transmission. It will replace the slower-speed SEA-ME-WE 3 (SMW3) cable, which currently carries data traffic between the two countries.

Top tips from NZ Police’s mobility journey

AustraliaIT News — In mid-2013, New Zealand’s 12,500-strong police force became the first law enforcement organisation in the region to fully equip its frontline with mobile devices, in an effort to stave off $150 million worth of government austerity measures. Nearly three years on, the man behind the mobility program, superintendent Jevon McSkimming, travelled across the Tasman to share what he has learnt with his Australian peers at the Informa Police Technology Forum in Canberra.