Stories by James Hutchinson

Cisco cancels March IOS security advisory

Networking vendor, Cisco, has cancelled a regularly scheduled security advisory update for users of IOS software on the company’s routers and switches, citing recent events in Japan.

Minimal damage to Townsville NBN: Quigley

The Queensland floods failed to significantly damage the rollout of the National Broadband Network in Townsville, according to the network wholesaler's chief executive, Mike Quigley.

Open Universities pushes distance education to IT majors

Online education provider Open Universities Australia is in talks to initiate corporate partnerships with the likes of IBM, HP and other major IT companies in a bid to combat the declining number of qualified IT personnel in the Australian market.

Federal government to evaluate education revolution targets

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) will release an evaluation strategy this year for the Federal Government’s $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution this year in an attempt to better gauge the success of the program.

Microsoft sues Australian firm over Windows trademark

Microsoft Australia has commenced legal proceedings against a Queensland-based data recovery technician, alleging infringement of its trademark on the Windows brand name.
In a statement of claim from the software giant, sighted by Computerworld Australia, the Australian subsidiary claimed Nathan Short had registered for the websites and in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
The use of the word 'Windows' in the names of the site and the products sold online constituted infringement of Fair Trading Act 1999 (Qld) and Australian Consumer Law (Qld), according to the statement of claim.
Microsoft has held the trademark in Australia since 1986, when the Windows operating system and affiliated products were first sold locally.
Microsoft Australia also alleged Short - who runs a data recovery service in Boondall, Queensland - had claimed the products sold on the websites were made by Microsoft and that he had profited from the trademark infringement.
The company has pleaded loss and damage as a result of the infringement, and has called for the cessation of the actions by Short.
The proceedings were brought forward to presiding Federal Court judge, Justice Margaret Stone, on 10 February for a first directions hearing and the case is scheduled to resume on 10 March.
At time of writing, one of the registered sites - - remained active but redirected to a news site about Microsoft’s Windows products. The other,, timed out. Both had been registered through a United States-based proxy company via the GoDaddy net registry.

Telstra announces LTE network for Australia

Telstra is set to become the first Long Term Evolution (LTE) network operator in Australia, with plans to launch the technology publicly in all Australian capital cities and some regional centres by the end of the year.
The announcement comes shortly after New Zealand's Rural Broadband Initiative was awarded to a Telecom-Vodafone joint bid that will base the build on 3G technology, and a bid from another tenderer, OpenGate, that proposed a project based on LTE, lost out.
The network will operate over the telco’s existing 1800MHz spectrum assets and will fall under the company’s Next G brand, but would not immediately replace the 3G/HSPA+ technologies currently used over the 850MHz in Australia.
Instead, Telstra is expected to continue upgrading its existing Next G network, with new HSPA+ technologies providing “4G-like” maximum downlink speeds of 84 megabits per second (Mbps).
Telstra chief executive David Thodey used his keynote at Mobile World Congress in Spain this week to announce the project, which will use Ericsson over competing vendors to provide the back-end equipment.
“We see the integration of LTE technology into the Next G™ network as a way to continue to deliver high quality services and meet growing customer demand,” he said.
The telco will offer dual-mode modems (pictured) supporting both technologies by year’s end, providing similar options to current LTE deployments over carrier TeliaSonera in northern Europe.
The telco's LTE trials conducted with Ericsson last year yielded consistent speeds above 80Mbps.
Under the upgrade, Telstra will also upgrade its packet core network to suit the Internet Protocol-based LTE technology.
Telstra’s deal could effectively prove the death knell for future agreements with competing LTE vendors Huawei and Nokia Siemens, with whom the telco has also trialed the mobile broadband technology over differing bandwidths. While trials with Nokia Siemens have so far been isolated to the 2.6GHz spectrum - the only spectrum currently ratified for global roaming over LTE networks - Huawei trials to date have used the same 1800MHz bandwidth agreed to under the new Ericsson agreement. Huawei equipment scored a high of 150Mbps during tests last December.
Huawei continues to have strong trials with other Australian carriers including vividwireless, which has considered upgrading its existing WiMAX network with TD-LTE technologies for average bandwidth of between 40 and 70Mbps. Optus has managed downlink speeds peaking at 50Mbps downlink speeds over Huawei gear during its first Sydney-based trials.
Vendors including Ericsson have been reluctant to quote possible bandwidth speeds over LTE networks in real world use, instead spruiking the upgraded technology’s other benefits.
- Additional reporting by David Watson

2011 still the year of the NBN: Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged to continue the build of the National Broadband Network (NBN) in the face of the Queensland flood disasters, which the Treasury this week estimated would yield a repair bill of up to $5.6 billion.

'Big data' to rise in 2011

Among the continued maturation of Cloud computing and increasing competition between tablet manufacturers, 2011 is expected to see higher use of multi-terabyte datasets for business intelligence and analytics, otherwise known as "big data".

Budget NBN offering unlikely to hit it big

A new entry-level broadband offering planned for introduction by internet service providers over the National Broadband Network is unlikely to boost adoption, according to Internode.

South Australia makes moves to public Cloud

South Australian government agencies are in continuing talks with private and public Cloud providers, with the Office of the Chief Information Officer looking specifically at whole-of-government Web-based collaboration tools.