Windstream Deploys Cloud Xpress in Chicago

Windstream Deploys Cloud Xpress in Chicago

Cloud Xpress

Infinera and Windstream Communications have announced the deployment of Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide pre-provisioned high speed connections between data centers in Chicago.

Data center interconnect represents a significant revenue opportunity for Windstream thus they are taking it seriously. The Cloud Xpress enables Windstream to efficiently serve its data center interconnect customers with hyper-scale density, operational simplicity and low power consumption.

In a press statement, Art Nichols who is the Vice President of Engineering Architecture & Planning at Windstream explained why they chose Infinera Cloud Express. “We selected the Infinera Cloud Xpress to provide data center interconnect services to our customers because it is an extremely simple and highly scalable plug-and-play solution,” Nichols said.

“Windstream is working actively with Infinera and several other key technology partners to employ SDN for creation and management of optical services across its metro and long-haul transport network in 2016.” With its initial Cloud Xpress deployment in Chicago, Windstream is connecting two data center locations within the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak.

The deployment illustrates the value of a highly integrated, compact data center interconnect solution that is extremely simple to deploy and manage, even in relatively short reach applications. Joe Scattareggia, the Senior Vice President of Sales for Windstream Carrier Solutions said the deployment helps the company to easily meet needs of their customers in the rapidly growing modern world. “With our initial deployment of Cloud Xpress, we are able to meet the growing bandwidth needs of our customers needing connectivity to high demand Internet Exchange facilities like 350 Cermak,” he noted.

Infinera introduced the Cloud Xpress family in 2014 delivering a cloud-optimized WDM solution to cloud service providers, Internet content providers, Internet Exchange service providers and other large-scale data center operators. The Cloud Xpress family offers customers the choice of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40 GbE and 100 GbE client interfaces to meet their specific requirements.

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Verizon Wireless Scores Big in RootMetrics Report

Verizon Wireless Scores Big in RootMetrics Report

Verizon Wireless RootMetrics Report

A report released last month by RootMetrics for the first half of 2016 has placed Verizon Wireless ahead of its competitors in the overall performance award.

The main interpretation of the report is that Verizon customers in Boston are having the best time enjoying their services compared to other providers. RootMetrics is a self-regulating mobile analytics firm thus its reports and findings are held with high regard.

They use off-the-shelf consumer smartphones to test the network capabilities of all four major U.S. wireless carriers in six network performance categories across various geographies. Michele White, the Network Director for Verizon’s Northeast Market said they are pleased with the recognition that shows they are still the best in America.

“We are pleased that RootMetrics has recognized our continued dedication to building the best wireless network in the Boston area for our customers. This award paired with Verizon’s recent announcement to invest $300 million in a city-wide fiber network demonstrates our ongoing commitment to provide the best telecommunications services in the city.”

White noted that the award will help in laying the foundation for future wireless innovation, including the deployment of 5G technology. A total of 89 indoor locations across all competitors were covered in the report which had more than 61,000 tests conducted between April 3 and 9. Verizon also ranked first in network reliability as well as call performance. RootMetrics professional testers drove more than 4,000 miles throughout the Boston metro area in the recent study.

This is not the first time that Verizon is being feted by RootMetrics. They rated their wireless network as the leader among all major national wireless service providers for the fifth consecutive time during testing in the second half of 2015. Verizon also earned the most first place or shared first place data performance rankings in the nation’s top airports during second-half 2015.

 

Google Fiber Avery Pennarun Joins Board of Canadian Bank

Google Fiber Avery Pennarun Joins Board of Canadian Bank

Google Fiber

Pacific & Western Bank of Canada has announced the election of Avery Pennarun to its Board of Directors.

The election was conducted at their Annual General & Special Meeting held on April 27. A press release from the company said Pennarun brings to the Board a wealth of knowledge and experience in information technology.

Prior to his new appointment, Pennarun was working at Google Fiber Inc. in New York City as a Senior Software Engineer. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2001 with Honors, Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Engineering degree.

His background includes four years as EVP, Software Development at AMSDMS Software Inc. which is a subsidiary of PWC Capital Inc.  David Taylor, President and CEO of the Bank welcomed Pennarun to the new posting. He said Pennarun is well experienced and they could not have settled on a better candidate than him.

“I am delighted Avery has joined our Board; his significant experience in information technology, background in designing banking software, and his in-depth knowledge of our banking systems is very valuable to us as we continue to lead the industry with an innovative, branchless banking platform and propel Canada’s growing Fintech Industry.”

Pennarun is expected to take a leading role in propelling the bank to new heights amidst heightened competition from the local banking industry. The bank has made it clear they are keen to tap on his experience. Pacific & Western Bank of Canada, a highly versatile and technologically proficient Canadian Schedule I chartered bank, operates using an “electronic branchless model”. It sources deposits, consumer loans, commercial loans and leases electronically.

PWB also makes residential development and commercial mortgages it sources through a well-established network of brokers and direct contact with its lending staff. PWB’s common shares trade on Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PWB.

 

FCC Wants to Understand Mobile Device Security

FCC Wants to Understand Mobile Devices Security

Mobile Device Security

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has upped its intelligence in a bid to better understand, and ultimately to improve, the security of mobile devices.

As such, FCC has joined the Federal Trade Commission to accomplish that. Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Jon Wilkins has already sent a letter to mobile carriers asking questions about their processes for reviewing and releasing security updates for mobile devices.

At the same time, the FTC has ordered eight mobile device manufacturers to provide the agency with information about how they issue security updates to address vulnerabilities in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

“As consumers and businesses turn to mobile broadband to conduct ever more of their daily activities, the safety of their communications and other personal information is directly related to the security of the devices they use,” said a press release from the FCC. “There have recently been a growing number of vulnerabilities associated with mobile operating systems that threaten the security and integrity of a user’s device, including “Stagefright” in the Android operating system.”

The FCC estimates that almost 1 billion Android devices globally are affected by security breaches. “Consumers may be left unprotected, for long periods of time or even indefinitely, by any delays in patching vulnerabilities once they are discovered.  To date, operating system providers, original equipment manufacturers, and mobile service providers have responded to address vulnerabilities as they arise.”

There are, however, significant delays in delivering patches to actual devices—and those older devices may never be patched.  The Commission will continue its longstanding partnership and work cooperatively with the FTC on this issue. Responses to the letters will inform discussions with industry about possible solutions and be shared with the FTC.

A number of manufacturers are not comfortable with the new move by FCC but the commission says there is no turning back.

 

Synology RT1900ac Router Review

Synology RT1900ac Router Review

Synology RT1900ac Router Review

Review by Dan Karas – 5/30/2016

My experience with a new Synology RT1900ac router (Actually two, I returned the first). Purchased At Amazon.

Owning a Synology NAS, I was happy with the performance, features and continuous SRM software upgrades that Synology provides. When I was in the market to upgrade my old wireless router, I decided to try out the new Synology router. This is Synology’s first attempt at producing a consumer router and here is my take.

I ordered a Synology RT1900ac from a third party vendor on Amazon due to the fact that Amazon was out of stock at the time. This turned out to be a mistake. While configuring the Synology router’s Country settings, I could not find the U.S. listed in the drop-down options. I selected Canada and continued to configure the router. Here are the email responses that I received from Synology support when I complained about the United States missing from the menus.

Dan,
The reason that U.S. is missing is because you do not have the U.S. version.
You need to return the router to whomever you bought it from.
 
U.S. editions have something along the lines of ‘Freedom Edition’ in the name.
Other models are for non-U.S. usage per federal regulations.
Essentially return the unit and ask that seller, or another, if their model is for U.S. use or not.
 
Thank you,
Emil H.
Synology Support

I responded with this,

Hi Emil,

Router seems to be functioning fine with country code set to “Canada”.  Bought router online, would be a pain to return just to have US in country codes.

Are there any other functional differences between US and other versions of this router?

Thanks,
Dan

And received this response from the Synology support staff,

Dan,

If you are in the U.S. and running services for a non-U.S. country area, then that is technically illegal by federal law.

The FCC has not passed the router used in non-U.S. countries for U.S.-based usage.

My recommendation would be to stay legal.

Return the unit and request one designed for the U.S.

Whatever choice you make in this matter is up to you, however.

Thank you,

Emil H.

Synology Support

Synology Router Return:

I contacted Amazon and they quickly issued me a refund for the non-US Synology router and provided a postage paid return label. Luckily Amazon now had the Synology 1900ac router in stock and it was even $20 cheaper than the price I had paid for the non-US version. Since I have an Amazon Prime account, I received free next day delivery of the router.

Setup of the RT1900ac was very easy and there is no Country selection on the US version of the Synology router. I did not see ‘Freedom Edition’ as the Synology support email had suggested, however the sticker with the router’s MAC address and serial number clearly shows the US as can be seen in the pictures below.

Non-US Synology RT1900ac

Non-US RT1900ac

As you can see in the picture the US marking is missing. The US model is shown below.

US Synology RT1900ac Router

United States Synology Router

Okay, enough rambling about the US and International version differences.

Synology RT1900ac Router Review

Here is what the Synology router looks like.

Packaging:

RT1900ac Box

RT1900ac Box

Synology Router Packaging

Synology Router Packaging

The router comes well packaged in a rather plain looking cardboard box. The three WiFi antenna are rather large as can clearly be seen in the pictures.

Whats in the box?

Inside the Synology Router Box

Inside the Synology Router Box

Inside the box, you’ll find:

  • Synology RT1900ac Router
  • Clip-on Vertical Stand
  • AC power Adapter
  • Three Antennas
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Quick Installation Guide

RT1900ac Connections & Controls:

RT1900ac USB and SD card slots

USB and SD Card Slots

 

The Synology RT1900ac router includes USB and SD card slots for adding network storage that can be set up like a NAS and accessed from any devices or network users that you choose.

Removable Antennas & On/Off Switch

Removable Antennas & On/Off Switch

WPS & WiFi Disable Switch

WPS & WiFi Disable Switch

The Synology RS1900 includes 3 huge removable antennas, a Power switch, which believe it or not is unusual on consumer routers. The router also has a WPS button for quick WiFi configuration on supported devices and a manual WiFi disable (On/Off) switch that lets you manually disable wireless connections with the simple flick of a switch.

4 Port Gigabit Switch

4 Port Gigabit Switch

4 Port Gigabit Switch

A 4 port Gigabit switch is included for your home network Ethernet connections. You can always add additional Gigabit Ethernet switches to expand your wired network.

Synology Router WAN (Internet) Port

WAN (Internet) Port

Like most standalone wireless routers, you just connect the output from your ISP’s modem or interface to the blue WAN jack on the rear of the Synology Router.

The router can be configured and managed from a Synology smartphone app (DSRouter) available for Android and iOS, or from a PC or laptop. Synology has a convenient Quick Connect ID feature that manages DDNS settings, enabling you to connect to your router from virtually anywhere, even when your WAN IP address from your ISP changes.

 

Synology Screens and Apps:

Synology Help Screen

Synology Help Screen

Just like their NAS, Synology provides comprehensive help screens to explain the RT1900ac Router settings and features.

Synology Router Packages

Synology Router Packages

Synology also provides installable software packages for the RT1900ac router that can enhance it’s usefulness. Anyone who has used a Synology NAS should be familiar with these features.

Synology 1900ac Router SRM

Synology Router SRM

Conclusion:

Overall I am very satisfied with the performance and features of the Synology 1900ac router. I get great range in a 1850 SF home.

With any wireless router, placement and configuration are critical to maximizing your WiFi range and performance. I moved my router from the laundry room in a far corner of the house to a high spot on a plant shelf i the center of the house. I had to run two CAT6 Ethernet cables between the laundry and the plant shelf in the den since I didn’t want to move my cable modem  and  Ethernet patch panel from the laundry room. One Ethernet cable provides the WAN connection from the cable modem and the other feeds a Gigabit switch that provides LAN connections to the rest of the house.

The Synology RT1900ac Router sells for around $150 on Amazon. When i wrote this router review the Amazon reviews rating was 4.5 out of 5 stars which is excellent. To check availability and current price click this button.

Synology RT1900ac Router Current Price

 

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CenturyLink Cloud Platform in Australia

CenturyLink Cloud Platform in Australia

CenturyLink Cloud Platform in Australia

CenturyLink Cloud is now available in Australia effective April as the company seeks to widen its coverage both locally and internationally.

For beginners, the CenturyLink Cloud platform delivers enterprise-class control, agility, scalability and security backed by an industry-leading global network. Commenting on the new development, Gery Messer, CenturyLink Managing Director, Asia Pacific said it is all a sign of their continued commitment to better service delivery.

“Launching the CenturyLink Cloud node in Australia signals our strong commitment to this key growth market. We’re seeing increased customer demand for IT services in Australia, which is one of the most connected countries in the world. Thanks to our continued investment in Asia Pacific, many more organizations are achieving success on their hybrid IT journeys.”

Besides expansion, CenturyLink has long been committed to operational excellence as well – the Company received the 2015 “Company of the Year Award – The Cloud Industry, North America” from Frost & Sullivan. The award recognizes CenturyLink’s hybrid IT portfolio for meeting the needs of the next generation of technical and line-of-business cloud users for highly automated, efficient, reliable and flexible IT services.

CenturyLink is also the first company to pursue the Management & Operations certification by the Uptime Institute across its global data center portfolio, with all certifications expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Business research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has predicted that cloud spending in Asia Pacific will reach US$20 billion in 2018. CenturyLink’s presence in Asia-Pacific which dates back to 1999 will be a strategic one towards realization of that.

The Australia cloud node is one of several recent cloud advancements for CenturyLink. In early March, the CenturyLink Development Center opened in St. Louis with a focus on building cloud-based managed services that help drive increased value for businesses. In January, the company launched Relational Database (DB) Service.

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Double Oak Mayor Scolds Frontier over Poor Network

Double Oak Mayor Scolds Frontier over Poor Network

Double Oak Mayor Poor Network

It has not been a rosy journey since Frontier Communications took over Verizon Wireless operations in Texas.

The company had expected the move to be a game changer for their business in Texas but things are not burning out as they expected. Not only has the company staff raised issues on the matter but customers are always complaining of poor network.

Now, Double Oak Mayor Mike Donnelley has spoken and aired his sentiments through an open letter addressed to Senator Jane Nelson, Representative Tan Parker, PUC Chairman Nelson, PUC Commissioner Anderson and PUC Commissioner Marquez; Federal Communication Commission Chairman Wheeler, FCC Commissioner Clyburn, FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel, FCC Commissioner Pai, FCC Commissioner O’Rielly and Frontier Communications CEO Daniel J. McCarthy.

The letter came in the wake of Frontier Communications staff appearing before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to brief them on the company’s operations in Texas. Donnelley regretted that he did not get wind of the meeting on time thus could not attend. In the letter, he complained that most of his residents are still complaining about the poor services they are getting from frontier.

“Many of my town residents and others in nearby communities are still reporting and suffering from outages of phone and Internet, loss of On Demand programs they previously had, long waits when they call into customer service and long waits to get field techs to their homes and businesses,” he wrote adding;

“They have to call back in to generate new complaint ticket because Frontier customer service phone reps say they cannot find active service ticket, higher monthly bills than they had with Verizon and difficulty with Frontier customer service call centers.” He said everybody in Texas is frustrated with Frontier. “They are calling and emailing Frontier and if/when they get some help, it’s been reported to me that it’s weeks before a resolution to their problem.”

 

DISH, Viacom Sign Multi-year Deal Renewal

DISH, Viacom Sign Multi-year Deal Renewal

DISH – Viacom Deal

In a groundbreaking move, DISH Network and Viacom Inc. have agreed terms for a multi-year contract renewal.

It will provide DISH customers with uninterrupted access to Viacom networks and sets the stage for select Viacom live and Video-on-Demand content to join the Sling TV single- and multi-stream services. Details of the agreement were not disclosed. Charlie Ergen, DISH chairman and CEO thanked Viacom for agreeing to the renewal deal.

“We appreciate Viacom’s willingness to continue with us on our journey as we work to deliver the best, most innovative television services available,” he said in a press statement. “This creative, bold and consumer-friendly approach extends a nearly 20-year-old relationship. On his part, Viacom Executive Chairman, President, and CEO Philippe Dauman said the deal will benefit millions of their customers.

“Today’s agreement ensures Viacom’s number one family of networks will continue to be available to our millions of fans on DISH and underscores the value of our programming across platforms. DISH has historically been and remains an important partner for Viacom, and as part of our commitment to entertain audiences wherever they are, we are pleased to offer select Viacom networks as part of DISH’s Sling TV product.”

He added; “Today’s renewal, together with several additional affiliate agreements announced over the past year, will enable Viacom to drive growth and deliver better, more engaging viewer experiences for years to come.”  Viacom networks, including Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, Nick Jr. and many others, will be available on Sling TV’s single-stream and multi-stream services in coming months.

Specific packaging details were not announced. The renewal applies to the 18 Viacom channels DISH currently carries, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick Jr., and Nicktoons. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology.

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Atlantic Broadband Invests $100,000 at SC Advanced Technology Park

Atlantic Broadband Invests $100,000 at SC Advanced Technology Park

Atlantic Broadband Invests $100,000

For a period of one month starting April 27, Atlantic Broadband will be investing $100,000 to deliver advanced business communication services to SC Advanced Technology Park.

The park is located in Barnwell, S.C and is home to Fortune 500/1000 companies primarily in the manufacturing industry. The company’s investment will provide companies in the park with access to advanced services such as Metro Ethernet, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Hosted Voice and FlexTrunk Primary Rate Interface (PRI).

In a press release, Atlantic Broadband’s Vice President and General Manager, Sam McGill lauded the new investment as a step in the right direction. “Through our SC Advanced Technology Park network expansion, we are thrilled to supply the fiber infrastructure necessary to promote continued economic development in the Barnwell area,” he said.

“This superior network connectivity increases the park’s services from outdated DSL and T1 connectivity to advanced fiber based services that enable these businesses to stay in the market, compete globally and grow their bottom lines.” With the ability to deliver Ethernet and Internet Access up to 10 Gbps, Atlantic Broadband will offer these businesses the connectivity needed to efficiently and effectively connect with customers, suppliers and other business units around the world.

Businesses in the SC Advanced Technology Park will have the bandwidth they need to connect to offsite cloud based software, data centers and online corporate systems. “We are excited about this partnership with Atlantic Broadband at SC Advanced Technology Park, as it will allow us to provide state-of-the-art technology to our tenants,” said South Carolina Regional Development Alliance President and CEO, Danny Black.

“By building out the park’s fiber network infrastructure, businesses will have access to the communication services they need in order to effectively compete and will help our development team to continue to increase our customer.” Atlantic Broadband is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc.

Full Press Release: https://atlanticbb.com/sites/default/files/tiny_mce/files/FINAL_SC_Advanced_Tech_Park_4-26-2016.pdf

ATLANTIC BROADBAND TO DELIVER SOPHISTICATED COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TO
SC ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PARK

Local Internet, Phone and TV Provider Investing Heavily to Support
Industrial Park Businesses

Aiken, S.C., April 27, 2016 – Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s 12th largest cable operator, announced today that it is investing $100,000 to deliver advanced business communication services to SC Advanced Technology Park in the next 30 days. Located in Barnwell, S.C., the 1,606-acre industrial park is home to Fortune 500/1000 companies primarily in the manufacturing industry.

Atlantic Broadband’s investment will provide companies in the park with access to advanced services such as Metro Ethernet, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), Hosted Voice and FlexTrunk Primary Rate Interface (PRI). With the ability to deliver Ethernet and Internet Access up to 10 Gbps, Atlantic Broadband will offer these businesses the connectivity needed to efficiently and effectively connect with customers, suppliers and other business units around the corner or around the world. Businesses in the SC Advanced Technology Park will have the bandwidth they need to connect to offsite cloud based software, data centers and online corporate systems.

“Through our SC Advanced Technology Park network expansion, we are thrilled to supply the fiber infrastructure necessary to promote continued economic development in the Barnwell area,” said Atlantic Broadband’s Vice President and General Manager, Sam McGill. “This superior network connectivity increases the park’s services from outdated DSL and T1 connectivity to advanced fiber based services that enable these businesses to stay in the market, compete globally and grow their bottom lines.”

“We are excited about this partnership with Atlantic Broadband at SC Advanced Technology Park, as it will allow us to provide state-of-the-art technology to our tenants,” said South Carolina Regional Development Alliance President and CEO, Danny Black. “By building out the park’s fiber network infrastructure, businesses will have access to the communication services they need in order to effectively compete and will help our development team to continue to increase our customer base and park occupancy.”

“I am grateful for the innovation and high-tech capabilities Atlantic Broadband will provide to Barnwell businesses located in SC Advanced Technology Park. Advanced communications services will strengthen both local businesses and the surrounding community, creating jobs,” said Congressman Joe Wilson, Second District South Carolina.

 

FCC Protecting Competition in Business Data Services

FCC Protecting Competition in Business Data Services

Business Data Services

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has jumpstarted the process of protecting and advancing competition in the $45 billion market for business data services.

Business data services are critical in the day-to-day life of consumers, business and industry, and are integral to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy as a whole in the information age. Users include banks and retailers connecting ATM machines and credit card readers, government and corporate users connecting branch offices and data centers.

Mobile phone providers offloading calls and data from wireless networks will also benefit from the move, a need that will grow exponentially with the deployment of advanced 5G wireless service.  “Data collected by the FCC shows that competition in this essential market is uneven, and that the FCC existing rules have failed to identify markets where competition is lacking, even as they have failed to identify competitive markets,” reads a press statement from FCC.

The item adopted by the Commission on May 2 seeks broad public comment on reforming and modernizing its rules based on four principles: competition is best, but where competition does not exist, market conditions must not be allowed to stifle the ability of business customers to innovate and compete, technological neutrality should be at the core of any new regulatory framework, policies should remove barriers to the transition to new technologies and rules should be crafted to meet the needs of both today’s and tomorrow’s marketplace.

The item includes an Order resolving an investigation of existing special access tariffs filed by four major telecommunications companies, known as incumbent local exchange carriers or ILECs: AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier. “The Order finds that certain terms and conditions of these tariffs were unjust and unreasonable, and had the effect of decreasing facilities-based competition and inhibiting the transition to new technologies. These companies will be required to withdraw the illegal terms of these tariffs,” the statement added.