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January 31, 2002 - February 6, 2002

News - February 6,2002

NTLs Cross-Platform Love Channel

By:mark.j @ 10:24:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Men beware, the dreaded Valentines Day is approaching, a period most of the male gender will recognise with fear in their hearts - just kidding =) (are we?).

Thankfully as part of ntl:world's portal re-launch the cable operator has introduced a new cross platform love channel for the big day:

The new channel, which will run throughout February, will feature on the new look portal site and NTL’s digital TV service in a cross-network promotion for customers of the service provider.

It’s launch ties in with the revamped portal, which has been redesigned to improve navigation and offer a dedicated broadband area for NTL’s broadband cable internet subscribers.

The new, broadband-targeted zone will include fresh content and services aimed at high speed internet users, including movies, music, news on demand and downloads, along with content from ichoose TV, PlayJam and My Movies.


Unfortunately the netimperative.com item isn't likely to aid in the ever difficult quest of being able to find the right Valentines Day present and that goes for both genders.

UK 1901 Census Site STILL Offline

By:mark.j @ 10:16:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Remember the 1901 UK Census site, which was taken offline roughly a month ago after being unable to cope with the massive (literally) influx of readers? If you do then you may be disappointed to learn that the re-opening has been delayed, yes again:

Last month the Public Record Office (PRO) said the site would be up and running by the beginning of February, after it was taken down for vital maintenance.

Its re-opening has now been delayed for another three weeks and could remain offline for longer unless the problems that have plagued the site are resolved.

A limited service enabling people to access the database from selected Public Record offices has been made available over recent weeks. However, even this will be pulled from tomorrow to allow vital work to be carried out. It is due to be re-instated on February 20.


More @ The Register.

News - February 5,2002

BTs Broadband - Not For 20 Years!

By:mark.j @ 4:09:PM - Comments (18) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

ZDNet's reporter Graeme Wearden has once again informed us of his latest piece HERE, which looks at how rural areas may have to.. wait for it.. WAIT 20 YEARS FOR R/ADSL BROADBAND!:

BT's chairman told the parliamentary select committee for Culture, Media and Sport on Tuesday that rural areas could be forced to wait between 10 and 20 years before they are offered high-speed Internet services, unless the UK government makes a significant financial contribution.

Sir Christopher Bland insisted that it simply is not economically viable for BT to roll out ADSL to parts of Britain that are sparsely populated -- both today and in the next few years. He blamed the fact that relatively few people are signing up for broadband in areas where it is available.

ADSL is currently available from BT at around 1,000 exchanges -- covering some 60 percent of the population. According to Sir Christopher Bland, if the government is serious about Broadband Britain then it has got to put its wallet where its policies are.


Unfortunately for BT their attempt to shift the burden on to the Government, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, is likely to fall of deaf ears.

BT goes on to tout their Satellite option, however C&W echoed what others feel, that it's still too restrictive and expensive for residential users to consider viable.

Tiscali End Satellite Trial Registrations

By:mark.j @ 3:51:PM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Thanks to one of our readers (Rory) for pointing out that Tiscali's broadband Satellite ISP website has been updated to show a change in the status of their trial.

Subscription to the trial has now been open for several weeks and the provider finally seems to have enough users (1,500 was the target):

We would like to thank our customers for the high level of interest in this trial. We have now confirmed our final list of triallists and will no longer be taking further registrations for the pilot.

TiscaliSat will be available to customers again when launched commercially in Spring this year.


The official launch of the service isn't 100% confirmed, although recent updates have hinted at a March - May 2002 window. We'd like to hear from anybody involved with this trial so as to keep up to date with events.

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/products/tiscalisat/

TheDogmaGroup Update On DDoS

By:mark.j @ 3:43:PM - Comments (1) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

TheDogmaGroup, which was yesterday reported by us to have been taken offline by a serious Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, has today sent in a statement confirming this and their current situation.

The DoS attack that left our network crippled yesterday caused havoc with all systems; critical services have now resumed, and we are monitoring network activity and are ready to take any action that we deem fit for this totally un-called for attack on our network.

Thedotcomplete.net (formerly TheDogmaGroup) would like to say to any users that partake in such attacks that they are seriously endangering networks around the world.

It is interesting to see, how well the network handled the attack, as logs show, the network was influxed with traffic at around 3 a.m yesterday, and it took until around 9 a.m for the network to come to a grinding halt.

Webservers and email seem to have been unaffected as most of these services run on our shadow backbone, but the corporate servers; which host our servers; the DNS Server (2) and also the News Server are still undergoing work.

The SMTP server will require a full rebuild as this took a mass of non-deliverable spoofed email. This server is currently causing congestion on the network and thus has been taken off-line.

The News Server will also be off-line most of this week until we are satisfied that the network can withstand another DoS attack. 3 other instances also occurred during the past week where certain servers where targeted; but it was beyond belief that the DoS took down 2 of our man Domain controllers and also our main network.

We have taken steps to install a more effective netguard; that will act both as a firewall, but also as network monitor so if, and when things go wrong, we can act as swiftly as possible.


TDC is the third ISP after Cloud-Nine and Firenet to publicly state that a malicious DDoS attack has occurred against their services. Typically we’ve asked TDC to contact C9, who is currently investigating the attacks with the aid of the Police.

V21 ISP Issue New Package Details

By:mark.j @ 3:33:PM - Comments (1) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Users of the unmetered dialup ISP V21 will no doubt be well aware of the problems plaguing the service for the last few weeks. Today the ISP has announced its intention to squash these problems by diversifying their packages based on usage.

You can see the full chart HERE, although we've posted a cut-down version below that specifically concentrates on the unmetered aspect and cost (0845 offer removed):

NOTE: PM = Per Month / MWU = Max Weekly Usage (Hours)
Free24/7 = £7.99 PM / MWU = 25 / Contention = 20:1 / Cutoff = 2
V21 Lite = £9.99 PM / MWU = 40 / Contention = 15:1 / Cutoff = 3
V21 Standard = £19.99 PM / MWU = 65 / Contention = 8:1 / Cutoff = 4
Net Head = £26.99 PM / MWU = 75 / Contention = 8:1 / Cutoff = 4
Business = £37.99 PM / MWU = 100 / Contention = 8:1 / Cutoff = 5
Unlimited = £109.99 PM / MWU = Unlimited / Contention = 1:1 / Cutoff = None
Insomniac = £3.99 PM / MWU = 49 / Contention = 5:1 / Cutoff = 2


The above accounts have been passed for launch on 1st March 2002. These are not set in stone and we request all comments to be posted to the V21 members forum where they will be considered if appropriate.

Members that do not wish to have their accounts restricted in this way will be able to cancel with us with immediate effect and no penalty will be imposed.

We will implement these changes as effectively as possible with a minimum of disruption. These changes will make dialling up to our service hopefully 'hassle free' and eliminate the constant dialling problems that users are receiving recently.


Economically speaking this is still good/standard value for money, the £7.99 offer alone seems to get you more than some providers do for £14.99. The trade-off is of course the higher contention ratio (users:modem), which isn't the same for all packages.

However the most important thing will be for this to help the overall service quality to improve, otherwise it'll be a waste of time and simply cause more frustration. The ISP has asked for feedback on their forums (no, not ours), so now's a good time to have your say.

MSN Messenger Security Flaw

By:mark.j @ 3:07:PM - Comments (2) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Microsoft's Instant Messaging (IM) application MSN Messenger has been the latest such software to be hit by a serious security flaw:

The feature allows anyone to obtain a surfer's Messenger username and those of his contacts, according to Richard Burton in a post Monday to the BugTraq mailing list.

Worse, if a username is not available, the e-mail address of the surfer and those of his contacts are displayed instead.

Only Microsoft.com, Hotmail.com and Hotmail.msn.com should be able to access the e-mail address of the surfer and his contacts -- which of course is bad enough. However, a piece of software could easily make a registry entry during installation which would allow an associated Web site to obtain full details from Messenger.


The Register states that they'll update when more information is available, however users of MSN's software can see what it does right HERE. No doubt a patch will surface within the next few days, we hope.

mmO2 Slash 1,900 Jobs

By:mark.j @ 3:02:PM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

BT's mmO2 mobile arm is to cut a massive 1,900 jobs between the UK and German divisions of its service:

Formerly known as BT Cellnet, mmO2 also has plans to close 133 of its existing 320 High Street stores. The cuts will affect sales and administrative staff.

The company blamed market conditions, and estimated that the restructure will save £70m a year.

Chief executive officer Peter Erskine said: "Today's announcement is in line with our declared strategy of improving the operational performance of our businesses."


Much as the VNUNet points out, BT isn’t the first to cut jobs; others such as Vodafone and One2One have already done the same.

Oftel Blocks Broadband DSL Price Cut?

By:mark.j @ 10:46:AM - Comments (4) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Reading between the lines and we already know that BTs rumoured R/ADSL price cuts would have to be done slowly over a period of months and not all in one go.

One of the reasons for this is that the telecoms regulator Oftel could block the cuts for reasons of competition:

Oftel has told ZDNet UK News that it could launch an investigation if BT cuts the cost of its wholesale ADSL product, which is bought and resold by ISPs. BT Wholesale is not allowed to sell this product at a loss, and Oftel would force it to reverse any price cut if it decided that BT was misusing its commercial strength to disadvantage its rival broadband providers.

"BT must give us 28 days warning before it implements any price cuts. If we receive a complaint, or if we have any regulatory concerns of our own, then we will investigate," said an Oftel spokeswoman.

"We do welcome anything that brings down the price that customers pay for broadband, but we do want competition in all levels of the market," explained the Oftel spokeswoman.


In other words the ZDNet item means that no matter what is announced on Thursday, it'll still be at least a month before anything could start and even then it'd have to be a smaller change. Perhaps a single £5 per month cut from one of the wholesale charges to start with?

AOL UK Gains Extra Content

By:mark.j @ 9:46:AM - Comments (3) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The semi-popular AOL UK ISP has struck a new deal with Xrefer, a digital reference company, which will allow them to make related content available across AOL’s online services:

The long-term arrangement will see xrefer providing 22 integrated reference books, daily information and quizzes for the AOL and Compuserve subscription services, covering everything from general reference and dictionaries to business, finance, history and science.

Under the agreement, AOL will also receive a range of quizzes to be distributed across the company’s UK sites, with content sourced from big name reference companies such as Penguin, Macmillan and the Oxford University Press.


More @ netimperative.com .

UK Gets Cyber-Court Service

By:mark.j @ 9:43:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Here's something frustrated ISP users may or may not find of use, a Cyber-Court service that allows you to make an online claim to recover unpaid debts, without the expense of going to court:

More than 1.6 million claims were made in 2000 for money owed by one person to another, including unpaid debts and rent arrears, according to the Government.

Previously claimants would have had to post their claims to the court, but using the new service, people can make claims of up to £100,000 online.

If the claim is undefended - only 36,000 debt cases went to trial in the year 2000 - the money can be recovered without stepping inside a county court. Although, if an online claim is disputed then the claimant will have to go to court.


Unfortunately the Web-User item isn't clear as to whether this system can be extended to commercial businesses such as most ISPs, although you can visit the service HERE and find out for yourself.

BT Improve Customer Service

By:mark.j @ 9:26:AM - Comments (4) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

BTs customer service may always be quick to pick up the phone, but many will know that they can also get a lot of things wrong, especially with phone bills and service management.

Thankfully the debt laden Telco has now employed Vitria Technology, a US enterprise application integration firm, which should improve the software being used by customer service agents and thus the service:

Vitria’s integration server, dubbed BusinessWare, will be used to provide common access to BT Retail’s CRM, billing, internal ledger and internal product development applications, as well as its collaborative supply chain and external partners and suppliers’ systems.

Vitria, headquartered in California and with offices in Bracknell, UK, said that BT had made “extensive research” into enterprise application integration providers but had made the choice because of the scale of its requirement, owing to its customer base of 21m.


More @ netimperative.com .

News - February 4,2002

Clara.net Launch Wires-Only R/ADSL

By:mark.j @ 3:19:PM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

It’s probably the most poorly timed press release in history =), never the less Clara.net has today announced the launch of their new broadband R/ADSL Wires-Only (Self-Install) product and services:

Claranet launches new range of Self-Install ADSL products.

Claranet, the UK’s largest independent Internet Service Provider, has launched its new Self-Install ADSL products.

The new range of ADSL packages has a number of advantages over traditional ADSL packages. Customers are given the opportunity of installing whichever router or modem they wish, providing them with the freedom to choose how to set up and use their broadband connection. Consequently, there is no longer any need for an engineer to visit the customers’ premises, saving time in the installation process.

The new ClaraDSL Self-Install packages are more cost effective, with cheaper installation charges, and a shorter lead-time – usually up to 5 days from ordering the ADSL line. There is also a flexible contract period, in comparison to the fixed 12-month period for the standard ADSL packages.

Nick Wells, the company’s marketing director said: “The introduction of the ClaraDSL Self-Install products represents a major step forward in the development of ADSL in the UK, overcoming some of the barriers to the take up of broadband.

Claranet provides an ADSL enabled line to the customer’s premises that is terminated on a standard BT PSTN master socket. The customer installs whichever router of modem they desire to the wall socket instead of the current BT provided kit. A two-way splitter or micro-filter (also available from Claranet) is plugged into the BT phone socket connected to the telephony system in order to split voice services from the ADSL service. Plugging additional micro-filters into every BT phone socket can enable multiple sockets.

Running alongside the company’s existing ADSL portfolio, the new ClaraDSL Self-Install products are available with a choice of three download speeds – up to 512Kbps, 1024Kbps and 2048Kbps.

Prices start at £39.99 +VAT per month for the USB package ClaraDSL Solo Self-Install. This has a contention ratio of 50:1 and is recommended for use with a single pc. The remaining packages have contention ratios of 20:1 and are recommended for use with 1-5, 5-10 and 10-15 machines respectively.

There is the choice of an access only product, or a solution, which includes email options, web space and domain name. Both services come with free technical support.


The timing of this release is probably the worst any ISP could choose following today’s big overshadowing news by Pipex (below) and of course the BT rumours.

Pipex Offer Cheapest Broadband DSL

By:mark.j @ 3:11:PM - Comments (12) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Pipex have today done what shouldn't really be possible and dropped the price of their recently announce Wires-Only (Self-Install) R/ADSL broadband variation to under £30 per month! Perhaps they've smelt something in the air from all the recent BT rumours?:

PIPEX takes on Cable ... Broadband ADSL becomes really Xtreme!

In its quest to provide high-speed Internet access into millions of UK homes, PIPEX, the UK's first commercial ISP, has today announced that its home user ADSL service, Xtreme Solo, has been dramatically reduced in price to just £24.95 ex VAT (£29.32 inc VAT)

As Pioneers of narrowband dial-up access in the UK, it's not surprising that PIPEX is the first ISP to offer an ASDL service below £30 inc VAT. With absolutely no connection charges to pay, Xtreme Solo has an amazingly low price point designed to make Broadband Britain become a reality.

This cable-cutting price of under £25.00 ex VAT per month, coupled with PIPEX's widely applauded Broadband Development Fund of £2 million launched only last week, is set to pave the way for the first 40,000 customers to get connected to Broadband Britain free of charge.

David Rickards, Managing Director of PIPEX, commented "The early runaway success of our Broadband Development Fund has encouraged us to make ADSL even more affordable". He added "At just £24.95 + VAT this is the lowest pricing in the UK by some margin and is designed not just to get Broadband Britain going but to get it flying."

Rickards concluded "The year 2002 is going to be the year of Broadband; the year in which the Internet comes of age and the year in which home users and small businesses can join the Internet revolution for real."

Not only is this the UK's lowest price, there's no set-up fee to pay, no 12-month minimum contract to worry about and, most importantly, no compromise in the award- winning service that many tens of thousands of PIPEX users already receive every day.

At a stroke, PIPEX has removed all the barriers for home users to make the transition from dial-up to broadband ADSL. There's never been a better time for users to ditch their dated dial-up modem and embrace the high-speed, always-on, unmetered and low cost Internet access afforded by ADSL.


We can’t help but feel that Pipex knows something more than we do and has opted to take a risk based on recent reports surrounding BTs intended xDSL price cuts. Of course if BTs plans turn out to be false then it could lead the popular UK ISP in a difficult situation. That said and they’re now the cheapest for DSL residential services.

BTs R/ADSL Price Cuts - Update

By:mark.j @ 10:15:AM - Comments (10) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Graeme Wearden, a reporter from ZDNet, was kind enough to contact us personally and inform us of their latest news item. The news site was able to get some feedback from a BT spokesman:

The Sunday Telegraph has claimed that Verwaayen will halve the cost of broadband access. The BT spokesman insisted that this was "speculation", but suggested that a series of announcements over the coming months will see the price of ADSL come down.

"Pricing is a critical factor, especially when customers can get unmetered narrowband access for £15 per month," the BT spokesman said.


Typically BT, much like so many other companies, will never confirm or deny something until an official statement is made. We'll just have to wait for Verwaayen's speech / statement sometime this week.

UPDATE: Apparently we should find out on Thursday if any of these rumours turn out to be true.

TheDogmaGroup & DDoS Attacks

By:mark.j @ 10:08:AM - Comments (4) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Two reader reports have stated that the latest ISP to be hit by a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is run by TheDogmaGroup. Sadly we can't re-produce their service update because none of their domains are working.
We did find that http://www.thedotservice.net would load, however most of the links go to pages attached to the downed domains. We've been told that the ISP was down three times last week because of the attack and today we can't even reach their website.

Any ISPs experiencing such attacks should contact the National Computer Crime Unit. It's looking possible that those responsible could have been attacking nationwide networks, although we're not allowed to disclose much more than that (confidential investigation etc.).

Certainly some key ISP officials are starting to get the feeling that somebody has been targeting UK ISPs and thus users since October 2001 last year, possibly earlier. We'll bring you more on TheDogmaGroup's attack and DDoS when we have it.

Europeans Shy Away From Broadband?

By:mark.j @ 9:48:AM - Comments (3) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

You'd have thought broadband would be a big talking point for European country's (UK included), not so. The latest study by GartnerG2 states that an overwhelming number of EU consumers have no intention of splashing out money on broadband Internet services over the next three years.

The relatively high subscription price, dearth of programming and the consumer's lack of awareness of broadband services are stifling demand in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, Europe's three largest Internet markets, according to the research firm, a unit of Gartner Inc.

"The industry has assumed that broadband would set consumers on fire," said Adam Daum, vice president and chief analyst at GartnerG2. "However, speed alone is not enough of an enticement."

Internet, telecoms and media firms have made a major bet on broadband, investing huge sums deploying speedier Internet services over souped-up telephone and cable television lines.

The theory is that an Internet experience more akin to television (TV) viewing would keep users online longer. High quality video, sounds and interaction - content, were all supposed to help.

But according to the GarterG2 survey, fewer than 10% of Internet households think broadband currently provides good value. Not surprisingly, countries with the highest subscription prices, such as Britain, have the lowest household penetration.

This is a strangely timed item to come from Reuters given yesterdays Sunday Telegraph item, which we all hope turns out true.

Jordan To Give Birth Online

By:mark.j @ 9:35:AM - Comments (8) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The famous 23 year old Glamour model Jordan has moved on from her aim of becoming an MP (snigger..) to the rather bizarre idea of giving birth LIVE over the Internet:

The busty Brightonian will webcast the birth of her child, due on May 16, and is hoping to attract one billion visitors, she told the News of the World.

Most of the footage is likely to be free to view, although the actual birth may be pay per view.


The Web-User item states that Jordan hopes this will help detract the public from her large breasts. I don't think we need to say anything more on this =).

News - February 3,2002

!BT Cuts R/ADSL Broadband Costs!

By:mark.j @ 12:22:PM - Comments (22) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

We're finding it hard to take in THIS ITEM from the Sunday Telegraph, which was kindly sent in to us by BigBytes today.

According to the item, BTs new chief executive Ben Verwaayen is to halve the cost of its broadband services and we're not talking about another push for Wires-Only!:

In a first step Vervaayen is expected to cut BT's wholesale broadband charges by up to a half from the current monthly level of about £30 per line. The move is expected to be followed by sharp cuts in the cost to consumers, who typically pay BT or rival service providers £40 to £50 a month at present.

Verwaayen is expected to acknowledge that BT has failed to fulfill its potential in this new technology. Britain has just 150,000 broadband subscribers, compared with more than 2m in Germany. A recent OECD survey concluded that UK was 22nd out of 30 countries in terms of broadband penetration while Germany was in the top 10.

Mr Verwaayen's commitment to cheaper and better broadband services will be welcomed both by internet service providers, who rely on BT's wires to deliver the service, and by the Government.


Apparently the first such announcement will come this next week with more following over a period of months, although we're not quite sure where this puts the introduction of the price slash itself. Typically newspapers can get things wrong and we've never really seen BT take such a step so fast.

Obviously a wholesale charge of £15 for normal R/ADSL would mean some ISPs could charge just £25 per month, which is directly competitive with alternatives from NTL and Telewest. Typically we've no idea where newer systems such as Wires-Only come into this or how contracts will be affected.

If true this would completely obliterate one of the most serious concerns about the technology for the past two years, price. Of course with 7,000 exchanges left to enable then no doubt coverage will be next on the list of things to hassle BT about.

ISP Review Weekly Update

By:mark.j @ 12:06:PM - - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Simply amazing, last night was the first where I've seen more than 2 hours of sleep. For the past few days my current place of residence has been right on the beachfront because I naively thought it'd be 'fun. That's the last time I try to enjoy myself =).

Obviously I'm talking about the 80-100MPH gusts and the constant sound of something similar to huge sheets of thick steel being dropped from a great height as wave’s crash along the shore. Suffice to say, getting any sleep is a bit like taking a nap in the middle of World War 2.

Thankfully ISPr has been moving along and we've now managed to test 3 of the 5 ISPs short listed for the ISP Of The Year 2001 award. It's easy to see why readers put them forward because in most cases the combination of speed, services and support has been near excellent.

We've also continued discussions for replacing our current static ISP Reviews with reader ISP reviews. Hopefully we'll have more on this next week since there's nothing to announce yet.

More speed improvements have also been made to the front page, it's worth noting that three months ago the average score for the front page (loading) was 0.36 - 0.50, it's now 0.12 - 0.20. More changes will be made in the near future.

The Awards, Top 10, Chat pages and broadband xDSL and Satellite ISP listings will be the next sections to see an overhaul. We've yet to decide how best to change the 'Awards' page, although the Top 10 will have content from the 'Reader Top ISPs' system integrated into it.

R/ADSL listings will soon only list residential options because we can't cope with the business data; it’s not our focus anyway. The Satellite listings will then be expanded to state the satellite used and recommended dish size along with their position in the sky.

Finally the chat system is to be moved to a new server and the whole way we do things surrounding this is to be re-organised. More on all of this next week.

Zetnet's Cloud-Nine Transfer Update

By:mark.j @ 10:44:AM - Comments (1) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The following update from the Zetnet ISP has been passed along to us by several Ex-CloudNine ISP users:

Welcome to Zetnet!

Having spent the last few days ensuring that the Internet services relating to Cloud-Nine customers have been kept running and successfully transferred to Zetnet systems, now is the time to sort out the information we hold about you. The information we have is in some cases old of date or incorrect. In order to be effective in serving you both now and in the future it is vitally important we obtain the correct information from you.

We need ALL ex-Cloud-Nine customers to fill in an online form as soon as possible. This should only take a few minutes.

This form is located on the Zetnet website and can be reached by clicking on the link below:

https://www.secure.zetnet.com/c9register/

Note: for speed purposes we have put up a "Self-signed" certificate - this will be replaced by a Thawte certificate as soon as we can obtain one - the site IS secure and you can be assured that your details are only available to our accounts department

Thanks for your cooperation!

For your information, here are some other useful contact email addresses:

General Enquiries: cloudnine@zetnet.com
Technical Support: c9support@zetnet.com
DNS Issues: c9dns@zetnet.com
Sales: c9sales@zetnet.com
Accounts: c9accounts@zetnet.com
Administration: c9admin@zetnet.com

Further details, contact information, telephone numbers etc are located on the website at http://www.zetnet.com


One thing that some readers have reported is that of receiving this E-Mail despite having left the service many months ago, concerning them that somebody had kept hold of their private details without giving the owner clear knowledge.

On another note we do want to hear from anybody able to get online and whether you are happy / unhappy with Zetnet’s alternative, hopefully it’ll be mostly positive feedback.

SurfAnyTime ISP Resolve Problems

By:mark.j @ 10:32:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Readers of our ISP complaints page will know that SurfAnyTime have come to receive a few bad reports over the last week or two, today they issued the following update:

The majority of our users who were experiencing connection issues, should now have them resolved. There are still a minority who may continue to receive these issues.

To aid BT in identifying localised exchange bottlenecks, we would like your feedback if you continue to have connection problems.

Please complete the form at:
http://www.surfanytime.co.uk/html/connection.htm .

This information will be passed to BT to enable them to prioritise exchange upgrades.

We thank you for your co-operation and patience.


Our ISP Complaints page has been updated to reflect this, although typically the number of regional allocated terminal/nodes can often vary from place to place. This is also part of the reason why some people always seem able to connect to a service when others can't etc.

Firenet ISP Suffers DoS Attack

By:mark.j @ 10:19:AM - Comments (5) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

First Cloud-Nine, then Tiscali and now Firenet; all three have at one stage or another been hit by a 'Denial of Service' (DoS) attack.

Today Firenet has issued a new press release regarding this matter:

Firenet would like to announce that after 3 days of cloud-nine being taken off line for Hackers and DDos attacks they were attacked too. This started on the Sunday night of last week and Firenet were advised not to advertise this untill they had caught the attacker.

Firenet MD Mr Castle had said, "Firenet have a list of attacks and ip addresses of the attackers and are passing these on to the Local police, It was very good we had backup servers and good security, as well as provisions to stop our servers and monitor these attacks without affecting the customers service requirements."

Mr Castle also stated:
"The list of attacks were Syn Flood attacks, Ip Spoofing the Lan interfaces, and Total Denial of service attacks. We had taken down the servers for 4 nights in a row, from 11oclock till 6.00 am daily and worked all through the night with BT fighting this hacker or hackers, and had stopped the problems on Wednesday night Thursday morning".

We thought it was wise to leave this press statement untill we were totally sure the hacker had gone from our domains, and that we had collected enough evidence to try to press charges on the hacker, ( hopefully we have enough evidence.), also we didn't want this criminal to win any more glory from the C9 attacks as we believe they are the same person. We are asking for the Police that are in charge of the C9 case to contact us so we may give this evidence to them, to help in the prosecution of the attackers.

And although a lot of customers didn't notice any problems our service, this was due to the hacker(s) not knowing of our other back up leased line and servers which was left totally alone and kept most customers up and running.

We would like to thank all customers that noticed the problems and were patient with Firenet in the last week.


While simple in nature, DoS (also known as DDoS) attacks can still cause a serious amount of damage to any service and are treated seriously by the authorities.

We've also heard from other providers that 'may' have been hit by a similar thing, although wish to remain anonymous for similar reasons to that above. It's interesting to note that these attacks have all occurred within the same 3-week period.

News - February 2,2002

UK Net Suppliers & V21 Statement

By:mark.j @ 10:09:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

If you managed to catch yesterday’s news post regarding the heated dispute between unmetered dialup ISP V21 and UK Net Suppliers, then you'll know some of what this is about.

Essentially what should have been a private conflict regarding the ownership of the ItsGoodToGive user database spilled over into the public domain. In the afternoon we opted to remove the news item until both groups could talk and come to some agreement.

Thankfully this seems to have been reach and V21 has issued a new press release, although this explains next to nothing:

Roger Sloman (uknetsuppliers org) and myself have now been in contact with each other and have come to a mutual agreement. There will not be any further action taken from either company and both parties are pleased that this 'blown out of proportion' disagreement has come to a successful conclusion.

Sadly this doesn't say who now has the rights to the IGTG customer base since UK Net Suppliers had stated their intention to help revive the service themselves. We'd guess V21 does unless customers hear otherwise.

BTs New CE Takes Point

By:mark.j @ 9:59:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Much as reported during early January 2002, BTs new CE (chief executive), Ben Verwaayen, officially took the helm of the operator yesterday after having spent the last three week touring/learning about the group.

News - February 1,2002

Marconi Improve BTs National Network

By:mark.j @ 4:00:PM - Comments (2) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The still troubled communications group Marconi has managed to sign a 3 year deal to enhance BT Wholesale’s national network. The deal, which is worth a cool £30Million, is mostly software related:

The deal will enable BT's phone lines to carry more traffic. Development of the technology has already started at Marconi's Liverpool and Coventry sites.

Marconi's chief executive Mike Parton says: "This Marconi solution will enable BT to continue to provide the highest quality services to its customers and keep its options open for future possibilities."


Unfortunately the Ananova item doesn't give much away regarding the more technical aspects of Marconi's deal, although no doubt they'd just be happy to see some extra income.

UK Online Re-Launched

By:mark.j @ 3:51:PM - Comments (4) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Much as the title says, the governments UK Online website has finally gone live again following some important changes and improvements:

Improvements include a redesigned Citizen Space, with discussion groups called 'Your say' and life episodes called 'Your life'. Users can now book driving theory tests through the site.

The changes were made following research among users to find out how they wanted to use the service. The new design is based on feedback received from users since the site first went live.


More @ VNUNet.

V21's 0845 Service - Third Update

By:mark.j @ 3:31:PM - Comments (3) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Just a note to say that we contacted V21 about the confusion raised by some readers regarding 0845 charges and the ISP has now issued a correction:

Please note that calls to this number are charged at standard local rate. The actual cost is dependant on your telephone service supplier and the time of day that you use the number. This number is not free or discounted in any way.

V21 Apologises for any confusion caused by our previous mailings.


So there you have it, 0845 / LCR may be obvious to most readers, but it’s not clear to everybody and it certainly doesn’t cost 1ppm around the clock – provider dependant.

SneakyServers New Unmetered ISP

By:mark.j @ 11:21:AM - Comments (15) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The latest new unmetered dialup ISP to break into the world has been launched today by SneakyServers and has been nicknamed Sneaky 0800.

The website is basic and sparse, making it difficult to know exactly what's on offer and for how much, however it does appear to be gaming / multiplayer orientated.

From what we can tell it costs £14.99 per month and comes with NO 2 hour cut off and promises a first time connection. Most remarkably of all is that it supports 128Kbps (dual channel ISDN), although they do say that this may not always be achievable.

Most unmetered ISPs are forced to block 128Kbps access because it costs twice as much and thus this new and smaller service could well find itself in trouble if it doesn’t offer it as a second package. We're currently attempting to get more information, thanks to Paul for pointing them out.

Force9's Updated Unmetered Package

By:mark.j @ 10:10:AM - Comments (3) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The smaller offspring of unmetered and broadband ISP PlusNET, Force9, has launched an updated version of their mutual Connect Lite User package (Thanks John).

Now instead of costing just £6.99 per month for 20hours of bulk/basic unmetered access, the price has been raised by £2 to £8.99 and includes a domain name and hosting:

Unmetered Internet access at any time, with a domain name and hosting - for under £10?

We are pleased to announce the launch of our updated Connect Lite User account, which now includes a domain name and hosting as part of the low monthly price.

For just £8.99 a month, you can connect to the Internet, check e-mail or chat online for up to 20 hours every week. As well as unmetered Internet access, our Connect Lite User account now provides you with a domain name and hosting as standard, as well as the wide range of features included with all Force9 Connect accounts for home users:

* Unlimited e-mail addresses
* 250MB of webspace
* Website Wizard
* Fax2e-mail
* Support for MySQL/PHP/Perl
* My Control Panel - manage every aspect of your account online


As an existing Connect Lite User, you can easily upgrade your account to take advantage of this great-value offer. You can upgrade with just a few clicks via the My Control Panel section of the Force9 portal - http://www.force9.net . This option will be available from Friday 1st February. If you don't want to take advantage of this upgrade, your Connect Lite User account will stay as it is until you choose to do so.


The update, which was dragged from our forums, has already seen some reader speculation as to whether it's worth the extra £2 per month for the long-term.

Tiscali & Time ISP Deal Threatened

By:mark.j @ 10:03:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Many may remember how the Tiscali UK ISP brought Tiny Computer's ISP division (Tiny Online) from them for a cool sum of £8Million during August 2001 last year.

Today that deal is under threat following Time Computers recent acquisition of Tiny Computers:

However, following the sale of Tiny the arrangement with Tiscali is now being looked at by bosses at Time.

Time already pre-installs Supanet – its preferred ISP - onto its PCs and would, no doubt, be eager to see this relationship extended to Tiny machines.

A spokesman for Time said it was too early to say what would happen except that "all service agreements will be reviewed".


The Register reports that Tiscali is also reviewing the deal from their end, although Time was keen to state that Supanet is to be pushed as the providers exclusive ISP. This isn't to say Tiny's resources couldn't be switched if truly needed; it's just less likely to end the deal with Tiscali.

Freeserve ISP Cuts 18 Jobs

By:mark.j @ 9:55:AM - Comments (2) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Following on from PlusNET, which recently had to cut 20 jobs from its workforce, Wanadoo owned Freeserve has been the next provider to cut its staff number by a count of 18.

Most of those to loose their employment will apparently come from Freeserve’s editorial and ad sales team, which is related to a five-month review of the company’s portal business:

A substantial restructuring of the company has been underway as a result of the review, which has lead to the job cuts and the creation of new positions elsewhere.

Five jobs within the editorial division have been earmarked for redundancy, with the remainder in the ad sales team.

Conversations are taking place at the moment and are likely to last a few weeks so it's impossible to tell how many people will be leaving Freeserve,” said the spokeswoman.


The ISP goes on to state that they'll actually have more staff once the restructuring is complete. More @ netimperative.com .

TW blueyonder Trial STB Broadband

By:mark.j @ 9:38:AM - Comments (0) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

Telewest's broadband cable-modem services from their blueyonder wing is to begin trials offering broadband via the DigitalTV STB (set-top-box) platform during the spring.

The DigitalSpy item reports that the STB is designed by Pace Micro Technology and will use wireless communications to connect the service to a PC, which is similar to NTL's new offer:

Pace's Gateway Expander device plugs into the ethernet port of the digital TV STB; the pcConnect device is then plugged into the USB port of a computer to complete the link. The system supports data transmission in excess of 512kbps, currently the maximum downstream speed available on the consumer version of Blueyonder.

The 'no wires' strategy is of marked difference to ntl:home's broadband STB service, in which customers use standard ethernet cable to connect their computers to the STB.


It's best to ignore that last paragraph above since NTL are currently trialling similar technology.

News - January 31,2002

V21's New 0845 Dialup Service

By:mark.j @ 3:36:PM - Comments (8) - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

It's nothing to shout about, although the unmetered dialup ISP V21 has been busy mailing its customers (thanks Julian) with news of a new service today:

V21 are pleased to annouce the sucessful launch of their 0845 dial up platform. This dial up access will also support 128k ISDN channel bonding. That means you can download twice as fast as before!

To use the 0845 platform simply copy all the setting of your current V21 dial up but change the number to

0845 *** ****


It's a bare bones Local Call Rate (LCR) service and no doubt some customers having problems connecting to their unmetered account will be able to use it to access basic services (E-Mail etc.).

It may be worth pointing out that V21 neglected to mention this was a LCR service, which could cause problems since a vast amount of people may be unable to recognise the standard charge behind 0845 numbers and assume it's unmetered.

Global/Top ISPs To Meet

By:mark.j @ 3:31:PM - - SendNews [HERE] / PrintNews [HERE]

The Global Internet Alliance, which was established over a year ago during 2000, will soon meet once again to discuss improving Internet access for people around the world.

ISPs from the UK, Japan, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Germany, South Korea and Brazil will attend the Brazilian meeting:

The meeting in Sao Paulo is being hosted by Brazil's Universo Online, Latin America's largest ISP with 1.5m subscribers.

Company spokeswoman Celina Monteiro de Barros says the main topics of discussion during the two-day meeting are international roaming, instant messaging standards and international ecommerce.

She says the topics represent "the three principal pillars of support for the establishment of an international ISP network".


More @ Ananova.


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