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ACCC happy with competition level in NBN aggregation

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(Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not demand that dark fibre and National Broadband Network (NBN) wholesale aggregation service providers hand over pricing and supply data, after saying on Thursday it was happy with the level of competition.

“The ACCC considers that competition in the market for NBN aggregation services is developing as the NBN rollout continues, and that this has largely addressed customer concerns,” the watchdog said in a statement.

Such services are used by smaller NBN retailers to reach customers where they do not own infrastructure. Alongside dark fibre and NBN aggregators, the Commission added that other alternatives are available, such as NBN’s virtual network-network interface product.

“We have seen significant recent developments in this market, including the entry of more providers, a bigger variety of products, and more reliable passing through of NBN price discounts and product launches to wholesale customers,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

Under the proposed rules, dark fibre providers and NBN aggregators would have had to report quarterly on the supply and price of services.

Earlier this month, the ACCC decided to oppose the merger between TPG and Vodafone Australia.

The Commission said it believed the merger would substantially lessen competition, and that TPG had the commercial incentive to roll out a mobile network.

“TPG is the best prospect Australia has for a new mobile network operator to enter the market, and this is likely the last chance we have for stronger competition in the supply of mobile services,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Wherever possible, market structures should be settled by the competitive process, not by a merger which results in a market structure that would be subject to little challenge in the future. This is particularly the case in concentrated sectors, such as mobile services in Australia.”

In response, Vodafone Australia and TPG are heading to Federal Court for a merger approval.

The ACCC’s record in opposing mergers is far from spotless, and on Wednesday had its proceedings to prevent a merger between Pacific National and Aurizon rail companies be dismissed in Federal Court.

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Although 91% of the total volume of data downloaded is through fixed-line and wired connections.

ACCC questions fairness of NBN basic pricing

With the gap between basic 12Mbps plans and 50Mbps plans closing, the ACCC questions the fairness of NBN plans compared to existing ADSL plans.

Cryptocurrency scams took over AU$6m from Australians in 2018: ACCC

While hacking scams accounted for over AU$3 million in reported losses.

Google rejects ACCC’s calls to have tougher scrutiny over Australian operations

The search giant believes that if the consumer watchdog holds any particular concerns, it is welcome to investigate under existing Australian law.

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How To Earn Microsoft Reward Points While Playing Your Xbox Series X|S

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If you have an Xbox Series X or S, that means you already have a Microsoft account, and, presumably, you’ve linked the account to your console. If you haven’t, you’ll need to sign into the Microsoft account you want to use for earning rewards, so that when you play games and make purchases, the points go toward that particular email address. You can check out the points you’ve already earned, as well as various ways to earn more points, by heading over to the Microsoft Rewards user portal on the Bing website. You can also use the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox.

If you want to grow your points by playing Xbox games, you’ll need to sign up for the Xbox Game Pass subscription, which provides customers with a large library of games they can play, as well as some other perks. Points are earned by completing quests in games that are available in the Game Pass library. Microsoft says you can view these quests in the Rewards app under the Xbox Games Pass section. If you haven’t yet downloaded the app, you can get a snapshot look at how the rewards process works on the Xbox Games Pass Quests web page.

According to Microsoft, it adds new quests to this section of the Rewards app on a daily basis. Keep in mind that you’ll need to manually head over to that part of the app when you finish a quest in order to redeem the points. Once those points have been applied to your account, however, you’ll be able to redeem them for rewards within the same app.

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The 1993 Aston Martin Concept Car Perfect For Any James Bond Villain

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Cream leather, chrome, white dials, and a thin-rimmed steering wheel tell the story of an Art Deco cabin modernized for the mid-1990s. The dashboard, pedals, and wheel featured extensive nickel plating, says David Dowsey, while the dashboard was made from a single piece of laminated beech wood.

According to a Discovery documentary about Lagonda — and in what must have felt thoroughly futuristic at the time — the concept featured an integrated satellite navigation system and built-in laptop computers for rear passengers (or Bond villains) to work on. A final flourish saw the car’s steering wheel move out of the way when the driver’s door was opened.

Although it would surely have been toned down for a production version, the concept’s retro interior details are reminiscent of the Jaguar S-Type that arrived in 1999. At the time, both Jaguar and Aston Martin (as well as Land Rover, Lincoln, and Volvo) were part of the Ford-owned Premier Automotive Group.

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Netflix And GM Have Teamed-Up For A New Super Bowl 2023 Ad Featuring Will Ferrell

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According to a press release from General Motors, the auto giant teamed up with Netflix during past championship games to show off its then-brand-new Ultium EV platform. This year, the ads feature former “Saturday Night Live” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” star Will Ferrell driving around a new GMC Sierra EV in the Netflix original “Army of the Dead.” An ad also features Will Ferrell in the back of a Chevy Blazer EV in the “Squid Game” universe.

Netflix says that it’s already committed to putting as many EVs in its original programming as it can. As such, a Chevy Bolt will be present in an upcoming season of “Love is Blind,” a Bolt EUV will appear in “The Brothers Sun,” a GMC Hummer will star in “Queer Eye,” and Rob Lowe will drive around a Cadillac Lyriq in “Unstable.” 

Blatant product placement can be hit or miss, especially when it comes to a huge financial decision like a car. However, stuffing shows full of EVs with the help of GM is certainly one way to get people talking about electric cars.

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