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Gold Coast details fibre and Wi-Fi network expansion plans



The proposed fibre-optic network for the City of Gold Coast

The City of Gold Coast has announced more details of its fibre-optic network expansion, with the main Central Loop of the project set to be completed this financial year.

In Extension of the City-owned optic fibre network: Contractor Briefing tender documents, the City of Gold Coast revealed that the network will consist of three loops: The Central Loop for FY19 completion; the Northern Loop, to be completed the following year; and the Southern Loop, to be completed in FY21.

The Central Loop would include Miami depot, Miami aquatic centre, Burleigh Heads library, Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club, Burleigh Waters library, Robina library, Robina community centre, Mudgeeraba community centre, Mudgeeraba waste transfer station (WTS), Carrara depot, Nerang library, Molendinar WTS, Molendinar water treatment plant, Waterside West, Waterside East, Karp Court, Nerang Admin Building, Nerang Bicentennial, and Varsity Parade.

It would see the fibre-optic network expanded out to Nerang, Helensvale, Broadbeach, Miami, Palm Beach, Currumbin, and Coolangatta, and north past Coomera towards Ormeau and Jacobs Well.

The City of Gold Coast also revealed that it is seeking a panel of telco specialists to work across seven packages: Broadbeach to Miami; Miami to Burleigh Heads; Burleigh Heads Business Centre; Miami to Varsity; Bond University to Robina; Parkwood to Nerang; and Nerang to Robina.

The Gold Coast will also gain new Wi-Fi zones across Burleigh, Miami, and Nobbys foreshores; Waterside precinct; Cultural precinct; Nerang Admin precinct; Robina community centre; all libraries; and its Health and Knowledge Precinct.

This is in addition to its existing Wi-Fi zones in Broadwater Parklands, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, and Coolangatta.

According to the tender documents, the delivery method should combine use of existing conduit networks in parks and roadways; new construction; use of council facilities such as optical transport network outdoor units, lighting and CTTV poles, and toilet blocks; a design change from cabinet distribution to underground access joint; and outdoor cabinets, Wi-Fi APs, and layer 2 network devices.

Project delivery on the Central Loop is set to begin on October 15, 2018, and be complete by June 17, 2019.

The City of Gold Coast had in August announced that it would be spending AU$10 million to add a 37-kilometre loop to its fibre-optic broadband network as part of its Digital City Program.

The expansion of the city-owned broadband network should provide AU$2.5 million through cost savings in addition to the revenue being made by wholesaling the network to retail service providers, according to the city.

Gold Coast chief innovation and economy officer Ian Hatton said the fibre network — currently a 65km network running between Helensvale and Broadbeach that cost AU$4.5 million to deploy — will “support accelerated deployment of 5G”.

“We’re developing a low-latency, high-core-count fibre optic network that has the capacity to deliver the fastest internet speeds in Australia. When finished, the network will be 100 times faster than what exists today,” Hatton said at the time.

The Queensland government had in April revealed that it was undertaking due diligence to assess whether it can provide capacity on its own fibre-optic network ahead of the limited fibre provision of the federal government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

In late August, the City of Gold Coast then announced that it will also be building out an Internet of Things (IoT) network covering more than 1,300 square kilometres, with plans to use the connectivity for digital water metering, waste management, and support for parks and fields.

The LoRaWAN network is likewise part of the city’s digitisation program, and is being built and operated by Australia’s National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo).

“We’re developing a secure, scalable, commercial-grade IoT network that will enable infinite use cases by businesses, enterprise, and the council,” Hatton said.

“We chose LoRaWAN technology because it supports large-scale deployments securely, reliably, and cost effectively. NNNCo have been engaged because of their proven ability to build the network and bring commercial solutions that have the potential to significantly add value to Gold Coast residents and businesses.”

The network being provided by NNNCo — which has also been chosen to build IoT networks for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie — will lower costs across water management, Hatton added, as well as enabling early detection of any issues.

As a result of hosting the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, the Gold Coast was also the first area in the nation to have a live 5G network courtesy of Telstra, as well as a trial 5G network from Optus that ran during the event.

According to the Queensland government’s submission to the to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network’s rural and regional rollout inquiry, it is additionally encouraging the uptake of “competitive” non-NBN fixed-wireless services in areas that are not yet ready to connect to the NBN.

Related Coverage

Gold Coast announces AU$10 million fibre broadband expansion

The City of Gold Coast is adding more areas to its fibre broadband network under an additional loop at a cost of AU$10 million.

Gold Coast announces IoT network

In addition to its fibre-optic broadband expansion and its 5G access via Telstra and Optus, the City of Gold Coast has announced that it is building an IoT network with NNNCo.

Optus launches ‘5G Live’ experience in the Gold Coast

Optus’ live indoor and outdoor trial 5G network in the Gold Coast is providing download speeds of up to 16Gbps, as well as demonstrating a range of 5G use cases including robotics and VR.

Telstra’s 5G network goes live in the Gold Coast

Telstra plans to switch on more than 200 ‘5G-capable sites’ by the end of 2018, starting in the Gold Coast.

Western Tasmania gains fibre broadband under NBN tech choice program

The government has finally made good on an election promise to provide fixed-line and fixed-wireless NBN connections instead of satellite to the West Coast of Tasmania.

5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

As LTE networks become increasingly saturated, mobile network operators are planning for the 5G future. Here is what business professionals and mobile users need to know about 5G.

Streaming media policy (Tech Pro Research)

Although there are many legitimate business reasons to access streamed audio and video files, such as engaging in training, reviewing industry-related content, and conducting research.

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Hyperion XP-1 hydrogen supercar has landed in Las Vegas



The Hyperion XP-1, touted as the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell supercar, has recently landed in Las Vegas to the delight of onlookers, residents, and motorists alike. However, it came to celebrate the first virtual CES 2021 instead of attempting to break the speed barrier.

The last time a supercar went to Vegas (and attempted a speed record run), it drew a ton of controversy. We’re talking about the SSC Tuatara, and it’s claimed two-way average run of 316.11 mph (508.73 kph) last October.

Meanwhile, Hyperion is taking it easy with its newest XP-1 supercar. Instead of ringing out every last ounce of power from its hydrogen fuel cells, the car was seen gallantly cruising past the historic Fountains of Bellagio and the Nevada desert.

It’s hard to believe the Hyperion XP-1 started life as an educational tool. The car is wearing some funky camouflage in the video, but we’ve all seen the XP-1 sans its vinyl covering. It has a carbon monocoque frame with titanium-infused body panels to reduce weight. And since it has no battery pack, the XP-1 tips the scales at 2,275 pounds (1,248 kg), which is around 475 pounds less than SSC’s Tuatara.

The XP-1 has carbon-fiber tanks to store hydrogen, and the entire fuel cell supplies power to four electric motors, one for each wheel. Each motor pumps out 500 horsepower for a total output of 2,000 rampaging horses. With that much power, the XP-1 is a scorcher. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in under 3.0-seconds and has a top speed of 221 mph.

When you run out of juice, the XP-1 is as easy to fill up as a gasoline-powered car, provided there’s a hydrogen refilling station nearby. With a full tank (or full tanks) of hydrogen, the XP-1 achieves 1,016 miles (1,635 kilometers) of driving range. Theoretically, the XP-1 can probably go longer than that with its array of solar panels on the sweeping C-section behind the doors.

The Hyperion XP-1 is slated to go on sale in late 2022, with the first customer deliveries arriving in early 2023. The company is only making 300 examples of the XP-1 at a still undetermined base price.

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Rumor claims upcoming Toyota GR Corolla won’t use hybrid power



Rumors have been swelling that Toyota is looking to add another hopped up compact car to its GR line of sports cars. Americans can’t get the cool GR Yaris, which we are rather bummed about. Rumor has suggested that Toyota will launch a GR Corolla sometime in 2023. Toyota has filed a trademark for the GR Corolla name, and insiders claim the car is definitely coming.

However, rumors suggest that the GR Corolla won’t use electrification. Odds are, the Corolla would use the same engine as the GR Yaris, which Toyota reportedly spent significant sums of money developing. The GR Corolla is expected to use the same platform as the GR Yaris, which would mean 257 horsepower and all-wheel-drive with rear-biased torque.

Pricing is a bit of a mystery as rumor sources haven’t shed any light on that front. It would undoubtedly cost more than the GR Yaris, priced in Europe at £33,000 for starters. The assumption would be a GR Corolla would be priced on par with rivals like the Golf R.

We’d love to think that Toyota’s need to recoup its development costs on the turbo three-cylinder engine used in the GR Yaris would mean the car would eventually come to the United States. There is no indication of that, and odds are American buyers may not want to spend what Toyota would try and charge for the car stateside.

We believe there is certainly a market left for hot hatchbacks and sporty cars in the United States. We love to see the segment make a comeback. It is also nice to hear that Toyota still plans to use non-electrified power plants in its performance cars for now. Many automakers are moving towards less powerful combustion engines supplemented by electric systems.

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BMW ends its car subscription program



For a while, it seemed as if the future of owning an automobile would be a subscription where you paid an ongoing monthly fee and had access to multiple car models from a single brand. Subscription programs were available from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and others for a while. BMW recently announced that it was canceling its subscription service that began in 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The subscription service cost more than $2000 per month and allowed subscribers to access different BMW vehicle models depending on their needs or wants at the time. We have to think the high price was part of the reason the service didn’t work. As for why it’s ending the subscription service, BMW has said that the program reached its capacity limits.

The service, called Access by BMW, never shared subscriber numbers, so it’s unclear how many people subscribed. BMW also says that Access by BMW was never intended to be more than a pilot. There were two tiers to the service, with entry-level users paying $2000 per month to use the X5 SUV and 4 or 5-series sedans.

Those wanting access to the exciting BMW vehicles had to pay $3700 per month. Those subscribers had access to the M4, M5, M6, and X5M. While many automakers are canceling their car subscription programs, Porsche is doing very well with its subscription service. Porsche caters to a more enthusiastic crowd than some luxury brands, which could add to its success.

Mainstream automakers, including Ford, also tried a subscription service, but Ford sold its service in 2019. Audi announced earlier this month that it was also ending its subscription service by the end of January. Audi has promised to create a new innovative experience for customers based on insights gained from its subscription service.

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