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Mobile downloads tiny against fixed line in final ABS Internet Activity report

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(Image: ABS)

While the number of Australian subscribers on both broadband and mobile connections rises steadily by single digits, the amount of data downloaded continues to increase by an order of magnitude more.

In its final Internet Activity report before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) takes over, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said data downloaded over mobile handsets had increased from 175 petabytes in the three months to June 2017 to 247 petabytes in the three months to June 2018, a 41 percent rise.

Across the same period of time, data on fixed-line broadband grew by 28 percent to 3.7 exabytes by June 2018. This means mobile handset data accounts for a mere 6.6 percent of that used by fixed line.

In April 2015, mobile handset data made up 4 percent of total data downloaded.

Meanwhile, data over wireless connections — which includes satellite, fixed-wireless, mobile dongles, and tablet SIM cards — grew by 48 percent to 123 petabytes as of June 2018.

The ABS also called out the shifting makeup of Australian broadband technology, with a million DSL users disappearing in the year to June 2018, and fibre seeing an extra 1.5 million users to 3.6 million. Mobile wireless saw an extra 450,000 connections, while hybrid fibre-coaxial cable connections dropped by 73,000 over the same time period.

Overall, almost 1 million more broadband connections where added across the nation, growing by 3.6 percent to 14.7 million in total.

For mobile handsets, the number of subscribers grew by 1.1 percent to 27 million.

The ABS Internet Activity report was previously run twice a year, and covers internet subscribers as at the end of June and December, capturing a snapshot of the download activity in the three months from April to June, and again from October to December.

In October 2016, the ABS said it was looking at chopping some of its lower-priority reports to see if others could take over due to the agency suffering under funding cuts.

The ACCC is hardly a neophyte in terms of collecting internet-related data. The commission already produces its NBN speed-monitoring report, as well as its NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report.

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These Are 3 Of The Worst EVs Of All Time

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If you walk into any Chevrolet dealership today, you are more than likely to see a few Chevy Sparks on the lot. The current model is equipped with a 1.4L four-cylinder engine that puts out a grand total of 98 horsepower. It’s Chevy’s cheapest car at just under $14,000 and offers features like CarPlay standard. Until recently, some new Sparks could be configured with manual crank windows — truly innovative.

Back in 2013, General Motors made an all-electric version of the Spark to comply with California’s (new at the time) emissions regulations (via Green Car Reports). The result was a less than valiant effort. Its motors were assembled just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and shipped all the way to GM’s operations in South Korea for production.

For specs, the Spark wasn’t weak at 140 horsepower and over 300 foot-pounds of torque, but it only had a realistic range of about 80 miles, and it took more than seven hours to charge without a fast charger. An Edmunds review of the 2016 model noted that charging from a 110-volt outlet took over 20 hours for a full battery. To make matters worse, Spark EVs in the United States were only offered in Oregon, California and Maryland, according to Edmunds. 

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Which Is The Better Electric Car?

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If you prioritize acceleration, battery range, and self-driving technology, the Tesla Model 3 is the clear winner. However, the Polestar 2 comes on top if you consider comfort and interior quality. Besides that, the Polestar 2 is a hatchback with hints of a premium Volvo and the Tesla Model 3 is a sedan similar to the Model S — but smaller.

As for the price, the 2023 Polestar 2 starts at $48,800. If you’re buying the 2022 model, it will cost you about $2,500 less than the 2023 model. But if you want the 2023 Long Range Dual Motor trim, it will cost you about $51,900. The biggest improvement of the 2023 Polestar 2 over the 2022 model year is the 11 miles of extra range on the Long Range Dual Motor variant.

The Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive starts at $46,990, while the Long-Range trim is sold at $54,490. The Tesla Model 3 Performance is the most expensive trim at $61,990. But with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, the Tesla Model 3 will become eligible for the $7,500 tax credit starting January 1, 2023 — although only the trims that are sold for less than $55,000 will be considered.

Unless Volvo builds the Polestar 2 in the U.S., it won’t qualify for the new tax incentive under the Inflation Reduction Act. However, we know Volvo is building an electric SUV in the U.S., and it will be known as the Polestar 3. 

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Google Stadia Shutdown Took Employees, Game Devs By Surprise

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Video game designer and founding member of multiple game studios, Rebecca Heineman shared on Twitter that her company was lined up for a Stadia game release on the first day of November, but instead got heartbreak. Indie developer Simon Roth mentioned that neither did he receive any warning in advance from Google, nor did the Stadia division reach out to him via email or phone well after the news broke out.

But it was not just indie developers that Google kept in the dark. Even heavyweights like Bungie, which brought users “Halo” and “Destiny” games, were apparently unaware of the Stadia bombshell dropping out of nowhere. Plaion, which owns multiple publishing units and ten game studios, also pointed out that it wasn’t informed in advance. Publishers Goldfire Studios and No More Robots told Kotaku that they each had a game coming out on Stadia next year.

Pixel Games shared that it finalized the deal to bring no less than three games over to Google’s cloud gaming service just a day earlier. Google, on the other hand, is reportedly working with the affected studios with schemes like reimbursing the costs of development and porting existing games to its platform. According to an Axios report, Stadia reps are reaching out to publishing and development partners with reimbursement deals.

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