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NBN launches gigabit-speed enterprise service

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(Image: NBN)

Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) company has launched its symmetrical gigabit-speed wholesale enterprise product after consulting and trialling with retail service providers including Telstra, Vocus, and TPG.

“NBN Enterprise Ethernet connections are designed to be built on request and includes a point-to-point fibre connection,” NBN explained on Tuesday.

“It will be packaged with a premium service-level agreement between NBN Co and retail providers to offer faster resolution of faults and to encourage retailers to offer an increased service experience for mission-critical applications.”

After launching a business operations centre aimed at providing dedicated customer support for business users back in August, NBN on Tuesday also announced that it will begin trialling “premium business-grade appointments”.

According to NBN, this could improve appointment time certainty for businesses.

NBN chief customer officer for Business Paul Tyler said the symmetrical gigabit product was developed with government needs and global customers in mind.

“It is capable of delivering the service required by businesses that use data-intensive applications such enterprise network systems and cloud-based solutions,” Tyler said.

“NBN Enterprise Ethernet is designed to meet an international standard capability set by the Metro Ethernet Forum, which means the new product can also benefit geographically dispersed sites through a seamless integration of networks between offices across the world.”

NBN said it now has over 450,000 businesses on the NBN, with around 20,000 being added each month, and that it will have further details on its wholesale business-grade satellite service in the next few months.

The satellite is targeted at agricultural businesses along with the oil, mining, and gas industries, NBN said, also flagging new wholesale discounts in future that bundle high speeds with “enhanced” service assurance after a year ago introducing a capped pricing model.

NBN had announced its wholesale business-grade satellite service in May, with the service to make use of underutilised spectrum from its existing satellites when it launches next year.

After signing a AU$184 million 10-year deal with Speedcast in February to work on the delivery of a Sky Muster business service, NBN has said it would have two wholesale category products.

The first, bandwidth services, is “designed for businesses with more complex networking requirements including wide-area network connections to multiple locations”, according to NBN executive GM for Access Products Gavin Williams.

Williams said the second product offering, broadband internet, is “designed for businesses requiring more broadband data, higher speeds, and business-grade service levels”.

NBN is expecting to launch the service in the first half of 2019, after “extensive consultation” of its potential pricing and products.

NBN’s new business customer experience, located in Melbourne’s Docklands area, meanwhile serves as retail service providers’ single point of contact for any issues in connecting business customers, managing service incidents, and restoring faults across NBN services.

In August, NBN said it would be “progressively” rolling out three new service capabilities over the next few months to its business division: Premium appointments; business-grade workforce training; and enterprise service-delivery management.

“Businesses will be able to select a specific appointment time through their internet provider based on their hours of operation, which aims to increase certainty and reduce disruption to their operations and customers,” NBN said at the time.

“Specialist business-grade technicians will be trained and upskilled to work in complex commercial premises to help improve ‘right the first time’ installations of NBN equipment and the restoration of business services when faults occur on the NBN access network.

“Multi-site migrations to the NBN access network will be simplified for businesses by bringing together the business end customer, relevant internet provider, and NBN Co to plan and deliver a coordinated migration plan.”

According to Tyler, the offerings and business operations centre are necessary because “many businesses have mission-critical data requirements”.

NBN in June signed a six-year deal with Macquarie Telecom for business services, with the retailer’s Business class NBN by Macquarie Telecom product offering including data, internet, voice, and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) business products; support staff based in Australia; and “coast-to-coast access to all sites in Australia”.

The product suite utilises NBN’s business-grade products such as asymmetrical (TC4), symmetrical (TC2), and enterprise Ethernet across a virtual network-to-network (v-NNI) link that allows it to access all NBN points of interconnect.

Tyler said the company is hoping to form similar partnerships with additional providers in future.

MacTel has since signed on Regional Australia Bank for the service.

Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also approved a variation to the migration plan that will see an in-train order (ITO) process providing business services with 170 business days to switch over to the NBN before their legacy services are disconnected.

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Callaway Chevy Silverado SC602 Signature Edition trounces Ram TRX in a drag race

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American performance vehicle builder Callaway Cars has debuted its newest creation: The Chevy Silverado SC602 Signature Edition, now officially the best sleeper truck on the road. How fast? Hold your breath: This Chevy Silverado has trounced the mighty RAM TRX in a drag race. That’s saying a lot since Ram made it clear the TRX is “the quickest, fastest, and most powerful mass-produced truck in the world.”

But as it turns out, Callaway has other plans. The company has a long and cherished history of building quirky yet high-end performance cars like the C4 Corvette Sledgehammer and C7 Corvette AeroWagen. However, what we really love about the Silverado SC602 is the way it looks.

It may resemble a factory-stock Chevy Silverado from some angles, but there are telltale signs of the truck’s outstanding stoplight-to-stoplight ability. Like those 20 or 22-inch Callaway lightweight wheels, for instance, or the bevy of chrome Callaway exterior badging, including a bold CALLAWAY script on the carbon fiber front grille.

As with any Callaway vehicle, what matters most is hiding under the sheet metal. The SC602 starts life as a Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss, RST, LTZ, or High Country with a standard 6.2-liter V8 motor and four-wheel drive. Next, Callway installs a GenThree Eaton TVS R2650 Supercharger with a TripleCooled intercooler. The blower offers 15-percent more displacement yet requiring 18-percent less power output.

It doesn’t stop there. The truck also gets a high-flow intake, low-restriction stainless steel dual outlet exhausts with quad exhaust tips, and a bespoke Callaway ECU with custom tuning. After all the dirty engine work is complete, the Callaway Silverado SC60’s blown V8 is now pumping out 602 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

But wait, the Ram TRX’s Hellcat V8 makes 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, 100 more horses (and 90 more torques) than Callaway’s truck, so how did it trounce the Ram? Two words: weight and tires. The Silverado SC602 tips the scales at only 5,820 pounds (2640 kg), while the Ram TRX weighs around 7,080 (3,211 kg) pounds.

The result is nothing short of astonishing. The SC602 goes from zero to 60 mph in 4.3-seconds, zero to 100 mph in 9.80-seconds, and breaks the quarter-mile in 12.5-seconds @ 113 mph. Meanwhile, the Ram TRX goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.99-seconds, a bit quicker than the Chevy.

But the latter is faster from zero to 100 mph as the Ram needed 10.14 seconds to perform the deed, proof of the Callaway Silverado SC60’s mid to high-range pulling power. And yeah, those sticky performance tires were partly responsible for the Callaway’s drag strip prowess.

What’s more, the Silverado SC602 is 50-state emissions compliant and carries a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty to supplement Chevy’s bumper-to-bumper warranty. Other goodies include aluminum door sills, billet aluminum pedals, an Alcantara-covered horn cover, and ID plaques to let other people know you’re driving the genuine article.

How much? We have no idea. But you can get in touch with Callaway if you fancy the ultimate Ram-beating sleeper truck.

Callaway Chevy Silverado SC602 Signature Edition Gallery

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Ford reveals the custom 2021 Mustang Mach-E to be given away for charity

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Ford has supported various charities for a long time, often donating customized automobiles to be auctioned off. Each year Ford offers a customized car for the AirVenture charity, and typically that car is a Ford Mustang of some sort with a big V8 engine under the hood. This year, the car Ford is donating to the charity is a different kind of Mustang.

Ford has revealed the customized electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E that will be auctioned off this year. The vehicle was built to honor the sacrifices of Women Air Force Service Pilots. The special Mach-E is inspired by the female volunteer pilots and the planes they flew during World War II.

Proceeds from the vehicle auction support the EAA initiative to provide young women and underserved youths more access to careers in the aviation industry. Ford notes that it has worked with AirVenture for more than two decades and has donated 12 custom aviation-themed performance vehicles so far, raising a total of more than $4 million. 2021 marks the first year Ford has donated an electric vehicle.

The custom Mach-E was designed by Ford and has a custom paint scheme with military badging inspired by the warplanes the volunteers flew. Women Air Force Service Pilots flew almost every type of military aircraft in World War II as they rolled off the factory floor after assembly. Ford put badges, including the US Army Air Force star on both sides, wings logos on the hood and fender, and No. 38 on the front fascia, rear bumper, and inside the cabin.

That number represents the 38 volunteers who died serving their country. Women Air Force Service Pilots are a group of American volunteers who transported warplanes to US Army bases worldwide to be used in combat. The female pilots flew more than 60 million miles during the war and weren’t recognized as active military personnel until 1977 when the pilots were granted retroactive military status.

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This Porsche 911 Turbo S pays homage to Mexican driving ace Pedro Rodriguez

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In collaboration with Porsche Latin America, Porsche Mexico, and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, German automaker Porsche has built a custom 911 Turbo S in memory of the late, great Pedro Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the most successful Mexican racing driver of all time.

He walked away with 11 titles in the World Championship of Makes – now known as the World Endurance Championship – and helped Porsche capture the crown in 1970 and 1971 aboard a Porsche 917 KH in Gulf Oil livery. Rodriguez claimed two Formula Grand Prix wins, four wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, and a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans before losing his life in 1971 at the Norising street circuit in Nuremberg, Germany.

Fifty years on after that fateful and deadly crash, Porsche is reliving the glory days with a custom 911 Turbo S ‘One of a Kind’ Pedro Rodriguez. The car debuted at a Sportscar Together Day event at the Centro Alto Rendimineto in Toluca, Mexico, where it drew oohs and ahhs with its custom Gulf attire.

Porsche claims the 911 Turbo S ‘One of a Kind’ Pedro Rodriguez is, well, genuinely one of a kind. “This configuration, with these specific details and equipment, has been locked in the Porsche configurator, as well as in the production system, so that this car is literally unrepeatable,” said Camilo San Martin, Director of Porsche Mexico.

Wearing the iconic Gulf Blue paint with single orange striping, it also has custom high-gloss black wheels, an aluminum center lock, and a black number 2 in a white circle graphic on the doors and front hood. Look closely at the B-pillar and you’ll find a silhouette of the 917 KH race car wearing the colors off the Mexican flag, complete with the name and signature of Pedro Rodriguez.

Other bespoke elements include unique carbon moldings on the lower door frames (which illuminate when the doors are open), Graphite Blue leather seats with orange stitching, and an engraved tribute of the eight races that Rodriguez won aboard the Porsche 917 KH under the rear spoiler.

Also included are a Gulf Blue key fob (with Rodriguez’s signature) and a luggage set wearing the same blue and orange colors. It still has a turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six pumping out 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox under the hood.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S Pedro Rodriguez will hit the auction block later this year. Porsche will donate the auction proceeds to various charities.

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