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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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The New 2023 BMW 3 Series Avoids A Huge Grille Mistake

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The base 2023 BMW 330i and 330e PHEV get a moonroof, power front seats, open-pore wood oak interior trim, a sport steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, and sport seats. Also standard is BMW’s curved display comprising a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch center touchscreen powered by the latest-gen iDrive 8 OS. The system includes cloud-based BMW Maps with connected parking, a BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (that replies to touch and speech commands), 5G connectivity, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto with Sirius XM.

Meanwhile, the M340i has M sport brakes with blue calipers, variable sport steering, an M sport differential, M sport suspension, and an aero body kit with a rear spoiler. Optional features include the Driving Assistance Package (lane departure warning, active blind-spot detection, park distance control, and more), the Dynamic Handling Package, and the Premium Package (heated steering wheel, lumbar support, heated seats, etcetera). BMW will announce pricing for its 2023 3 Series nearer its official July 2022 launch date, but we expect base prices to start at $42,000 for the 330i and about $55,000 for the M340i. The first deliveries will arrive later this year.

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FDA Authorizes Pfizer Booster For Children 5 And Older

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In order to test the efficacy of the single Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for children between 5 and 11 years of age, the agency monitored 400 children who received it anywhere between five to nine months after the primary series of dosages that involved two jabs. Coming to the side effects part of the booster shot, the U.S. FDA lists fatigue, headache, chills, fever, muscle or joint pain, pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.

Talking about the decision, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf noted more kids have fallen ill and been hospitalized in the Omicron wave, complete with the risk of long-term effects on body systems even after a mild illness. With an official nod for the administration of a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 5 years of age, the agency aims to provide a stronger line of defense against COVID-19.

Pfizer, on the other hand, estimates that more than 8 million children in the age group of 5 to 11 years have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccination and are eligible for a booster shot. Citing data from a clinical trial, the company claims that the booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can produce antibodies that are capable of neutralizing both the Omicron variant as well as the wild-type COVID-19 virus.

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Old Pieces Of Technology That Still Work Today

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Before airplanes really took off, the best and sometimes only way to travel long distances over the air was the airship. In fact, the first airship lifted off more than fifty years before the Wright brothers achieved the first powered flight.

Instead of achieving lift through the physics of wing design, they used lighter-than-air gases to raise themselves into the air. Even after airplanes hit the mainstream, airships were a common way to travel trans-oceanic distances that planes couldn’t yet handle. The Hindenburg disaster more or less ended the airship’s tenure as a mode of travel and the number of blimps or zeppelins you were likely to see in the sky decreased dramatically.

Today, there are only 25 blimps still in operation and they’re largely used for advertising purposes, (via Reader’s Digest). While the airship appears to be a slowly dying technology, that might be about to change.

As explained by SingularityHub, several companies are working toward reviving airships as a method of passenger or cargo transportation. Instead of taking a flight around the world, the next generation of airships could offer slower, more ponderous and comfortable, journeys more akin to flying cruise ships.

One company, Ocean Sky Cruises, is offering flights from Svalbard to the North Pole by airship beginning in 2024. Passengers will get their own cabin and all meals and drinks included. The only downside is the price tag of two million Swedish Krona, or roughly $200,000 USD.

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