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NBN pricing remains too high, too complex, and uncertain: Telstra



NBN pricing remains too high, too complex, and uncertain says Telstra
Quite a bit of works remains on the pricing of the National Broadband Network, Telstra CEO Andy Penn has said.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn has said the changes introduced by NBN on Monday to its wholesale pricing will not have an economic impact on his company.

Speaking at Telstra’s investor day, Penn said since the company responsible for deploying the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia has not changed its average revenue per user (ARPU) outlook, nothing will change.

“Their outlook on ARPU hasn’t changed, and given that their ARPU is our cost, by definition, ergo it follows there is no upside from that,” Penn said.

The Telstra CEO said the telco’s position on NBN pricing remains the same following NBN announcing on Monday it would add 100/20, 250/25, and 1000/50Mbps speed tiers, allow retailers to pool unused CVC on a national basis, and create an allowance for TCP/IP headers above its layer 2 remit.

“Unfortunately they are creating more complexity into the system … they’ve introduced 100/20Mbps plan, we’ve got customers currently on 100/40Mbps, we’re now going to have to build a new product, think about how we migrate customers, complexity for customers in terms of why some are on 100/40Mbps and 100/20Mbps,” Penn said.

“Our position remains fundamentally the same, the prices are too high, the structure is too complex, the CVC just adds uncertainty, and I think it is going to continue to hold back the retail fixed broadband market until we see more fundamental change there.”

The introduction of the 1000/50Mbps speed tier drew the ire of former NBN board member and Internode founder Simon Hackett.

“1000/50 seems insane. TCP transfers are rare limited by the throughout of ACKs in the other direction. Think in terms of a circa 8:1 ratio,” Hackett tweeted.

“So that’s likely going to be limited in the real world to circa 400mb/s and when at that limit any other upload will be starved out. Nuts.”

Penn added that NBN should introduce a voice-only service, rather than having its 12/1Mbps plan as its entry-level tier.

“The price has been reduced on the 12/1 plan, but the wholesale price still comes up at about AU$30, which does not really facilitate an attractive voice only solution,” Penn said.

“There is some irony in that the area where we’ve seen the most improvement in NBN wholesale pricing is in 12/1 plans. Which, in a sense, creates a bit of a perverse incentive for customers to go the slowest possible speeds when the whole point of the NBN is to actually try and improve speeds.

“In fairness to NBN, they’ve also brought the price down at the really fast speeds as well, although there’s still ongoing challenges with the ability of most of the infrastructure to facilitate those higher speeds as well.”

Earlier in the day, Telstra said a quarter of its Android phones sold since July are 5G capable, and announced it was extending the reach of its 5G network with 15 additional regional cities in Australia’s eastern states having coverage switched on.

“In terms of our dense population coverage, proportion of devices that we’re selling that are 5G capable, we are probably second only to Korea,” Penn said.

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This Bugatti Divo Lady Bug’s geometric paint job is truly one-of-a-kind



The Bugatti Divo is a Chiron for the racetrack, but this Lady Bug version with its diamond-shaped fading patterns is best appreciated while the car is stationary. As if the Divo is not outrageous enough, one lucky customer in America wants to push the boundaries further. And as expected, Bugatti pulled it off, although it took quite a while to iron the challenges of creating an exclusive, one-off Lady Bug paint job.

“Every Bugatti Divo is one of a kind. With the custom-made ‘Lady Bug,’ Bugatti has demonstrated the full range of its customization expertise,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. The car really demonstrates what the marque is capable of in terms of creativity and craftsmanship.”

Creating Lady Bug’s geometric-dynamic algorithmic fading pattern seems easy on paper. Given the Divo’s three-dimensional sculpted body, the 2D digital patterns became distorted upon application to the car’s body, which is not good enough if you’re paying upwards of $5-million for a track-ready version of the Bugatti Chiron.

“The Lady Bug was an exceptional challenge and, at the same time, an unforgettable experience. Due to the nature of the project, where a 2D graphic was applied to a 3D sculpture, we were close to giving up,” said Jörg Grumer, Head of Color & Trim at Bugatti Design. “However, it is our profound conviction that we should never give up and that our foremost motivation should always be to make the impossible possible for the customer.”

The entire project took two years to complete as Bugatti CAD modelers simulated and created a diamond pattern design with around 1,600 individual diamonds in six-meter long transfer films. Each diamond (yes, all 1,600 of them) is checked and realigned in the body to rule out any distortions.

The designers spent countless hours rehearsing the application procedure on two test vehicles before the moment of truth.

“Every maneuver had to be exactly right in this painstaking task; therefore, we decided to do another rehearsal before the final stage of work. Because there could only be one attempt on the customer’s car, and that had to be perfect,” said Dirk Hinze, an expert in customization and surfaces at Bugatti.

The final step is applying the paint finish before painstakingly peeling away each diamond. The base color, Customer Special Red, is contrasted with graphite and clear coat to invert the pattern. According to Bugatti, it took the paintwork artist two weeks to sand, smooth, check, retouch, and re-sand every millimeter of the body surface.

The result is a one-of-a-kind Bugatti Divo Lady Bug, the only one in existence. It has a standard 8.0-liter W16 engine pumping out 1,479 horsepower. Since the Divo weighs less and has more downforce than a regular Chiron, it goes around the Nardo handling circuit a full eight seconds faster than the former.

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Hot Wheels Red Line Club vehicles no longer limited to members



In the year 2021, the Hot Wheels Collectors Club will expand with a digital option for memberships. With said membership, Hot Wheels will release the 2021 Red Line Club ’70 Boss 302 Mustang. This year’s Hot Wheels Red Line Club die-cast car will be the first to be offered without the membership limit, allowing “a more inclusive opportunity for fans 18+ to join the collector community and have access to the highest-quality cars.”

The Hot Wheels Red Line Club vehicles released over the past few years have become relatively sought-after and valuable – so long as they’ve been kept in good condition and are put up for auction and/or direct sale at the right time. In any case, Hot Wheels Red Line Club vehicles are some of the most extravagant collectable items released by Hot Wheels.

Hot Wheels Red Line Club vehicles released in the past were only initially made available to “a limited number of Hot Wheels Collectors members.” Now they’re expanding availability. “For the first time ever, Hot Wheels Collectors will lift its membership limit completely” for hot Wheels Red Line Club die-cast vehicles.

Of course there are still OTHER reasons why a person might want to join the Hot Wheels Collectors Club, like members-only forums, voting privileges, “exclusive content” and “excusive items.” Members also get “priority access to sales.” Take a peek at the Hot Wheels Collectors membership page to see what’s up with perks and the Red Line Club vehicle(s) coming next.

Does this lifting of restrictions on the Red Line Club car line affect you or your outlook on the vehicle line as a whole? Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on other recent Hot Wheels releases and stories from recent weeks on the state of Hot Wheels in our larger-sized world today.

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Lunaz adds classic Bentleys to its lineup of electrified British cars



British electric-conversion specialist Lunaz adds classic Bentleys to its lineup after dabbling with electric versions of vintage Rolls-Royces, Jaguars, and Range Rovers. Lunaz claims its 1962 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur is the “definitive Gran Turismo” and is the world’s first electric classic Bentley.

It starts with factory original and coach-built bodies of a Bentley Continental S1, S2, or S3 manufactured from 1955 to 1965, in a coupe and four-door Flying Spur body style. Visually, Lunaz has retained all the classic lines and creases of the original body, hammered and carved to perfection by Mulliner Park Ward. The only visual mod is the paint, custom-chosen by the buyer, of course.

Underneath that gorgeous body, though, is a different story. All the vintage bits and pieces are giving way to modern components. You won’t find a 6.2-liter V8 Bentley engine under the hood, and all the suspension and brake parts are new. Lunaz failed to discuss the powertrain specifics, but we’re assuming the Bentley will carry the same electric drivetrain as the firm’s very own electric Rolls-Royce Phantom V and Silver Cloud.

Powering the electric motors is a 120 kWh battery pack with enough energy to cover 300 miles of range. It also has modest oomph to push the Bentley from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds, not bad for an unassertive vintage British car.

Meanwhile, the interior is as British as a cup of tea. All the leather and walnut trim are there, with each piece carefully hand-restored to match the original. Lunaz also gave its classic Bentley a new retro-style infotainment screen and climate control system. Also, electric power steering is now standard.

After building its first customer car, Lunaz is now accepting orders for its limited run of electrified S1, S2, and S3 Bentley Continental variants. And as expected, the sub-$500k (£350,000) base price is sure to leave a gaping hole in your bank account. Nobody said a vintage electric Bentley would come cheap, right? Also, the build slots are ‘extremely limited,’ so better act quickly.

Lunaz Bentley Continental Gallery

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