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People calling for NBN write-down actually want dramatic price cut: NBN CEO

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The company responsible for deploying the National Broadband Network (NBN) across Australia has maintained that there are no impairment issues that would see the company needing to write down the value of the company, and that those calling for such action are just after a wholesale price cut.

“When people say there should be a write-down, I don’t think that is what they are really calling for. Essentially, they are calling for the wholesale price to fall dramatically,” NBN CEO Stephen Rue told the Joint Standing Committee looking into the business case for the NBN on Monday.

“Calls for a large wholesale price cut puts at risk the long-term viability of the company … without that, I truly believe you put at the digital future of the country, and all the benefits that flow.”

Rue said the company wants retailers to be successful, but that the NBN needs to have enough cash to complete the build, and maintain and upgrade the network. The NBN CEO also restated that the network build would be complete in 2020.

In October, NBN chair Ziggy Switkowski ruled out a write-down, saying the ability to properly value the network would not happen until the 2020s.

Read: NBN chair rules out network write-down

“I think considerations and evaluations of NBN will await the business moving into a normal conventional mode, which will happen when we finish the building in 2020, we complete the conversion of all households and businesses in 2021, we turn cashflow positive, we look forward, and then whoever is going to make a judgment will make it then,” Switkowski said at the time.

Australian Treasurer cum Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year also told ZDNet that the government is not looking to write down the NBN.

“We said at the time that that was not a view that we had held as necessary. It’s not our advice, and it’s still no longer the issue, and we continue to maintain I think a very sound commercial footing for the NBN and the assumptions it’s based on,” Morrison said.

“And of course it has to pass muster on those issues when it comes to identifying and defining the nature of the debt and other finance that’s going into the project, so I mean these aren’t arbitrary decisions that are made, they are subjected to standards on the accounts, and they’re meeting those standards and we expect they will continue to.”

An hour before Rue stepped in front of the joint committee, Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt took to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything session.

Britt said the CVC pricing from the NBN is preventing the company from offering unlimited data plans on speeds faster than 100Mbps.

“The CVC pricing construct is the primary limiter here, we’ve only got 2.5Mbps of CVC allocated under the bundled model and someone on an unlimited plan on those higher tiers would have the potential to really cause some damage,” Britt said.

Contrary to those running the NBN, the Aussie Broadband boss believes the only way for NBN prices to come down is via a write-down.

“I believe we will see the price of the 100Mbps tier reduce over time, but it will require a government write-down of NBN for this to occur. They can’t hold onto the AU$51 [average revenue per user] amounts they are trying to achieve because the mobile guys will wipe the floor with them,” Britt said.

Britt warned that services such as 5G fixed-wireless will put pressure on pricing and hit the NBN’s profitability, meaning that the write-down will be required before any cut flows to consumers, which Britt predicted could come with a change of government.

“I don’t believe we will see higher than 100/40Mbps for a ‘reasonable’ say under AU$100 price point anytime soon,” he said.

Also see: Good enough 5G fixed-wireless broadband could change everything

On the business side, the MD said Aussie Broadband is looking to double its customer base to 200,000 in the next 12 months, and has 26 percent of its customers on 100Mbps plans. Britt also flagged that Aussie Broadband would look to introduce a NetComm 4G backup modem in 2019.

Contrary to the narrative on social media, Britt said the NBN are “actually not bad” to work with, and “genuinely” try to help.

“The most frustrating part for us is customers who have unrealistic expectations, and they don’t take what we tell them as being the best we can possibly do,” he said.

Ever since the NBN relaunched its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, Britt said Aussie Broadband had seen improved performance, and the network has become much more stable.

As a middle ground between price and speed, Britt said fibre-to-the-curb is the better solution than returning back to full fibre-to-the-premises, and should be added as an option to NBN’s Technology Choices program that allows users to pay for a better connection technology.

“I think the ship has sailed on that one, I think the best we can hope for is more FttC in the network,” he said.


(Image: APH)

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NBN unveils new chief financial officer

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NBN gives itself until September to get fixed wireless congestion sorted

By late September 2019, NBN wants less than 1 percent of its fixed wireless towers under its 6Mbps in busy hours threshold.

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Bob Iger Comments On The Apple Buying Disney Rumors In His Town Hall

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Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has publicly dispelled any rumors Apple is going to merge with the mouse-centered media giant. During a town hall with Disney employees, Iger described talk of an Apple takeover as “pure speculation” (via The Hollywood Reporter). While these rumors have been dismissed, talk of Apple acquiring Disney is nothing new. Iger himself had previously talked about a possible merger with the tech giant. In a 2021 interview with CNBC, the then retired Disney CEO speculated that Apple and Disney would have merged had Steve Jobs not died in 2011. Iger spoke about Jobs’ love of combining technology and creativity before talking about the hypothetical takeover. He said: “I’m pretty convinced we would have had that discussion. I think we would have gotten there,” (via 9to5Mac).

Iger did confirm some major Disney news during the call, though it isn’t as exciting as a merger between two of the world’s largest companies. He said that a hiring freeze put in place by his predecessor, Bob Chapek, will remain. Iger also confirmed that, as well as not being acquired, Disney had no plans to acquire any other companies during his second tenure. Disney has made a number of high-profile acquisitions over the years, with several of its most notable occurring during Iger’s first stint as CEO.

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The Secret Photos Feature That Makes Your Hidden And Recently Deleted Photos More Secure

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Much like with Notes, you can now set passwords for the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums in Photos and keep them locked and secure. This MacOS Ventura feature is enabled by default. You would be required to key in your Mac computer’s login password or use Touch ID to gain access to either of the two albums.

This is especially useful for people who regularly transfer photos into a secret space within the Photos app so that other people who may have access to the machine won’t be able to snoop and view private shots that easily. You can keep photos from being displayed in your library by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. From the sidebar, hit “Library.”
  3. Pick the photo or group of photos you’d like to conceal.
  4. Choose “Image” from the menu bar that runs along the top of the computer screen, then hit “Hide [number] Photos.”
  5. Click “Hide” to finalize.

Marked photos will then be moved into the “Hidden” photos folder, which can be accessed by going to “Library” again in the sidebar and hitting “View” from the menu bar in order to “Show Hidden Photo Album.” Since the password-lock feature is automatically turned on for the secret folder on MacOS Ventura, you may be required to enter your login password or use Touch ID (if you have it set up) to display hidden photos again.

In addition to hidden photos being password protected, other users who hop on your Mac computer will not be able to just check out or recover any newly deleted photos. Photos that were moved into the Recently Deleted album can be restored and moved back into the main Photos library within the period of time stated for each file.

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Sony Just Kicked Off A Huge ‘End Of Year’ Sale On PS4, PS5 Games

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In all, there are just over 800 items on sale across both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Not everything is games, however, as there are some expansions, add-on packs, and other forms of DLC that are also included in the savings. Filtering out the extras, it’s closer to 600 (573 or so) games and game bundles.

There is, of course, plenty of older stuff in the mix like 2013’s “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag,” “Knack,” and “Murdered: Soul Suspect” (wow, remember that one?). But there are also a fair number of newer titles that are being discounted as well. If you were curious about “Gotham Knights” or you really want the X-Factor Edition of “NHL 23,” both are up for grabs at around 50% off. But if you want something that moves a little faster, there’s also the Digital Deluxe version of “Sonic Frontiers” for 30% off ($48.99).

If you want to check out the full list, you can find it over at the PlayStation Store or hop onto the online shop via your PS4 or PS5 console. Just look for “End of Year Deals,” or open the intrusive ad Sony most likely dropped in your system’s main menu.

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