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TPG is still king of NBN speed report

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TPG has claimed first place for the third consecutive time in the fifth broadband speed-monitoring report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), delivering 89% of its maximum plan speeds overall and 88% during busy hours for downloads in the first measurements for 2019.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) speed report [PDF], which collected measurements between February 1 and February 28, 2019, saw winner of the second ACCC report Aussie Broadband come in second, providing 87% of maximum download speeds overall and 86% in busy hours; followed by Optus, at 86% and 85%; Exetel, at 86% and 82%; iiNet, at 85% and 84.5%; Telstra, at around 84% for both; and Dodo and iPrimus, at 84% and 82%.

MyRepublic came in last place, delivering almost 83% of maximum plan speeds overall and 82% in busy hours for downloads.

Across uploads, however, Exetel again took out first place by delivering 90% of maximum plan speeds overall, and 89% of maximum plan speeds during busy hours.

Exetel was followed by TPG, which provided 87% and 86% of maximum plan speeds overall and during busy hours, respectively; iiNet, at 86% for both; Dodo and iPrimus, which almost hit 86% for both; Aussie Broadband, at around 85.5% for both; Telstra, at 82%; and MyRepublic and Optus, which both sat at around 81%.

Telstra had the lowest latency this time, with 10.7 milliseconds overall, followed by Exetel with 11.1ms; TPG and Aussie Broadband with around 11.5ms; Optus and iiNet with around 13ms; Dodo and iPrimus at 16ms; and MyRepublic at 17ms.

One new category for the report was daily outages lasting over 30 seconds, which Optus easily took out with a score of 1.5 per day. Exetel was next, on 0.4 per day; Aussie Broadband had 0.3; Dodo and iPrimus and iiNet sat at 0.2, and TPG, Telstra, and MyRepublic experienced the least, with just 0.1 daily outages.

“RSPs need to continue to monitor their networks to ensure their speed claims are realistic, and we expect NBN Co and RSPs to work harder together to help consumers achieve the speeds they are paying for,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“We will be watching to see how companies respond to customers who aren’t getting the advertised speeds on their current plans, and we will act on misleading speed and performance claims made by providers.”

The ACCC also looked into the proportion of busy hours where a telco’s advertised speed was achieved on 50/20Mbps and 100/40Mbps, finding that TPG attained this 83% of the time; Telstra and Optus around 75%; Exetel 70%; and iiNet 64%, with MyRepublic and Aussie Broadband trailing at 37% and 26%, respectively.

For its reports, the ACCC now has 172 whiteboxes on Telstra services, over 150 on Aussie Broadband and iiNet, 126 on TPG, 121 on Optus, around 60 on MyRepublic and Exetel, and 49 on Dodo and iPrimus.

This time, fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) was only slightly ahead of hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) in terms of delivering speeds, with the former providing 91% of maximum plan speeds overall and 92.4% upload, and the latter 90.9% download and 91.7% upload speeds overall.

Fibre-to-the-node (FttN) provided 80% and 77% of download and upload maximum plan speeds, respectively.

Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and Shadow Regional Communications Minister Stephen Jones used these figures to argue that 374,000 FttN premises are not getting the speeds they are paying for.

“Labor has a credible plan to steadily improve speed and reliability for up to 750,000 Australian households and business connected to fibre to the node,” Jones and Rowland said in a joint statement.

The ACCC’s first fixed-line broadband speed monitoring report, published in March last year, had followed the consumer watchdog forcing Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus, and Commander to compensate tens of thousands of customers for not providing them with the NBN speeds they were paying for.

The AU$6.5 million speed-monitoring program will take place over four years, with SamKnows appointed in December 2017 to monitor speeds thanks to the government providing funding.

However, the ACCC has said that it would need an additional AU$6 million in government funding to extend the speed-monitoring program to fixed-wireless services.

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iPhone 14 May Debut In An Online-Only Event With Pro Price Hike

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The iPhone 14 will bring plenty of changes this year, but most of them are apparently being reserved for the Pro models. The base models are also expected to feature a big change, but not one that some people will like — Apple may finally say goodbye to the 5.4-inch iPhone mini and go in the opposite direction by introducing a non-Pro iPhone Max. While that would be a tragedy for those who love small iPhones, it would also consolidate Apple’s smartphone collection and make it easier for buyers to understand what’s available.

The next-generation iPhone lineup will reportedly have two 6.1-inch models and two 6.7-inch models split between base and Pro lines. While there will be some upgrades across the board, the biggest changes will no doubt be seen on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The most visible will be — at least according to the rumors so far — the switch to a pill-shaped cutout, which would mean finally ditching the bucket notch that debuted with the iPhone X in 2017. New and improved cameras will likely be found inside the iPhone 14 Pro models, too, as well as a faster processor.

These upgrades won’t come without costs, however, and Apple may have buyers shoulder some of that. An investor note shared by Philip Elmer-DeWitt claims the Pro models will experience a $100 price increase. The current iPhone 13 Pro already starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max begins at $1,099, so that would be quite a significant price hike. Apple is also expected to increase the storage in these iPhone models to make those figures easier to swallow, but it may still cause some interested buyers to pause when deciding which of the four iPhone 14 models to pick.

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Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept Teases Electric Muscle Cars To Come

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Three patented new features help give the Daytona SRT an edge. The e-Rupt multi-speed transmission system offers an “electro-mechanical shifting experience that’s pure Dodge,” the automaker says. The new transmission has a PowerShot boost system similar to the one included in the hybrid versions of the upcoming Dodge Hornet. Press a button on the steering wheel and you’ll get a bit of extra horsepower and some torque along with it — it’s for those occasions when you need to power past something on a highway, or if you need to take off from a standing start fast enough to tear a small hole in the fabric of time and space.

There’s a new aerodynamic pass-through feature named the “R-Wing” that gives the concept a performance edge while connecting it with its NASCAR record-breaking ancestor. Then, for muscle car enthusiasts who are upset the switch to electric may preserve someone in their vicinity’s eardrums, there’s the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust. It’s an industry first, and as loud as a Hellcat at 127 decibels, so even though you’re being powered by a battery, people will still hear your muscle car coming. The system is a patented industry-first feature. Sound is produced electronically before being forced through an amplifier and “tuning chamber.” It is then blasted out of the car’s back end, recreating the muscle car audio experience without any of the emissions.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT is just a concept, so while you may be impressed by the noise both Dodge and its car are making, you won’t actually be able to buy one. However, there’s a good chance most — if not all — of its features will appear in Dodge’s first commercially released EV, which is scheduled to arrive in 2024.

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The Reason Why Lamborghini Will Never Build A Manual Transmission Car Again

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By January 2014, very few Gallardos were ordered with a manual gearbox — so few, in fact, that AutoGuide quoted company CEO Stephan Winkelmann as saying that the automaker’s team would have to double-check with the dealership from which the order was received to make sure the manual transmission request wasn’t an error.

Besides the lack of demand for cars with a manual transmission, Lamborghini’s advanced driving tech starting with the Huracán also warranted complete control over the vehicle, and the manual use of a clutch could potentially cause disharmony. In 2016, Reggiani said in an interview with Road & Track that engaging the clutch “creates a hole in the communication between what the engine is able to provide and how the car reacts to the power of the engine.”

The executive also said during the interview that even though the decision to drop the manual transmission option wasn’t easy, the automatic chassis control systems on newer Lambos meant there wasn’t really any other option. “If you want to control the power, the clutch must be under the control of the brain of the car, not your brain,” Reggiani said.

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