TPG has held onto first place in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) broadband speed-monitoring report, delivering 87.3 percent of its maximum plan speeds overall and 86.1 percent during busy hours for downloads in the final quarter of 2018.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) speed report saw Aussie Broadband come second, providing 85.7 percent of maximum download speeds overall and 84.8 percent in busy hours; followed by Optus, at 85 percent and 83.9 percent, respectively; iiNet, at 83.7 percent and 79.8 percent; Telstra, at 83.3 percent and 82.7 percent; MyRepublic, at 82.8 percent and 82 percent; and Exetel, at 82.6 percent and 81.7 percent.
Dodo and iPrimus came in last place, delivering 80.8 percent of maximum plan speeds overall and 78.9 percent in busy hours for downloads.
Across uploads, however, Exetel took out first place by delivering 90.1 percent of maximum plan speeds overall, and 89.9 percent of maximum plan speeds during busy hours.
It was followed by iiNet, which provided 88.4 percent and 88.2 percent of maximum plan speeds overall and during busy hours, respectively; Aussie Broadband, at 86.3 percent and 86.1 percent; TPG, at 86 percent and 85.9 percent; MyRepublic, at 83.7 percent and 84.4 percent; Optus, at 83.1 percent and 83 percent; Dodo and iPrimus, at 82.4 percent and 83.3 percent; with Telstra coming in last on upload speeds, at 82 percent and 81.9 percent.
During the “busiest hour”, TPG provided 71.8 percent of maximum plan speeds; Telstra 69.8 percent; Optus 69 percent; Aussie Broadband 67.9 percent; MyRepublic 66.8 percent; Dodo and iPrimus 61.1 percent; Exetel 60.1 percent; and iiNet just 48.3 percent.
Exetel also had the lowest latency of 11.2ms overall, followed by Telstra with 11.5ms; Aussie Broadband with 13ms; TPG with 14.6ms; Optus with 14.9ms; Dodo, iPrimus, and iiNet with 15.6ms; and MyRepublic with 18.1ms.
The ACCC also revealed that fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) connections are delivering the most on speed promises, with 88.9 percent of maximum plan speeds overall and 89.4 percent in busy hours.
Hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) was the second-highest connectivity option, providing 88.1 percent overall and 89.5 percent in busy hours; while fibre-to-the-node (FttN) delivered just 79.6 percent of maximum plan speeds overall but 89.1 percent in busy hours.
“It is good to see that providers have generally managed the transition to NBN Co’s new wholesale products without too much impact on customers,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said on Wednesday.
“We expect NBN Co and RSPs’ focus to remain on fixing speed-related problems and ensuring consumers receive good speeds on their current plans, regardless of which NBN fixed-line technology is supplied to them.”
The ACCC had in August 2017 issued guidance on how broadband providers should package and advertise their fixed-line services along the lines of evening peak speeds in order to improve accuracy and prevent misleading claims.
Included in these guidelines is that RSPs should advertise the speeds typically experienced during “the busy evening period”, and utilise a labelling system outlining the “typical busy period speed” in the categories of basic evening speed, standard evening speed, standard plus evening speed, and premium evening speed.
In November last year, the watchdog then published a review of the speed guidance, using the opportunity to propose an extension of the rules to fixed-wireless services.
Specifically, the ACCC wants consumers to be given more information on how services may be affected by distance and line of sight to cell towers, as well as fixed-wireless cell congestion.
However, it has previously said that it would need an additional AU$6 million in government funding to extend the speed-monitoring program to fixed-wireless services.
The ACCC’s first fixed-line broadband speed monitoring report, published in March, 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 ACCC is still seeking volunteers for the broadband speed-monitoring program in order to increase the pool of data, especially across smaller RSPs.
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.
Incredible and iconic 1970 Porsche 917 K race car heads to auction
RM Sotheby’s is auctioning some incredibly expensive, rare, and iconic vehicles in Monterey, California, starting on August 14. One of the highlights of the show is an extremely rare and perfect 1970 Porsche 917 K racer. The car was delivered new in 1970 to Porsche Works team JW Automotive Engineering.
The car was driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours. This car is also the same vehicle used as the winning car in the Steve McQueen classic Le Mans. The vehicle was rebuilt to 917 Spyder specification at the Porsche factory in 1971. It currently wears one of the most iconic racing liveries in history with the blue and orange of Gulf.
The car was raced in Interserie in 1971 through 1973 by Jürgen Neuhaus, Team Shell Heckersbruch, and Gelo Racing. Subsequently, it was owned and raced in historic events by the late Michael Amalfitano for over 20 years. The vehicle was restored to its original 917 K specification but is accompanied by the original Spyder body.
This racing car may be decades old, but it’s incredibly fast, reaching 220 mph. The vehicle is chassis number 917-031/026 with engine number 917-031. The sale comes with numerous spare parts, additional hardware, tools, and ancillary components. The vehicle has an extensive racing pedigree with multiple drivers and multiple racing series.
It also finished in first place in many of the events it entered. The car is rare enough, and with such an extensive racing pedigree coupled with the fact that it was used in the iconic Steve McQueen film, it’s expected to bring a huge amount of money. The action estimates the vehicle will sell for between $16 million and $18.5 million when the gavel drops.
Mercedes S 680 Guard 4matic is a rolling safe room
For some people in some locations, personal safety is a significant issue. Mercedes has been producing armored vehicles for celebrities and heads of state who might be the target of kidnappers or others that wish them harm. The automaker announced previously that it would rely solely on its S-Class for its factory armored vehicles.
The latest model is available only with a long wheelbase and the Maybach 612 PS V12 turbocharged engine. The new armored model also gets all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the S 680 Guard 4matic is a model focused on people and their safety. It also says no other series sedan fully meets the highest protection class for civil vehicles.
The car is available as a four or five-seater and has a maximum payload of 660 kilograms. The vehicle weighs in at 4.2-tonne making it very heavy. Occupants ride in a protected cell that is unnoticeable from the outside. One of the only clues that this vehicle is fully armored is the centimeter-thick windows and special tires from Michelin featuring Pax emergency running system. The windows are fitted with a polycarbonate splinter protection system on the inside
The material and thickness of the side panels meet VR10 classification. The window regulators have a hydraulic emergency function, and their optional equipment including a fire extinguisher system and emergency fresh air system to protect occupants from smoke or irritant gases. Vehicles can also be fitted with flashers, signal systems, or radio.
These vehicles are built on order and take 51 days to complete. Exactly how much the vehicles will cost remains to be seen, but it’s expected to be around €500,000. Typically, royalty or government officials use vehicles of this type, but it seems anyone can purchase the vehicle if they desire.
Rivian is in talks for a UK factory
Of all the start-up electric vehicle manufacturers, one of the most anticipated is Rivian. The company has shown off very interesting and appealing SUV and truck models so far that are completely electric. Rivian is backed by Amazon and Ford, among others. A new report is circulating claiming that the electric vehicle maker is in talks with ministers in the UK to build a factory there.
If the talks work out, it would be the first Rivian factory outside of the US. The report also indicates that the site of the factory in the UK would be near Bristol. According to the report, Rivian and ministers in the UK government have been in secret negotiations for weeks for the construction of the new plant.
Reports indicate that the talks aren’t in an advanced state at this time. Building the factory in the UK isn’t guaranteed at this time. Other European nations are also in consideration, including Germany and the Netherlands. Whichever country is ultimately chosen, likely depending on tax breaks, among other items. The investment in the new plant would be worth more than £1 billion.
Rivian has been busy raising money, recently raising another $2.5 billion from investors earlier in the month. The total the company has raised since 2019 is $10.5 billion. Rivian currently plans to begin deliveries of its R1T electric truck this fall. The electric truck is expected to begin selling for $67,500.
It’s worth noting that Rivian has experienced unexpected delays in the past, and it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the vehicles to be delayed again. The current talks with ministers in the UK are focused on a manufacturing facility for the vehicles themselves rather than batteries. However, sources claiming to be familiar with negotiations have said they are fluid and could shift towards a battery manufacturing facility.
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