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TPG keeps top spot for download speeds in fourth NBN report

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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.

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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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