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Xfinity takes out Ookla’s US broadband report

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(Image: Ookla)

The major city with the fastest fixed broadband in the United States is Kansas City, with the fastest state being New Jersey, according to Ookla.

Ookla’s 2018 US Fixed Report, published on Wednesday, measured speeds from 24.3 million unique users, 66.7 million samples, 115.5 million tests, and 3.2 million data points.

Xfinity was the fastest, with an Ookla “speed score” of 104.67, followed by Verizon — whose FiOS fiber-optic network reached speeds of 8Gbps in a trial of NGPON2 technology across its live network in October — on 102.57.

Cox was third, with a speed score of 101.84; Spectrum fourth, with 87.56; AT&T Internet fifth, with 76; and CenturyLink sixth, with 28.32.

The top five fastest major cities across the nation were Kansas City with its Google Fiber providing mean download speeds of 159.19Mbps and mean upload speeds of 127.03Mbps; Austin, Texas, also with Google Fiber at 143.66Mbps down/70.65Mbps up; Lubbock, Texas, with Suddenlink at 141.48/26.98Mbps; Raleigh, North Carolina, with Google Fiber at 137.7/75.62Mbps; and San Antonio, Texas, with Grande Communications at 133.86/49.86Mbps.

Rounding out the top 10 cities were Lincoln, Nebraska, on Allo at 132/105Mbps; San Francisco, California, on Sonic at 131/69Mbps; Boston, Massachusetts, on Verizon at 131/46Mbps; Henderson, Nevada, on Cox at 131/23Mbps; and Charlotte, North Carolina, on Google Fiber at 128/66Mbps.

Ookla said the slowest five major cities in the US were Memphis, Tennessee, with XFinity on 44/12Mbps; Laredo, Texas, with Spectrum on 55/8Mbps; Toledo, Ohio, with Buckeye CableSystem on 59/10Mbps; Cleveland, Ohio, with Spectrum on 61/21Mbps; and Buffalo, New York, also with Spectrum on 65/17Mbps.

The state with the fastest average broadband speeds according to Ookla’s report was New Jersey, with a mean download speed of 121.45Mbps and upload speed of 56.50Mbps, and Verizon taking out the fastest speeds for the state.

It was followed by Massachusetts with RCN on 117/38Mbps; Maryland with Verizon on 117/63Mbps; Delaware with Xfinity on 114/48Mbps; Hawaii with Spectrum on 114/27Mbps; the District of Columbia with Verizon and RCN equally ranked to provide mean speeds of 109/53Mbps; Nevada with Cox on 109/24Mbps; Texas with Suddenlink on 106/39Mbps; Washington with Xfinity on 106/25Mbps; and Rhode Island with Verizon on 105/63Mbps.

Xfinity also provided the fastest speeds in Colorado, California, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Oregon, West Virginia, and Oklahoma; Verizon provided the fastest speeds in New York and Virginia; Cox took out Arizona and Oklahoma; and Spectrum was fastest in South Carolina, Kentucky, Montana, Wyoming, and Maine.

Google Fiber’s limited rollout means it only provided the fastest speeds in the states of Utah, Kansas, and Missouri; while AT&T Internet was fastest in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The slowest states according to Ookla were Maine, at 50/9Mbps; Wyoming, at 51/14Mbps; Montana, at 55/15Mbps; Idaho, at 56/17Mbps; and Vermont, at 60/36Mbps.

“With gigabit expanding across the nation, fixed broadband speeds in the United States are rapidly increasing. Speedtest data reveals a 35.8 percent increase in mean download speed during the last year and a 22 percent increase in upload speed,” Ookla said.

“As a result, the US ranks seventh in the world for download speed, between Hungary and Switzerland. The US ranks 27th for upload, between Bulgaria and Canada, during Q2-Q3 2018.

“Though 5G looms on the mobile horizon, fixed broadband speeds in the US continue to outpace those on mobile, showing both faster speeds and greater increases in speed.”

Reflected in its next report will be Verizon’s new 5G Home service.

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Hertz massive Tesla Model 3 EV order sends interest rocketing

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Hertz today made a whopper of an announcement, revealing that it will be ordering 100,000 Teslas over the next year and adding those EVs to its fleet. Not only that, but Hertz will also install several thousand chargers at its network of locations around the US and Europe. With this move, Hertz says that it will “offer the largest EV rental fleet in North America and one of the largest in the world.”

Specifically, Hertz said today that it would purchase 100,000 Tesla Model 3s and those cars will start being available at airport and neighborhood locations across the US and Europe in November. At first, Hertz says its EV fleet will only be available in major markets within the US and “select cities” in Europe, but it seems the company is looking to expand availability rather quickly.

By the end of 2022, Hertz says it plans to have these Tesla Model 3s available in 65 markets, expanding further to 100 markets by the end of 2023. In all, Hertz plans to install 3,000 Tesla superchargers at various locations in the US and Europe as well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this announcement sent Tesla’s stock on something of a surge this morning, but even more important is the impact this could have on the public perception of electric vehicles.

Hertz says that EVs will comprise more than 20% of its global rental fleet when the order is complete. In addition to placing this order, Hertz has also hired NFL star Tom Brady for an ad campaign centered around renting, driving, and charging these Tesla Model 3s. On Hertz’s website, we see that charging will be included in EV rentals, but only for a limited time. Beyond February 1st, 2022, it sounds like renters will have to foot the bill for charging.

It’s an ambitious plan, but in today’s announcement, Hertz cautions that the order of 100,000 Tesla Model 3s may be impacted by factors outside of its control. Specifically, the company is talking about the global semiconductor shortage, which could impact the production of computing hardware for some time to come. In any case, look for the option to rent a Tesla Model 3 to start popping up at Hertz locations next month.

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Bently Mulliner to unveil new bespoke collections at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

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Bentley Mulliner has curated three new bespoke design collections for its American clientele. The Mulliner Nauticus Collection will debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this October 27 to 31, 2021. The Nauticus Collection includes four Continental GT V8 Convertible models dressed in a fancy yachting theme.

The Continental GT Nauticus Collection has Aegean Blue and Ghost White paint with custom 22-inch Aegean Blue polished wheels. Wearing Bentley Mulliner’s carbon fiber Styling Specification, each Nauticus Bentley also gets a carbon front splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser. Also, the interior is resplendent in Brunel, Linen, and Portland leather in bespoke color splits, while the center console is home to open-pore chevron light veneers.

“This timeless classic further highlights the infinite possibilities and abilities in which to blend art and technology into a unique emotion and experience,” said Peter Brandt, Holmann Automotive Vice President and General Manager of Bentley Fort Lauderdale. “The individuality and distinctiveness of the Mulliner design aesthetics perfectly align with our pursuit of creating unique customer experiences.”

Meanwhile, Bentley of Manhattan commissioned the Mulliner Skyline Collection for the Flying Spur, Continental GT Convertible, and Bentayga luxury SUV. As expected, the Skyline Collection draws inspiration from the breathtaking skyscrapers of the Big Apple.

All members of the Mulliner Skyline Collection will wear a unique Onyx black paint applied by hand and robots, said Bentley. Other noteworthy features include 22-inch black and silver alloy wheels, darker exterior trim, LED welcome lighting, and premium silver interior trim.

Last but not least is the Mulliner Miami Collection, inspired by Miami’s colorful lifeguard stations and pulsating art scene. The collection includes the Flying Spur, Bentayga, and Continental GT finished in bright Orange, Blue, and Lime Green paint. Inside, Bentley’s Miami Collection gets two-tone painted piano veneers, Klein Blue leather upholstery, and bespoke quilting, among many others.

“Our dealers are very involved in each of their local markets and communities with appreciation to maximize the ability to promote Bentley’s craftsmanship,” said Mike Rocco, Vice President of Sales & Operations for Bentley Americas. “The opportunity to expand inventory offering to customers and present a truly unique experience through the Personal Commissioning Guide is remarkable.”

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Vazirani Ekonk is possibly the world’s lightest electric car

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Indian electric automaker Vazirani is not as mainstream as Tesla and other legacy EV makers, but what will soon change with the launch of Ekonk performance EV. The Ekonk is a low-drag performance concept that signifies the birth of Vazirani’s assault in the burgeoning EV category. The name ‘Ekonk’ is a derivative from Indian scriptures representing the divine light, “where for the first time design and innovation comes together,” said the company.

From the looks of it, the Ekonk is a dedicated performance contender, and it’s doing it the old school way: By shedding weight. Vazirani claims Ekonk is the world’s lightest electric car, and losing pounds in an EV is hard to do without losing a wheel or two. Tipping the scales at around 1627 pounds (738kg), the Ekonk is almost as lightweight as other three-wheeled EVs like the Arcimoto (590 kg) and Daymak Spiritus (620 kg).

In addition, Ekonk is lighter than the Aptera solar EV (816 kg), and it has four wheels instead of three, so Vazirani may be up to something here. How did they do it? “Biomimicry – studying how animals and humans use breathing to regulate their body temperatures – combined with some ancient Indian manufacturing techniques resulted in the invention of the DiCo technology,” said Chunky Vazirani, CEO of Vazirani.

Vazirani’s proprietary DiCo battery cooling technology “allows the batteries to cool directly with the air, as opposed to needing liquid cooling,” adds Vazirani. The carmaker adds DiCo is the first solid-state direct cooling system that utilizes nanoparticle technology to enhance the range and performance of any EV.

The automaker did not mention the battery capacity, but it did say Ekonk can rush to 60 mph from a dead stop in 2.5-seconds and has a top speed of 192 mph. Also, we have no idea how many motors are hiding underneath Ekonk’s aerodynamically optimized body shell, but Vazirani claims 722 horsepower and mountains of torque.

Additionally, Ekonk is a proper driver’s car. Vazirani said Ekonk has no driver aids, with just the electric motors and the wheels separating the driver from the road. It’s not a bad-looking thing, either, but the absence of a fixed or foldable roof means this car is a genuine track toy. If you don’t like a speedster, Vazirani also has the Shul hyper EV (with two doors and a roof) with the same DiCo battery cooling technology.

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