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Seven customers have been connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) trial services in Armidale ahead of the official launch. The launch of the NBN marks the start of trial customer services for various ISPs such as Telstra, iiNet, Internode and Primus. iINet and Internode have two customers each, Primus with a single lucky customer and Telstra has a "handful" of customers on NBN services.
Each telco had connected to the NBN on a trial basis with no cost to the customer (where's my invite?). iiNet has their two customers on 100Mbps services with 1TB of data per month. One of the iiNet customers said he would use his new 100Mbps NBN service to work from home. Peter Erskine is a researcher at the University of New England and has said:
Internode have finally launched their FetchTV internet video service with pricing that is quite competitive against competition such as iiNet. Internode are set to offer rival providers such as Optus and Adam Internet their Fetch TV service, a "full" version which offers customers complete access to FetchTV's streaming TV channels and a "lite" version which offers access to a library of on-demand movies from major movie studios as well as the normal free-to-air functions of the FetchTV set-top box.
Internode will charge $29.95 per month on a 24-month contract for customers to rent out the set-top box, or $14.95 per month for the Lite service. The set-top box can also be purchased outright for $399 with the full service then being available without a contract for a $19.95 per month fee or for the lite version, $5.95 per month.
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Pictures of the NBN Network Termination Unit or "NBN Box" have surfaced and are now causing people to raise questions on how it works. The NBN Box is not a replacement unit for your current wired or wireless router which plugs into your telephone wall socket and gives you access to the Internet. The NBN box is actually a replacement for the wall socket that will provide users with six sockets - two dedicated to voice services, four dedicated to data services such as the Internet.
This way, your telephone will plug into one of the voice sockets and your router will plug into one of the data sockets. Each data socket can provide a single and distinct service of the fibre network into your home or business. The NBN Box is not a switch - as each and every socket is completely independent of each other.
Optus has today launched the commercial pilot of femtocell technology which is designed to boost its 3G network coverage and speed with the customer's own fixed-line broadband service at home. Dubbed "Optus 3G Home Zone", the product uses technology built by Alcatel-Lucent, plugs into a fixed internet connection and allows 3G devices like mobiles, tablets and mobile broadband devices to utilise the network to make calls or access the internet within a 30-metre radius.
Optus is trialling the technology in multiple cities; Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong and the Gold Coast. Optus consumer marketing director Gavin Williams has said:
We believe femtocells are an important way of enhancing the customer experience of the Optus Open Network by acting as a wireless gateway into the home or office. The Optus 3G Home Zone will not only personalise the quality of mobile coverage in the home but has the potential to deliver relevant service benefits such as applications for social networking, entertainment and business.
NBN Co, the company behind the $36 billion Australia-wide high-speed internet network has signed up 12 retail service providers to take part in customer trials. NBN Co's head of product development and sales, Jim Hassell, said in a statement:
This testing phase is a critical step in building the network, working with RSPs and integrating our operating systems as we aim to provide the best possible service when commercial services commence.
Companies that signed up included Telstra, Optus, iiNet and Internode. I'm with iiNet at home so if iiNet want to hook me up with some uber-fast NBN goodness, my email is available on the TweakTown site ;)
Almost two years ago, Google launched a rather mundane attempt to compete with social media juggernaut Facebook. If you weren't reading about how detrimental social media is to your brain and your sense of morality (which you probably, and ironically found on your Twitter or Facebook news feeds), you may have caught this somewhat underwhelming SEO boost to your social network two Aprils ago.
This past Thursday, Google announced it had enhanced its Profiles section. I think we all remember what happened the last time Google created a social service that duplicated an existing one, but 8.5 million reminders of their mistake will hopefully avert anything similar this time.
Google users that decide to participate will notice that their profiles will update automatically as new features become available. For the time being, the page looks almost identical to a watered-down Facebook Profile page- but is that necessarily a bad thing?
The company behind the Killer line of gaming network gear has introduced their new Killer Wireless-N laptop network adapter. Bigfoot are making claims that the Wireless-N adapter offers transfer speeds of up to five times faster than competing WiFi adapters.
Bigfoot says this will give laptop gamers an advantage over opponents who don't have a comparable networking kit as it cuts down on latency and lag. Bigfoot Networks' CEO Michael Howse also said that other wireless connections that are usually unsuitable for other online activities that are sensitive to wireless packet loss such as VoiP and HD video streaming would benefit from these new Bigfoot products.
If you're the kind of person who wants to pump digital wares around your house (and now outside of your house via 3G) then the latest QNAP Turbo NAS range will suite you well.
QNAP's latest addition (known as the TS-x12 line) will include a Marvel 1.2GHz CPU, 256MB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as the RAID and iSCSI support that the current QNAP Turbo NAS series include. But the change in these models is that they include iOS WiFi and 3G streaming to your various Apple iOS based devices.
The so called "Super Wi-Fi" has gotten a few mentions here and there; coming up with a new standard is a slow and harrowing process. Another step was taken today with the FCC opening up the "white space" wireless spectrum and giving nine companies, including Google, permission to begin managing and administrating this spectrum which was used to provide a buffer between TV channels when analog was king.
With the complete move to digital TV, this buffer is no longer necessary and this white space can be put to use in other ways. Testing still needs to be done to make sure that the new wireless tech doesn't interfere with what's currently in place. The white space spectrum has the possibility of longer wavelengths, better penetration, and further reach than current Wi-Fi standards.
Google, Comsearch, Frequency Finder, KB Enterprises, LS Telecom, Key Bridge, Neustar, Spectrum Bridge, Telcordia Technology and WSdb are the nine companies that were given permission to work within the spectrum, including managing databases and building and managing devices. Many companies believe the possibility of a nationwide Wi-Fi network using this spectrum is possible if all goes well.