Here's where we round up all the Aussie news around the 'net about the 'net, every week. Check in here for a quick primer on everything from piracy to privacy to data retention and the NBN.
Imagine an alternate universe. A future, or a past, where a fibre-to-the-premises NBN already exists and is being built out around Australia. Coming up to an election, an opposition campaign to dismantle that network is countered by a series of government advertisements about the advantages of FTTP, and its uses for high-definition video calls, telehealth, and Ultra HD video streaming. This is that universe, and these are those ads.
The incredibly-well-named 'asscopter' on Reddit made these three ads, focusing on a fibre to the premises NBN's advantages — lower latency, higher bandwidth — over the fibre to the node tech currently being rolled out around the country's metropolitan regions as part of the Liberal government's multi-technology mix.
He goes fast, Optus’ network goes fast…get it? In an Australian first, Olympian Usain Bolt has struck a deal with a local brand. He is to appear in documentary-style Optus advertising across TV, digital and retail with the wider theme of “Relentless Improvement”.
Ben White, Acting Managing Director of Products and Devices at Optus, said, “It’s no secret that Usain Bolt competes to win. His hard work, fierce determination and unwavering commitment are exuded every time he hits the track. He is relentless in his pursuit for excellence and it seems only fitting that we would engage with arguably one of the greatest and most renowned athletes in the world today.”
The oldest torrent that is currently still active is a fan-made ASCII render of The Matrix, and it was shared with the internet through BitTorrent on December 20, 2003. For more than 12 years, the same 4.3 gigabyte file has been downloaded by thousands of users, but a recent upswing in shares means that it’s not disappearing any time soon.
TorrentFreak reports that the file is 4419 days old, making it the oldest known torrent to be currently actively shared on the distributed peer-to-peer network. The site actually wrote about the same torrent in late 2015, even then saying it was exceptionally old — with only a single seed keeping it alive, but over 5000 completed downloads.
NBN is planning to expedite the commercial launch of backhaul services for mobile phone towers by up to nine months. The network operator revealed in roadmap documents this week that commercial availability of its cell site access service would be moved up from Q4 2016 to March.
Similarly, trials of the service that were set to run until the end of this year have also been shifted forward to expire in March. An NBN spokesperson declined to comment to iTnews on the reason for the fast-tracking of the trial end and commercial service launch. Questions on the number of cell sites in the trial and in forward bookings from the new March commencement date also went unanswered.
The message about poor internet options and woeful data allowances in the bush is finally registering on the government’s radar. During Christmas, the Australian government announced the distance education port, which will give families 50 gigabytes of additional data for each student for up to three students per family.
A spokesperson from the Federal Communication Department said the government had heard the concerns from those living in rural and regional areas in relation to internet speeds, data allowances and reliability. And bush families have welcomed the news.
Image credit: The Land