This Week's Biggest NBN And Telco News: The Never-Ending NBN Debate

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.

The NBN Debate Will Never Be Over
Opinion: “Let’s quit fussing around.” The chief executive of the National Broadband Network company hopes that we are “past that” annoying war over fibre to the node versus fibre to the premises, and that we can all as a nation just concentrate on getting everybody connected to the NBN. But it’s not that easy.

The magic number is 7.7. That’s the net promoter score that NBN says shows FTTN customers are equally as happy and as likely to recommend their services to friends as FTTP customers are. And, if satisfaction is the key metric you’re concentrating on (and it’s not a terrible metric, when you’re talking about the majority of the Australian public who just want to watch YouTube and read NineMSN or the Daily Tele website), then FTTP and FTTN are equal — and one costs significantly less.

Telstra Will Give Away Unlimited Mobile Data This Sunday
Yesterday afternoon, Telstra suffered a massive outage across its 3G and 4G networks which left thousands of people without mobile phone coverage. The telco has since issued an apology along with a promise of “free data” for all Telstra Mobile customers. Here are the details.

Telstra has announced it will give away free data this Sunday (14 February) as compensation for Tuesday’s mass outage. The free data will be offered to all Telstra Mobile customers with any excess data usage automatically deducted from users’ bills.

Australia Introduces ‘Netflix Tax’ On Digital Goods To Parliament
If legislation introduced by Treasurer Scott Morrison clears Australia’s parliament, digital goods such as e-books, games, apps and subscription streaming services from overseas providers will attract the Goods and Services Tax. It’s been dubbed the “Netflix Tax”, and is expected to raise $350 million for states and territories over the next four years.

As legislation currently stands, digital services provided by Australian companies attract GST, while overseas counterparts do not. However, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines recommend that consumption be taxed in the destination country of imported digital goods and services.

Tasmanian Council Seeking Refund For $10,000 NBN Quote
When the Meander Valley Council in Tasmania commissioned a quote from NBN for fibre to the premises (FTTP) upgrades in three of its towns, it expected to receive more detail than “could have been arrived at with publicly available information”.

Two two-page reports, a map of the proposed connection area, a paragraph with details about the charges, “general information” and a fee estimate confidentiality clause cost the council $10,000 to obtain, and now it wants its money back.

The NBN Is Making Australia’s Country Towns More Appealing
Kiama (NSW), Ballarat (VIC), Toowoomba (QLD), St Helens (TAS), Victor Harbour (SA), Mandurah (WA) and Howard Springs (NT) are highlighted as potential boom towns for the latest lifestyle movement, identified in research from a report commissioned by NBN.

It’s dubbed an “e-change” (as opposed to “sea-change”), and involves escaping the city in search of a better lifestyle and “super connectivity”. The Super Connected Lifestyle Locations report identifies more than 600 Australian “lifestyle towns” which are expected to “harness fast broadband to allow residents to work from home, minimise commute times and increase their quality of living”.

Telstra Is Restoring Service After A Massive Mobile Network Outage
Telstra has confimred a mass outage in its 3G and 4G network is affecting customers nationwide. Customers in Melbourne began reporting an inability to make calls, receive texts or access the internet around 12pm today. The outage continued on to Sydney, followed by multiple areas across the country.

“We are aware of an issue currently affecting mobile voice and data nationally,” Telstra said in a statement. “We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and thank customers for their patience.” Telstra has suggested that customers using 4G data that have voice over LTE enabled have a better chance of being able to utilise the network.

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