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This Week's Biggest NBN And Telco News: No More 'Three Strikes', But Site Blocking Is In Courts Now

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.

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This week:

Australia’s Three Strikes’ Piracy Code Has Been Abandoned

Copyright content owners have been pushing for an industry code that would require Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to send warning notices to subscribers suspected of illegal downloading. This code has now been canned, according to a report. The reason? It would cost too much to implement. Here’s what you need to know.

Dubbed the “three strikes code“, the regime would see ISPs assist rights holders in sending out a series of letters to suspected pirates. The notices work on a three-strikes model, with each letter becoming progressively more serious. If three notices are sent in a 12-month period, then ISPs are supposed to “facilitate an expedited discovery process to assist the Rights holder to enforce its copyright”.

Village Roadshow Using New Laws To Block Australian Pirate Sites

Village Roadshow will team up with Hollywood heavyweights in the Australian Federal Court to force internet service providers to block customers’ access to a website that streams copyrighted movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Deadpool. This move is the first major test of Australia’s new site-blocking laws under the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 introduced in the middle of last year.

The site that Village and its Hollywood compatriots are trying to block is SolarMovie, a site registered to a Phillipines domain name that provides links to stream hundreds of allegedly copyright-infringing movies and TV shows online. According to the site, “SolarMovie provides links to other sites on the internet and doesn’t host any files itself”, but it is the links and access that Village will be objecting to in Federal Court.

1,841 Terabytes Of Data Downloaded On Telstra’s Free Data Day

After Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks went down last week, compensation was offered in the form of a free day of data. So exactly how much free data can you use in a day? It seems some were on a mission to find out.

“By midnight, our customers had downloaded 1,841 terabytes of data. That’s the equivalent of around 2.3 million movies, or 5.1 million episodes of Game of Thrones, or 23 million downloads of Kanye’s new The Life of Pablo album, or 1.4 billion downloads of last year’s Miles Franklin winner, Eye of the Sheep – depending on the source and the quality of the file, of course.” Telstra Group Managing Director Mike Wright said in a statement. “We hope it helps make up for some of the inconvenience we caused.”

Optus And Huawei Are Trialing 4.5G

On 17 February Optus and Huawei conducted a live trial of 4.5G technology at Optus’ Gigasite in Newcastle. The trial resulted in download speeds of 1.41 Gbps, with “theoretical maximum speeds reaching 1.43Gbps,” Optus has announced in a statement. “The combination of Carrier Aggregation, Higher Level Modulation, and 4X4 MIMO achieved a peak download speed of 1.23Gbps over the air in live network conditions,” the statement reads.

Dennis Wong, Optus Networks acting Managing Director said “We continue to utilise our network and spectrum assets to test our network of the future and prepare for 5G.”

Experts Respond To ABC Catalyst’s Claim That WiFi Could Be Linked To Cancer

A recent edition of the ABC’s Catalyst programme looked into the issues of the health effects of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. The episode “takes a closer look at the link between mobile phones and brain cancer, and explores whether our wireless devices could be putting our health at risk”.

Dr Devra Davis stated on the show, “With respect to mobile phones and brain cancer, the reality is every single well-designed study ever conducted finds an increased risk of brain cancer with the heaviest users, and the range of the risk is between 50 per cent to eightfold. That’s a fact.” Experts have now spoken out about the program’s findings.


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