Australia’s NBN rollout a global embarrassment

Australia’s disastrous roll-out of the high speed National Broadband Network (NBN) has continued to make global headlines in the last 24 hours – including coverage in the New York Times – and for all the wrong reasons.

According to this story on TechGuide, not only does Australia rank well behind the US, Western Europe, Japan and Korea but we also “embarrassingly” fall below countries such as Thailand and Kenya, ranking number 51 on the Akamai ranking of internet speeds. And perhaps most disparagingly, this is despite a $50 billion investment over the last 8 years.

So why have we become the laughing stock of the world – and as the TechGuide writer so aptly put it, a ‘technology backwater’ despite boasting a rich resources market and enviable lifestyle?

What should have been a consistent roll-out of the latest and greatest technology has been chopped and changed more times than one can recall.

The original plans for Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) have been replaced with a mish mash of Fibre to the Node (FTTN) or Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) coupled with existing copper wire infrastructure – and in some areas, now reportedly wireless connections via dedicated NBN towers.

One Australian NBN provider, Telstra has even been forced to start offering existing NBN customers their money back due to unacceptably slow speeds as reported below on Channel 10’s The Project.

So what impact will these continued NBN issues have on small businesses trying to effectively operate in the digital age, and will Australians ultimately get the high speed internet speeds originally promised? Only time will tell.

Click here to read the full story TechGuide or New York Times article here.

 

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Aussies clueless that NBN will be compulsory

Are you one of 6 million Australians who didn’t know it will be mandatory for you to switch to the new NBN network?

According to a new survey from Finder.com.au and a story published on msn.com here, more than one in three Australians (37%) have no plans to switch to the NBN or don’t know what it is.

What is most surprising about the research is that so many people mistakenly believe the NBN is optional, and haven’t twigged to the fact that their existing telephone and internet will be cut off if they don’t make the transition.

In short, the NBN will be the new universal communications infrastructure network, completely replacing the existing copper network that landline telephones and many home broadband connections rely on.

And this changeover is not that far away with the Government imposing a deadline of 2020 for all 11.9 million Australian premises to switch over to the NBN network.

So how come 6 million Aussies could be left in the dark, disconnected? 

Of the 2004 Australians surveyed, 17% said they would not make the switch, while 18% didn’t know what they would do or didn’t understand what the NBN was about.

Even a small percentage of those who did plan to move across to National Broadband Network aren’t in a hurry – claiming they would take 18 to 24 months to make the transition. Little do they realise that their phone and internet would be cut off during this time with telecommunication companies obliged to deactivate existing copper within 18 months of NBN arriving in their area.

Click here to read the full article.

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Top 5 tips for building your email database

Eager to build your email database but not sure how? Worried that your e-newsletters might contravene the Australian SPAM Act?

Here are Brisbane Hosting’s sure fire tips for growing your email audience while still staying on the right side of the law.

  1. Use an online tool such as MailChimp to manage your email database. This will make managing your database and distribution of e-newsletters a breeze. These tools also offer ready-built templates with the mandatory unsubscribe and sender identification functionality (two of the Australian SPAM Act criteria everyone has to follow when sending commercial messages electronically.) Yes, there is generally there is a small cost to use these services but they will save you a lot of headaches (and dollars) by streamlining your communication.
  2. Create a tailored e-news template for your business. Not only will your email communication look professional and on-brand, but you’ll save time and money because you don’t have to have to start from scratch every time you want to send an e-newsletter. A prime example of how to work smarter, not harder.
  3. Add a subscribe form to your website homepage. And while you’re at it, spend one minute updating your email signature to include a “click here to join our mailing list” call to action. The key is to make it super simple for people to join your mailing list. It’s also wise to set clear expectations as to how frequently you will be contacting them as people will be less likely to subscribe if they think you’ll just clog their inbox with irrelevant deals and offers.
  4. Be consistent with how often you send e-newsletters. By setting clear expectations from the outset and then delivering on this promise is one way to build trust with your audience – meaning they’ll be more likely to use your services down the track.
  5. And perhaps importantly, provide snappy and informative content that will engage your readers. Your email database can be an enormously valuable marketing tool, so don’t waste the opportunity to speak directly to your customer base. It’s no secret that most people are drowning in a sea of unwanted emails, so it’s even more crucial that your communication stands out from the crowd – in other words, don’t go too heavy on the sales pitch.While you’re ultimate aim is to convert a sale or new customer, put yourself in their shoes of your customer and identify ways that you can add value and make their lives easier. By providing helpful hints or ‘how-tos’ (this could be links to your blog or videos on your website) you will be enhancing the customer’s experience and perception of your brand. This, balanced with your sales message or special deals, will in turn deliver a stronger return on investment.

Ready to ramp up your e-newsletter marketing efforts? Don’t forget to abide by the Australian SPAM Act – you can read our refresher on the rules and regulations here.

Brisbane Hosting can also help with getting your email database set up, connected to your website and also assist with the template development, copywriting and distribution of your e-newsletters should you require. Call us today.

Brisbane Hosting & Website Hosting’s products and services include Website Hosting, Domain Names, DNS Services, Website Development, Website Design, Website Revamps, Website Maintenance, Social Media Campaigns and more.

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Four benefits of investing in Google AdWords

Google AdWords is best described as a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This means you are only charged when someone clicks on your advertisement, and the amount you pay-per-click is determined by the competition for the keywords which can vary significantly between industries or even services within the one industry.

So what are the benefits of investing in AdWords?

Here are four reasons Brisbane Hosting & Website Design recommends investing in paid online activity:

1) It’s highly targeted, so fewer wasted dollars – Gone are the days of buying a print, radio or TV advertisement and hoping someone who is interested in your product or service might happen to read or listen to your ad, and then make an enquiry.

Using Google AdWords, you get to choose the type of people you wish to target by geographic location or even specific key words (the common words and phrases people are typing into google). This means that you’ve got a much higher chance of converting sales because you’re targeting people already searching for that very product, rather than a broad scatter gun approach – and they’re only one click away from finding out more about your business.

2) It’s trackable and flexible – you can see how much traction you’re getting from your paid activity in real-time. And when linked to Google Analytics, you can evaluate if your paid online advertising is drawing higher numbers of potential leads to your site. Being purely online also means you can optimise and tweak your campaigns once you’ve reviewed how they’re performing.

3) Quicker results than organic SEO. Yes, paid activity tends to get you better ‘visibility’ to potential customers much quickly (Google prioritises paid ads at the top of google searches), however, organic SEO should not be dismissed entirely.

Organic SEO is considered a ‘slow burn’ for building your website’s authority and credibility over time as google bots continue to review and rank your site content periodically. Consistently adding unique and relevant content to your site will help ensure that your site always ranks well.

Paid activity can get put you at the top of the list quicker (NB. it will show up as an ‘ad’ to users), but remember without sustained paid activity you will drop off from the search results just as quick.

4) It’s cost effective. AdWords campaigns can be set up from as little as $10/day. How far this stretches depends on the competition for your desired keywords.

Want to know how Google AdWords can help elevate your business? Call us today to talk through your options and tailored campaign ideas.

 

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E-newsletter refresher: What does the Australian SPAM Act include?

Created in 2003 and managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australia SPAM Act 2003 outlines what you legally can and cannot do when sourcing new subscribers, or sending commercial messages electronically to your network or database.

To begin with, it’s important to understand what is classified as an electronic commercial message?

  • Email
  • Short message service (SMS or text messages)
  • Multimedia message service (MMS)
  • Instant messaging (IM)

There are three key parts to the code of conduct to be aware of:

1) Consent – not only must you have consent from the individual you are contacting, but you need to be able to prove it.

A lot of the online tools you use to manage your e-newsletters have the functionality to embed a ‘sign up’ form into your website. The benefits are two-fold, firstly it makes it uber-easy to keep your database up-to-date with new subscribers, and secondly you can also keep track of when and how someone joined your mailing list (the proof!).

How do I know if I have consent? Well, according to ACMA there are two types:

(a) Express Consent – when that person or company willingly provides their email address by ticking a box on a website, filling in a form, face-to-face or by swapping business cards, and that person is made aware they may receive commercial messages.

(b) Inferred Consent – this can be trickier to navigate. Inferred consent can be obtained via another existing business or other relationship where there is ‘reasonable expectation’ of receiving commercial electronic messages. The other instance is when someone’s work contact details are publicly listed or published. There are a couple of caveats to be mindful of, so best to read the guidelines from ACMA here if you’re unsure.

Click here to read ACMA’s frequently asked questions around consent.

Side note: Some types of organisations are exempt from sending certain commercial messages without consent. This includes government bodies, registered charities, registered political parties and educational institutions (when contacting current and former students).

2) Identification – any time a commercial electronic message is sent, it must clearly identify the sender. This includes the individual or name of organisation that authorised the distribution of the message (who it is being sent on behalf of) and ABN where applicable, plus how recipients can contact your organisation or you as the individual.

(3) Unsubscribe – the unsubscribe function is mandatory on all electronic commercial messages. The SPAM Act stipulates that businesses must make it easy for people to remove themselves from your mailing list via clear and conspicuous instructions, and it must be honoured within five (5) business days.

ACMA provide a couple of examples of clearly worded unsubscribe facilities you can reference here.


Hungry for more e-newsletter tips? Click here to read Brisbane Hosting’s top five tips for growing your email database and ensuring your e-newsletters won’t be considered as spam.

 

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Tesla’s New Gigafactory Goes Live

Tesla, the electric vehicle (EV) company that’s credited with revolutionising electric mobility, has announced today the start of operations at their new production facility in Nevada, billed the ‘Gigafactory.’

The Gigafactory represents a huge leap forward for Tesla and for the American manufacturing industry, as the facility is the first of its kind in the country to produce high-density batteries, a product that’s usually left to facilities and suppliers in Japan, China, and South Korea.

According to a Bloomberg report, the mass production of Tesla’s batteries should also help drive prices down, with lower margins needed to hit profit targets. As it is, the Gigafactory is producing ‘Powerpack’ power storage devices to supply a deal struck between Tesla and power company Southern California Edison to prevent blackouts by substituting fuel-powered generators with charged-up lithium-ion Powerpacks.

‘Powerwall 2’ home batteries are also a product of the Gigafactory, with shipments of the power-storage devices scheduled to begin at the end of January. The sheer volume of Powerwall products on order means that Tesla is able to sell them for roughly 30% less than their closest competitors. Paired with Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, the largest solar-panel installer in America, the company is on track to transform itself from an electric vehicle manufacturer to a green technology, clean-energy firm.

Crucially for car-nuts like us though, is that the Gigafactory finally gives Tesla the manufacturing capabilities to meet its ambitious sales targets for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market EV. The battery packs for the most affordable Tesla yet will start production in the second quarter of this year, in conjunction with the production commencement of the Model 3 itself.

For more information on Tesla, check out the Tesla Showroom.

By: Aiman A

Posted On: http://www.carshowroom.com.au/news/teslas-new-gigafactory-goes-live/?utm_source=TPNewsletter20170109&utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=TWTP20170109&utm_source=Tradingpost.com.au+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5d6aa63596-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_01_09&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_97ee37a6b2-5d6aa63596-89205333 

 

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Brisbane Hosting Supports Homeless this Christmas

In lieu of Christmas gifts for our clients this year, Brisbane Hosting and Website Design has made a donation to ‘Backpack Bed for Homeless’ this year. This will ensure that three Australians without shelter, or a home to call their own can get a better night sleep.

Featuring an award winning design, the internationally acclaimed Backpack Bed has proven to help improve the health, dignity and comfort of those forced to sleep on our streets, under bridges and throughout our cities.

The nationally accredited charity was recognised as the winner of the 2011 Australian Human Rights Award for best Community Organisation and partners with more than 400 homeless welfare agencies to distribute the swags to street sleeping homeless people without shelter.

To buy one for yourself (great for camping, fishing or the outdoors), or to donate a backpack bed for the homeless visit swags.org.au.

 

 

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Apple iPhone 6s Battery Problems Much Bigger Than First Thought

Apple iPhone 6s smartphones are shutting down without warning in what is being called the 30% bug.

Apple issued an advisory stating it appeared to be for batteries in a limited serial number range manufactured between September and October 2015.

Now one of its largest markets for the iPhone 6s, China, is reporting customers outside this range have been affected.

Apple’s response to its Chinese market is, “Some of these shutdowns can occur under normal conditions in order for the iPhone to protect its electronics. In an effort to gather more information, we are including additional diagnostic capability in an iOS software update which will be available next week. This will allow us to gather information over the coming weeks which may potentially help us improve the algorithms used to manage battery performance and shutdown. If such improvements can be made, they will be delivered in future software updates.

Apple has declined to comment on the cause or whether it affects the 6s Plus and other handsets.

The China Consumers Association, a government watchdog group, has said that Apple needs to take further measures to address the problem, and accused the company of failing to “meet basic consumer needs for normal wireless communication.”

It believes that the issue affects a wider range of models. It says that even after the fix, where Apple replace the battery, users are reporting the same shutdown issue.

By: Ray Shaw

Posted On: http://www.itwire.com/mobility/76071-apple-iphone-6s-battery-problems-much-bigger-than-first-thought.html

 

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Microsoft Pays Out Again Over Forced W10 Upgrade

An IT worker has been paid US$650 by Microsoft after he threatened to sue the company following a forced upgrade to his grandfather’s computer that was running Windows 7.

In 2013, Jesse Worley had built a machine running Windows 7 for his granddad but made it look like a Windows XP interface because his relative suffered from Alzheimer’s and an XP environment was something the old gentleman could remember, according to Digital Trends.

But during its frantic bid to push Windows users to upgrade prior to 29 July this year, Microsoft had at one stage changed the behaviour of update notifications, such that clicking on the close window button caused the machine in question to update. For 21 years, that button, with an X on it, has done nothing but closed windows when anyone clicks on it.

Worley wrote to Microsoft about the upgrade using the company’s recommended Notice of Dispute procedure.

The company has admitted that the upgrade pop-up window was misleading and that customers who were misled can seek redress.

Worley donated the money he received to an Alzheimer’s charity. He had initially asked Microsoft to pay him for the time he had spent to rework his granddad’s computer and donate to an Alzheimer’s charity, but the company only agreed to the former demand.

In June, a travel agent in California was awarded US$10,000 by a small claims court after she sued Microsoft over a Windows 10 upgrade.

By: Sam Varghese

Posted On: http://www.itwire.com/home-it/76038-microsoft-pays-out-again-over-forced-w10-upgrade.html

 

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Android Sales Up, But iPhone 7 Performs Strongly

Android remains the dominant ecosystem across the world, but Apple’s iPhone remains the most desirable smartphone in the world.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech (Communications Technology) measures consumer behaviour about smartphones to gain insights and identify trends. Its 60 country-based consumer panels measure what the sample buys, and what they intend to buy.

Its Q3, 2016 panel report shows that iOS achieved year-on-year (YoY) growth in most markets except China (down 5.4% to 17.1%). Japan tops iOS use with 51.7% (up 1.4%).

Android had growth in most markets with Europe combined up 4% to 75.2%, China up 7.9% to 82.6%, and Australia up .8% to 55.7%.

Kantar Worldpanel is about what has been bought by its panel of representative people – brands mainly rely on it for marketing strategy development. Other figures from IDC (sell-in) and Gartner (sell-out) show Android globally at around 85-90% and iOS at 10-12% in Q3, 2016. Different methodologies produce different figures and one cannot compare YoY with specific quarters – it is about trends.

Lauren Guenveur, consumer insight director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, commented:

“Apple iPhone 7 – The lack of the headphone jack has proved to be a non-issue for US iPhone consumers, as iPhone 7 was the top-selling device in the three months ending October 2016, achieving 10.6% of smartphone sales, despite not being available for the full quarter.

“Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the 4th best-selling device in the US at 5.3% but behind the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S7/Edge.

“Google achieved 0.5% of smartphone sales in the US, a strong showing given that the Pixel was only widely available from October 20th. In that short time, Google has reached market parity with more established brands like Huawei and Microsoft, who are also at 0.5%.

“Android remains the dominant ecosystem, topping 75% across the globe, except those regions most focused on premium devices (Japan). This is no surprise as Android’s business model provides consumers with a variety of brands and price points.

“It is unlikely that any other OS will ever reach Android’s penetration. But the apparent lopsided market share figures are not a reason for doubting the strength or future of the position held by Apple’s iOS. While Android dominates regarding the raw number of devices, it powers, Apple remains the most desirable smartphone brand in the world.”

Guenveur also commented on the news that Nokia would make a return under Android soon and its impact on other major players.

“Whenever I mention the Nokia brand name, I often hear the response, ‘That was my first cell phone!’ Nostalgia for Nokia handsets runs very high since Nokia took an early market lead at the dawn of the cellular phone industry. The Nokia brand name’s re-emergence will likely have its largest impact in Europe.

“For Samsung, already facing increased competition from Huawei across mainland Europe, this may signal an additional threat, as Nokia’s strength was in the mid- and low-ends of the market, exactly where Samsung is currently losing customers to Huawei.

“And for Huawei, the Nokia-branded products rolling out of the Foxconn factories could create obstacles for its bid to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.”

By: Ray Shaw

Posted On: http://www.itwire.com/mobility/76087-android-sales-up,-but-iphone-7-performs-strongly.html

 

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