nbn launches Fibre to the Node technology

nbn has taken another big step towards the goal of connecting 8 million premises to the nbn™ network by 2020 with the launch of our commercial Fibre to the Node (FTTN) product.

FTTN technology delivers fast broadband via fibre-optic cable that runs to a neighbourhood node/cabinet and from there using the copper lines to deliver high-speed broadband ultimately via VDSL technology.

This makes deployment faster than other broadband technologies such as FTTP, as the entire connection from the exchange to most homes and businesses won’t need to be replaced – but with short distances between end-users and the FTTN cabinet very high speeds can still be achieved.

Our initial FTTN rollout has launched in Belmont, NSW, with nbn aiming to have 500,000 FTTN premises Ready for Service (RFS) by mid-2016 and 3.7 million by mid-2018.

With a much simpler installation process on FTTN (as compared to other technologies such as FTTP), nbn also expects that it will also be able to activate end-users much faster than on other broadband technologies. More than 1.6 million homes and businesses are expected to be connected to the nbn™ network via FTTN technology by mid-2018.

nbn has already signed Wholesale Broadband Agreements (WBA) with over twenty Retail Service Providers (RSPs) including Telstra, Optus, Optus Wholesale, Exetel, TPG, iiNet, AAPT, SkyMesh, Harbour ISP and M2 Group (Dodo, iPrimus, Commander) to sell FTTN services.

John Simon, Chief Customer Officer at nbn said,“The launch of FTTN technology will help us get fast broadband to Australians more quickly and with less inconvenience to end-users.

“We are looking forward to getting this part of the nbn™ network fully built out and allowing Australians to enjoy the huge benefits of fast broadband.”

AFL and TVNZ partner in New Zealand rights deal

The AFL is pleased to announce TVNZ has been granted AFL international broadcasting rights.
The three-year rights term will run from 2016 to 2018, and will also include the 2015 Toyota AFL Finals Series. All of the Toyota AFL Finals Series matches, including the Grand Final, will be broadcast on TVNZ with eight matches broadcast live.

From 2016 TVNZ will broadcast a minimum of three live matches per week of the home and away season and a further two matches either live or delayed per week of the home and away season.

TVNZ will also air the AFL’s Weekly Highlights Program and has the right to air key AFL events including the Season Launch, Australian Football Hall of Fame, Rising Star, All Australian, Grand Final Parade, Brownlow Medal and the AFL Draft.

AFL General Manager – Game Development Simon Lethlean said TVNZ’s expanded AFL coverage was a great result for fans of the game.

“We are delighted AFL fans in New Zealand have the opportunity to watch matches live thanks to TVNZ’s coverage,” he said.

“As AFL club, KiwiKick and AFL9s participation continues to grow in New Zealand so does the interest in watching AFL matches.

“We look forward to working in partnership with TVNZ in the coming years.”

TVNZ’s Director of Content Jeff Latch says TVNZ is excited to be partnering with the AFL and bringing such an iconic Australian sport to Kiwi lounges in a free-to-air capacity. ”We’re rapt to be bringing the power and pace of the AFL to kiwi viewers and look forward to working with the AFL to build the popularity of the code in New Zealand.”

TVNZ AFL broadcast rights are in addition to the current rights held by Sky NZ. Sky NZ currently broadcasts one AFL match per week of the premiership season, including the upcoming finals series.

More Tasmanian Flights and jobs for Qantaslink

Image source: Qantas

Qantas has announced it will add more services between Hobart and east coast cities next year, with flights conveniently timed to benefit business travellers and customers connecting to Qantas international routes.

From 8 March 2016, QantasLink will operate a total of 46 return services per week from Hobart to Sydney and Melbourne, up from 35 services currently.

QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the additional services were in response to market demand – both in terms of overall capacity and time of day.

“Our new schedule offers more options for QantasLink flights throughout the day, with early morning flights delivering customers to Sydney or Melbourne early enough for a full day of business meetings,” Mr Gissing said.

“The additional 11 return services per week add an extra 2,420 seats to-and-from Hobart on our two-class Boeing 717 jet aircraft.

“Customers travelling to or from Qantas’ international destinations, such as Shanghai, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Johannesburg, will now have shorter connection times in Sydney and Melbourne.

“It also means there’s even more choice for Qantas customers wanting to holiday in Tasmania.”

The increase in flying also means an increase in jobs, with an additional 10 pilots and 15 cabin crew required at the Hobart base to operate the flights, which will almost double the current workforce.

Premier of Tasmania and Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Will Hodgman welcomed the increased services and additional jobs.

“As an island state, Tasmania depends on reliable and regular access to support the growth of our tourism industry,” Premier Hodgman said.

“For decades Qantas has played an instrumental role growing tourism in Tasmania and today’s announcement shows its commitment to continue this for years to come.

“The additional flights and almost doubling of the workforce are an enormous vote of confidence in Tasmania’s thriving tourism industry, which is attracting a record number of visitors, and our strengthening economy.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Qantas to give even more travelers a chance to visit Tasmania, a must-see destination.”

QantasLink recently announced it had invested in two additional two-class B717s to enable the extra flights, which will bring the total fleet to 20.

The two-class aircraft are configured with 12 business and 98 economy seats and are fitted with Q Streaming inflight entertainment enabling customers to stream 400 hours of content to their own personal device via the new Qantas Entertainment App.

Last year, Qantas made Hobart the home of its premium call centre where it employs more than 300 consultants.

QantasLink also operates flights into Devonport and Launceston, while Jetstar operates more than 70 return services per week from Hobart to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as 49 weekly return services from Launceston to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Chinese Renewable Energy Investment Creating Jobs In Victoria

Premier Daniel Andrews has welcomed a new agreement between Victorian technology company RayGen Resources Pty Ltd and Chinese partner company JuYe Solar that will create 200 jobs for Victoria.

The signing ceremony held in Beijing was attended by Mr Andrews, senior officials of the Chinese Government, senior executives from JuYe Solar and the CEO of China Three Gorges New Energy Company.

The funding will go towards construction of a manufacturing facility in Blackburn, which will build receivers for concentrated solar photovoltaic (CSPV) systems.

The receivers will then be sold to the Chinese market to customers including China Three Gorges New Energy Company.

China Three Gorges New Energy Company is a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation, a state owned enterprise and one of the world’s largest energy companies.

A Memorandum of Understanding between RayGen, JuYe Solar and China Three Gorges was signed in March 2015.

The agreement will see up to 500 megawatts of concentrated solar photovoltaic power plants built in China over the next five years, using RayGen’s innovative technology.

The high volume repeatable manufacturing line facility for RayGen in Victoria is expected to take its workforce from 25 to 225 over the next five years, with jobs in engineering, research and development, high-tech manufacturing and head office roles.

Victorian Premier Heads To China For First Official Overseas Visit

Premier Daniel Andrews will today travel to China for his first official overseas visit since coming into Government last November.

Mr Andrews will be in China from 20-27 September and will visit Beijing, Nanjing, and Chengdu.

China is one of Victoria’s most important relationships and our largest trading partner, with two-way trade between Victoria and China valued at over $20.5 billion in 2014/15.

China is also our number one source of international students, with almost 50,000 international student enrolments in 2014. China’s visiting economy also contributes over 430,000 tourists to the state per year.

This is a relationship that the Andrews Labor Government values and is committed to developing further through this trip and many more.

To help achieve this, the Government is developing Victoria’s new China Strategy, that will focus on building stronger and deeper alliances between the Victorian and Chinese Governments, attracting increased Chinese investment and boosting trade between Victorian and Chinese businesses.

Consultation on the new strategy will be a key part of the trip, as is strengthening ties with Jiangsu – Victoria’s sister state of 36 years – and Sichuan province.

The delegation will include Harold Mitchell, Chair of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel, Professor Glyn Davis, Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University, Mr Jonathan Clancy, CEO at Qenos, Ms Alice Wong, Head of Asian Leadership at the Westpac Group and the Premier’s parliamentary colleagues Mr Hong Lim MP and the Hon Marsha Thomson MP.

Minister for Public Transport and Employment and Leader of the House Jacinta Allan will be Acting Premier while Mr Andrews is overseas.