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Vodafone Australia mulls Wisp alliance, NZ implications
Posted on 13-Jul-2017 16:49 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

CommsDay reports that Vodafone Australia is considering an alliance with regional wireless ISPs. Wireless ISPs or wisps provide local wireless broadband. Most operate in areas the big carriers find uneconomic to service. They might connect a handful of properties further up a valley, or behind a range of hills. You can take it as read one […] Vodafone Australia mulls Wisp alliance, NZ implications

Rural health professionals see fibre pay-off
Posted on 13-Jul-2017 11:52 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Health is one area where rural broadband can change lives, even save lives. Broadband gives health professionals and patients fast access to resources and expertise. In rural areas this would often be difficult, expensive or time-consuming to get any other way. Broadband helps move patient records and test results. It’s fast and can be secure. […] Rural health professionals see fibre pay-off

Cloud storage plans compared
Posted on 12-Jul-2017 19:00 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Cloud storage has changed the way we use computers and data. Thanks to the cloud you can breathe easier. Your files are safe, even if something terrible happens to your computer, phone or tablet. You can have near-instant access to any of your files from almost everywhere. There’s a chance you already have cloud storage. […] Cloud storage plans compared

Enable Networks connects 50,000 to fibre
Posted on 12-Jul-2017 11:29 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Hats off to Christchurch local fibre company Enable Networks. The company says it now has 50,000 customers connected to its network. CEO Steve Fuller says that means one in three of those who can get the company’s services are now connected. Fuller says 24,000 have switched to fibre in the last 12 months. He says: […] Enable Networks connects 50,000 to fibre

Concerns about smart speakers are real
Posted on 11-Jul-2017 14:09 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

They capture data and insights about us and will become irresistible to hackers. Source: Why concerns about smart speakers are real – The Listener Peter Griffin writes: Let’s not kid ourselves – these smart speakers are not really about our convenience but capturing more data and insights about us as humans and consumers and channelling […] Concerns about smart speakers are real

NZ IoT networks jostle for potential billions
Posted on 10-Jul-2017 18:22 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealanders have three mobile phone networks to choose from. New Zealand sensors will soon have four dedicated Internet of Things networks to choose from. That’s a competitive market by any measure. You can’t move in this country at the moment without someone talking about the Internet of Things. Two weeks ago Communications Minister Simon […] NZ IoT networks jostle for potential billions

Android: A practical guide for iPhone switchers
Posted on 9-Jul-2017 15:05 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Phone buyers tend to stick with their choices for the long-haul. More than nine-out-of-ten iPhone owners pick another Apple phone. Android owners move between brands. Even so, they are more likely to buy another Android than switch to Apple. Staying put makes sense. We have a lot of money, time and energy tied-up in our […]

Indieweb for journalists
Posted on 7-Jul-2017 17:59 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I’ve a few ideas about new ways of working as a journalist that overlap with the Indieweb movement. The first is having a syndicated work portfolio. If you like, a single source, feed or river of everything I post elsewhere. This means linking back to my stories published on mainstream media sites, […]

Microsoft to lay off several thousand employees
Posted on 7-Jul-2017 09:54 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Microsoft is cutting ‘several thousand’ employees, mostly in its sales organization, following a reorganization earlier this week. Source: Microsoft to lay off ‘several thousand’ employees | ZDNet Mary Jo Foley writes: “One source close to the company said Microsoft would be cutting “several thousands” of employees. CNBC said Microsoft would be shedding up to 3,000 […]

Fixed broadband: “Nothing more than backhaul”
Posted on 5-Jul-2017 17:13 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At Computerworld NZ Stuart Corner writes about Spark’s investor update held last week. He quotes Spark NZ managing director Simon Moutter: Customers want wireless everywhere and fixed broadband is nothing more than backhaul to a wireless hub (wi-fi) in most consumer and SME situations. Moutter went on to say Spark plans to be “mostly ex-copper” […]

New Zealand's broadband television end game in sight
Posted on 30-Jun-2017 13:09 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Here in New Zealand, television stories dominate the week’s telecommunications news. Sky and Vodafone bow to the inevitable and call off their merger. Meanwhile TVNZ goes all in on streaming video. For more than 40 years journalists have written about convergence. The telecommunication triple play idea: combining voice, data and television, is well over 20 […]

NotPetya ransomware attack, New Zealand view
Posted on 28-Jun-2017 15:07 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Victims of the NotPetya ransomware attack can’t get at their own computer data even if they pay the ransom. NotPetya is an attack on a grand scale causing a huge amount of disruption. Many victims are large companies in Europe. It has also hit American businesses. You may see this referred to elsewhere as Petya. At […]

Behind Spark’s slow-burn 4.5G plan
Posted on 26-Jun-2017 16:23 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Last week Spark installed new technology on five Queenstown cellular towers. They mean the region now has New Zealand’s fastest mobile data network. The Queenstown towers join one-off upgraded Spark towers in Christchurch and Silverdale. Upgrading Queenstown is Spark’s latest move to squeeze the most from its cellular spectrum. It’s been doing this since buying the […]

Whatever ailed Vodafone broadband … seems to be fixed
Posted on 23-Jun-2017 14:10 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

After reporting a series of poor results, broadband monitoring company TrueNet notes a welcome return to form for Vodafone broadband performance. The latest Urban Broadband Report notes: “Vodafone Cable connections show a 31 percent increase in NZ webpage average speed this month compared to last month. Vodafone Fibre shows a 29 percent increase month on […]

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: Best Android tablet
Posted on 21-Jun-2017 12:05 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Whatever you think about iOS and Android phones, Apple’s tablets have always been streets ahead. Samsung wants to change that. Its Galaxy Tab S3 is anything but just-another-Android-tablet. There’s nothing second-rate about this baby. Samsung first showed the Galaxy Tab S3 in February. It went on sale in New Zealand last month. I’ve had my […]

The future-proof 10.5-inch iPad Pro
Posted on 13-Jun-2017 18:16 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There’s something about the screen of the new 10.5” iPad Pro that feels immediately novel but quickly becomes normal, and something that seems obvious at first but reveals itself as a deeper change after a few days. As a heavy user of the 12.9” iPad Pro, I’ve been pleasantly deceived by this new iPad, and […]

Mandatory data breach reporting in Australia
Posted on 13-Jun-2017 11:30 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Mandatory data breach reporting has been on the agenda in New Zealand for some time. While they may have some ground to make up on the rugby field, it is one area where our trans-Tasman cousins have stolen a march on New Zealand. Source: Mandatory data breach reporting in Australia | ITP Techblog New Zealand […]

Review: Sony MDR-1000X noise-cancelling headphones
Posted on 12-Jun-2017 08:08 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you have $700 to spend, these Sony MDR-1000X headphones do a fine job cancelling noise. Sony MDR-1000X at a glance For: Excellent noise cancellation, Seamless Bluetooth, First-class sound. Against: Erratic touch controls. Maybe: Features can complicate use. Verdict: Price: $700. Website: Sony. It would be easy to dismiss Sony’s marketing promise as hype. The […]

Smart watch: The revolution that didn’t happen
Posted on 7-Jun-2017 11:19 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple makes money selling Watches. In 2015 Apple said it made more money from watches than any company except Rolex. By that standard Apple’s Watch business is a success. Imagine the reaction if anyone else had gone from nowhere to the number two watch market position in a couple of years. It remains an outstanding […]

Huawei Nova Lite: NZ$400 Android alternative
Posted on 6-Jun-2017 12:17 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you want a phone for less, consider Huawei’s NZ$400 Nova Lite. It packs plenty of features you might find in a premium Android phone costing four times the price. Huawei Nova Lite at a glance For: Thin, solid, light, Great build quality, Attractive, Affordable. Against: Front camera performance Long charging time Maybe: Battery life Case […]

Commerce Commission investigates Vodafone FibreX
Posted on 3-Jun-2017 16:44 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” – Juliet’s speech from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Consumer makes an important point. It writes: “People considering signing up for Vodafone’s FibreX service might be surprised to learn they won’t actually be getting fibre broadband.” The new […]

Mobile termination rate revision not pressing
Posted on 30-May-2017 15:16 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Competition and regulation economist Donal Curtin says in a blog post there may be unfinished business with the mobile termination rate. The mobile termination rate is the sum one cellphone company pays another for calls going from network to network. Curtin is responding to the Commerce Commission annual report on the telco market. He writes: […]

IBM remote work recall a red herring
Posted on 29-May-2017 19:15 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Earlier this year IBM told remote employees they must return to the office or leave the company. It’s a turnaround. IBM pioneered allowing employees to work from home. At times as many as more than a third of the firm’s staff worked at places away from company offices. The company often lectures others on the […]

RBI2 bidders at Rural Connectivity Symposium
Posted on 29-May-2017 12:50 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The second stage of the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative was centre stage at the 2017 Rural Connectivity Symposium in Wellington last week. In his keynote address Communications Minster Simon Bridges put the project into the broader context of government telecommunications policy. He says the goal is for 99 percent of New Zealanders to be able […]

Edifier R1700BT speakers review: Luxury Bluetooth sounds
Posted on 28-May-2017 13:06 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you want more from desktop speakers, the Edifier R1700BT is worth a look, and a listen. Edifier R1700BT at a glance For: Big warm sound, smart-looking, fun to use. Against: Too much bass, Controls sometimes difficult to use Maybe: The design and sound may not be to your personal taste. Price: $250 Website: Edifier’s […]


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