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188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 871072 3-Aug-2013 05:40
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Somewhat little to do with UFB unless you consider 20 Gbit/s fast, but the demoscene event is up and running this weekend here with 6000 (sold out) PC's up and running, coding demos, gaming and whatever people apart from drinking energy drinks. for some photos from the scene, for the actual event.

I believe I have mentioned the event earlier.   Check out the photos if you want to see how 6000 computers in a huge arena look like :)

DreamHack in Sweden is considered the world's largest computer festival (Guinness World Records, ~11000 participants) and back in 2011 for the winter 2011 event they did the event with the fastest internet connection - 120 Gbit/s - in coperation with Telia and cisco.  They used to run 20 Gbit/s for the event, nowadays 40 Gbit/s.  The record was broken the next year in Norway at The Gathering (about the same size as Assembly).  They did 200 Gbit/s in coperation with cisco, Huawei, Level 2 and local ISP (Altibox).   The norwegians are also now back to the usual bandwidth :)

Hmmm, perhaps one should mention the Assembly organizers that they should beat our neighbouring countries..   the location for the event is excellent for network bandwidth.

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 882497 22-Aug-2013 00:30
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The mobile trend this autumn: children and young people

Many children starting school have received a free pre-paid SIM card.  The cards can be upgraded to normal post-paid accounts online if the parents want to.  Usually the package includes some freebies like pens and other school things.

15% discount on all accounts to people between 18 and 25 years.


188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 898715 19-Sep-2013 20:45
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I went to the doctor's office today and our car was towed away..  Because of this.   (48 x SML)

Looks like the third major carrier is installing fiber in this area now.  It was the last one as we already have two fiber providers to choose from.

What is actually interesting that go back 5 years and this third carrier (the largest in the mobile) was really a prominant player as one could order an ADSL2+ connection with IPTV services for less than they'd charge for ordinary ADSL2+ (the difference being one is 2 year contract, other isn't).  In the recent years they've lost ground to the faster cable TV connections and fiber, and half a year ago(?) they started selling the IPTV services without the need to have their own broadband connection.

I've been wondering why, as the former monopoly carrier in this area (back in the early 90's), they've been so late in installing fiber but I guess they're now starting to catch up.

I also learnt from my old neighbor that they had ordered fiber to our old house.  15000 € (over 24000 NZD) to get fiber and cable TV to three houses next to each other.  A newbuild a few houses away had installed fiber but there seems to be very little coordination if you paying for it.  And there's a huge difference in the price if you want to for money, or if you just wait for it..

We'll be heading to west- and south-Africa this weekend, and fly to Sydney in November.  Interesting to see how things are there and hopefully we'll drop by in NZ as well.  From all what I've read, NZ has taken and is taking great steps forward with the internet connectivity.  Also the Aus 3G/4G packages look like something I'll be able to survive with :)

Back at home I downgraded my fiber broadband to the free 10/10 and on the mobile carrier's interweb clicked the subscription to bare minimum, a few euros/month for uncapped 256k instead of the full-rate 4G.   Overall during the last three months I've been happy camper with the 4G, I wasn't expecting it to make such a big difference as HSPA+ was already going 15-20 Mbit/s a lot of times.

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 925231 31-Oct-2013 23:37
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I can't report much about UFB in Finland now as we are currently in Sydney..

Back at home they finally finished the 800 MHz auction for the LTE networks, each of the tree major carriers getting a 2 x 10 MHz slice nationally (up to 100 Mbit/s service). Government gets about 100 million euros for the spectrum.

The game sector is going at full speed, Japanese SoftBank bought 51% of SuperCell, the super profitable makers of Clash of the Clans game, for 1.1 billion euros (1.5 billion USD). I wonder what the people at Rovio (Angry Birds) are thinking..

We spent a month around Africa -- Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Malawi -- and the internet was.. well, it was hard enough to get AC power to our accommodations or tents most of the time. Very little fixed/WiFi internet around or it was very poor speed.

But 3.75/4G cellular networks are going crazy, we bought an Airtel SIM card in Malawi and the same pre-paid card works with the same tariffs and local recharging in 17 different countries. The network wasn't too bad and they had really creative data packages, e.g. different pricing for night time or if you want to burst half a gig in the next 60 minutes. They charge 15 USD for 2 GB of mobile data in a month normally.

When we arrived to our first hotel in Sydney, we got two WiFi voucher -- to notice that they were for 2 hours or 200 MB of traffic, whichever comes first. Welcome to the 1993.

The next day we purchased Optus' pre-paid SIM with the AUD 2 a day 4G plan that includes 500MB/day of data (up to 1GB/day for additional 2 AUD). My girlfriend enabled Spotify sync for offline listening and managed to get 1GB on her subscription on just a few hours. I managed to survive a day with the 1GB.. 4G was decent at around 30 Mbit/s speed, though.

The next day I went to the store to change the plan to the AUD 2 a day 3G which includes unlimited data. In a week I managed to consume about 10GB but that includes 6G for OS X Mavericks update, so I guess as the only internet access we're talking about 1GB/day for our usage. Hopefully Optus agrees.. :)

The Optus 3G network coverage in Sydney has been ok, not as good as I'd expect in 2013 but I can live with it just fine. We are looking for a 2-3 month short-term rental here and they don't come standard with internet, so we'll be living off the 3G for a while. No sign of NBN anywhere except for one rental in Melbourne.

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 941873 27-Nov-2013 18:41
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Ok, life story continues :)  Leased an apartment in Sydney for 3 months and as it won't be available until beginning of December, we flew to Brisbane for a few days followed by Fiji.  People may envy Europe for having a dozen different countries, languages, and cultures just next door for quick visits but for an european I can envy the kiwis and ozzies for having all the Pacific islands next door!

We stayed overnight at the Westin in Nadi, where the inter web bit was connected through Sydney to the rest of the world, but from the villa in Taveuni the bit went straight to the Southern Cross in Fiji (LA -> NYC -> Europe).

We continued for a quick, four night visit in Auckland.  We are trying to see if Flat White is better here (my original thought) or in Australia (they've made a good effort during November), so far all of them have been great here in NZ..

We are staying the Sofitel in Viaduct Harbour and the hotel's complimentary inter web was a nice WiFi, 300MB for 72 hours.   Despite the strict no videos, no downloads, no Spotify plan, that was gone the first morning.  I purchased 2GB for 20 NZD and it was gone in less than 24h, we didn't do anything heavy but somehow it was gone.  I did update the tablet to Android KitKat and installed the iWork app updates, but I don't have a clue how it happened.

For mobile we purchased two 2degrees SIM's, 1GB of data for 19 NZD + 10 NZD for the sim.  That should be enough, I haven't done pretty much anything with my phone and have only used 50MB in the first 24 hours.

While the weather isn't that great right now, always enjoy being in NZ.  The NZ immigration is the only immigration that actually is friendly and always gives a nice, meaningful chat.   AirNZ is my favourite "old airline", and I love the All Blacks -- I don't know nothing about rugby but their design is superb :)   Overall we've noticed that there are much more bookstores and cd/dvd stores here in Aus/NZ than back at home where they are pretty hard to find nowadays.  On the streets people in Australia are starting to look more like rest of the world with their phones but in NZ people don't seem to use their phones that much yet.

When we get back to unlimited Aus inter web, I need to check some tools for OS X so that I can keep track of my data usage if required (we are planning to stay a few months in Sydney, Buenos Aires and NYC).  I already started to wonder now that we have 2 x 1GB on SIM's, how do I maximise their usage before we leave :)

If there is something special happening in there internet/networking/entrepreneur/startup/vc scene in the next few months, feel free to drop me e-mail.  Always interested to hear and see what's going on, back at home the autumn big news have been the Slush 2013 conference, largest startup event in Europe now, Google's yet another data centre expansion (and other DC news, Microsoft building one as well as part of the Nokia mobile phones deal) and of course selling 51% of SuperCell, the makers of Clash of Clans and Hay Day, to Japan for 1.1 billion euros.  The company continues to be a cash cow, making millions a day, plans to stay in Finland and the owners are happy to pay the Finnish taxes.  Building data centres in stable countries with colder climate and the fast growing gaming industry are the hottest IT topics while the traditional IT houses are mostly cutting jobs here and there.

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 941877 27-Nov-2013 18:56
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Forgot the mention the love of Mastercard PayPass :)

I got a MC PayPass sticker from my mobile phone carrier(!) back at home, they have issued a banking license and are providing on-line credit cards and NFC payments.  You can create credit cards online, delete them, set the limits, etc giving you an option to use a single-use credit card for that on-line purchase, for example.  They also issue a coin-sized sticker that's an MasterCard PayPass NFC device.  It uses a separate wallet with a max 150€ on it, so it's pretty safe.  I don't even know the credit card number for it, I just have the sticker.

Back at home the CC terminals have NFC but no one has enabled them yet -- unlike here in Australia and NZ.  It works great for small purchases, very quick to process the payment in a second or two, and a few seconds later I get an SMS about the purchase on my phone.  I haven't seen any people to use it so I guess it's relatively new?  Some cashiers have also been curious about the small sticker what it's all about.

Just love it as an alternative to cash or even pin-and-chip card.  Obviously all technology has their pros and cons but the convenience, hard to beat!

481 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 17

  Reply # 942599 29-Nov-2013 07:55
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consent for my ufb install is taking ages!

I live in Melling lower hutt and my house is right on the footpath where the little green UFB box is located=you couldn't ask for a more easier straightforward install.
We own the house, its not down and shared driveway... it doesn't even have a driveway.

Yet telecom keeps saying they are waiting on chorus to get consent from other parties (who because of the privacy act they can't disclose )
Why do other people need to be involved in a install that has nothing to do with them??
Its been almost a month now since i applied for UFB and its starting to get ridiculous.

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 943345 30-Nov-2013 11:25
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Its been almost a month now since i applied for UFB and its starting to get ridiculous.

Sounds like the UFB in NZ is pretty much the same as everywhere else in the world.  I don't know how many times I've heard back in Finland that a carrier has been laying fiber for residential access around suburban streets and the following months nothing has happened.  Marketing/sales doesn't coordinate with the infrastructure folks.

.. although this thread has been mostly about me telling what's happening back in Finland, which is about the same size and population as New Zealand, and also elsewhere as we tend to travel a lot.

We flew back to Australia yesterday and in total ended up paying about $25 NZD for the hotel inter web (~2.5 GB) and our Optus prepaid SIM's had 515MB and 315MB left of the 1GB.  I did download about 500M of some presentations and documents on the 3G just to fill the 1GB we had, but overall we did try to save bandwidth.  But seriously, it's really hard to control one's data cap.

I noticed that the 2degrees network in Auckland CDB was pretty slow, I never got any decent speeds anywhere.  I guess it's the amount of usage as in Albany I finally got above 10 Mbit/s.

We are staying in Brisbane for an event and our serviced apartment gave us a 24h/500MB WiFi voucher.  3 days would host $30 AUD.  I tried the WiFi but soon moved back to the Optus 3G Hotspot as the WiFi speeds were simply too slow, I don't like when a newspaper web site takes ages to load all the images and components.

We'll move to our leased apartment in Sydney on monday, hopefully we can hear neighbours WiFi and I can offer them some money to piggyback :)

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 943572 1-Dec-2013 03:56
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Friend just reported first sight of 100+ LTE back at home.

The device is Huawei's B593. This carrier has until now only advertised up to 100 Mbit/s LTE speed but now all three 4G networks are saying "up to 150 Mbps". I guess 150 is the buzzword of this late autumn.

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 946308 5-Dec-2013 22:55
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We have leased an apartment in Sydney for three months and I thought I'd check if I can get a broadband here. About ~100 €/month with all the costs from iiNet and 500GB cap. 3-5 x 2 business days for install, first for the telephone line, then for the DSL. Telstra also sells HFC based inter web that I might check tomorrow, online ordering doesn't work as I don't have Australian passport or ID card.

For comparison I checked what is available at my home address back in Finland and noticed that the local carrier (Elisa) that installed fiber on the street couple of months ago has replaced their DSL offerings with fiber stuff.

100/10M has a list price of 42.90 €/month but with a 24 month contract it would be 19.90 €/month for the first 12 months and then 29.90 €/month for the next 12 months.

The other carrier (TeliaSonera) is offering exactly the same deal. Meanwhile the third, smallest carrier, is still giving 10M for free and 100/10M costs 10 €/month. As we are currently on the road, I have downgraded my connection to the free 10/10.

Helsinki region is about the same size as Auckland, Finland is about the same size and population as NZ, and the carriers don't seem to have trouble with installing three separate fibers to a dwelling (they did install fiber to all the buildings in several city blocks at the same time).

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 948972 10-Dec-2013 21:03
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Telstra also sells HFC based inter web that I might check tomorrow, online ordering doesn't work as I don't have Australian passport or ID card.

Walked to a Telstra shop in the CBD on friday.  I kind of assumed that one could actually walk away with the cable modem and by the time one is back home, the subscription could be provisioned.  After all the possibility for instant provisioning is the major selling point for HFC inter web.  Or at least that's how it was almost 10 years ago back at home..  Nowadays they also sell up to 350M so speed is another good argument.

First reaction for a 3 month subscription was not possible, only 24 month contracts.  I told that their web site has also the casual contract and that I don't mind paying for the cable modem.  After some scratching their heads they said perhaps it's possible.

The next 30 minutes were spent to enter my details to their Siebel CRM.  Employee's name was restricted to 20 characters and the guy had some serious trouble entering my "previous address".  It turned out that it was easier to change the time at the previous address to less than 8 years so that the system will not require previous address at all.

Then some ~5 signatures some papers and a quick check that they don't carry cable modems and that "it would be delivered to my address on monday".  A few hours later I received e-mail that my Telstra e-mail billing has been activated.  Well, at least billing works if nothing else.

You can guess if I received a cable modem on monday..  Obviously not but at 8pm some indian lady called that I would need to visit a Telstra shop "to show my ID".  She didn't tell why or anything else, nor did she care that the sales guy already took a copy of them on friday.  They kept referring it as a "bundle" as getting a phone line through the cable modem is part of the deal, no way around it.

Today on tuesday I walked to the "Flagship Telstra Shop" in Sydney CBD, I thought that being the largest they'd know what they are doing.  I told that I had been asked to come and show my ID.  After some head scratching the sales guy assumed that they wanted the Telstra shop to give me a cable modem for showing my ID.  They don't carry them, only ADSL modems (WTF?).  He even called the business sales unit to check if they've got them - nope.  I asked if he could check my customer details if everything was fine but he told me that they don't have any access to them (WTF2?).  Instead he gave me a Bigbond customer support tel# to call.

I didn't fancy calling them so I walked to the Telstra shop I had bought the "Bigpond Cable Ultimate" from.  This time the sales guy had no trouble logging into the Siebel system and checking out my customer details, including the entry about the call the previous day.  He read it about five times and took yet another copy of all my ID's and rental agreement.  He told he'd enter the information to the system and "everything would be fine".

Well, one thing is for sure -- either the cable TV network and inter web over it sucks and they don't want to sell it, or they don't have a clue how to sell it properly.  This is basic inter web access, not rocket science.  Now it remains to be seen if I'll get anything over the next few days, or if it's simply easier to book a flight to the space with Virgin Galactic..

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 951155 12-Dec-2013 18:22
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Wow, received a letter from Telstra today telling that I've ordered something.  A magical service that will enable me to make calls without the help of a telephonist and a new service called telex to send alphanumeric messages to the other colonies.  Or something like that..

Apart from the marketing material it happened to include a tracking number for my order and a web site address.  Unfortunately the web site just lists all items in my order as "Pending", whatever that means.

So far I've received more paper from Telstra than the total amount from all my ISP's in the last 10 years.  Perhaps I will receive something resembling a broadband internet before we leave the country.  (or more likely, if it's still pending on monday, I give them a call and cancel the order if they still play stupid.)

Luckily the weather is nice and flat white's are good.

PS. But the Telstra letter proved useful.  I ordered a Woolworths reloadable prepaid mastercard to give it a try and I had to visit the supermarket to show my ID.  They also needed a proof of address (after all it's a prepaid credit card) and the tenant agreement wasn't good enough.  Due to lack of gas or electricity bills the letter from Telstra was proof enough.

188 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 951705 13-Dec-2013 15:19
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Oh well, looks like Telstra is sending someone to install the cable inter web next tuesday.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting study from Europe:

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 953313 16-Dec-2013 20:22
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.. not so fast.

This morning I got a robot call from Telstra asking to give them a call.

Turned out there is a telephone installed to this address and I would need to provide a gas or electricity bill to prove that I live here.  As I don't have either, luckily a lease agreement would also be proof enough.  I could go to a Telstra Shop to show it.

At this point I was I got fed up.  I told the indian guy that I don't know if there is a phone line here, I don't have a historical analog phone, wtf does a telephone line has to do with a HFC Internet, and that the Telstra Shop has copied my lease agreement already twice and I will not go anywhere to show it again.  If they can't deliver with the existing information, they can just cancel the order.

After a silence he told that I could also fax or e-mail a scanned lease agreement.  Well, no fax or scanner but a photo of the agreement by e-mail was easy enough.

He did confirm that there was someone bringing the cable modem tomorrow and I asked what if I just leave the telephone mess hanging in the air.  That would mean "the bundle installation will not complete" and that I would need to call Telstra sales to figure out what is the charge for HFC broadband without a telephone line.

I guess I'll just suffer and watch the opera to the end.

Later in the afternoon I got another robot call from Telstra.  Press 1 if you are Petri.  Press 1 if you live at address ... Macleay Street.   Press 1 if you have ordered a Pingpong Broadband.   Press 1 if the installation time at .... is fine with you.  Press 1 if there will be someone of age 18 or more present at the address.   Press 1 if there will be a computer with WiFi or ethernet available.   Press 1 if you don't want to ever do any business with Telstra again.

The same time the Australian press is writing about the NBN problems, delayed 2020 plan to get densely populated areas FTTP and rest of the country with FTTN or HFC, 3000+ member staff, $100+ million legal consultation costs, 50-80% increase in average broadband bills to cover the costs over time, etc..   Not a surprise at all.

PS. I do agree with the new NBN plan to replace the 100% FTTH with a combination of everything.  They should deploy whatever makes the most sense, extend the core fiber networks (for FTTN and HFC), and eventually provide everyone a decent option for high-speed inter web.  I don't know how full the ozzie HFC networks are but the HFC networks itself have plenty of capabilities, and even within a block copper can still make a difference if fiber is close enough.  And if fiber is close by, it can inspire people to do something about themselves for the last mile.  They should also make sure that when people renovate or build new buildings, they put decent cabling and RJ45's in place.

188 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 953832 17-Dec-2013 16:30
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The cable modem was supposed to arrive this morning between 8-12.   Around 11 the guy called that he is running late and should be here 12:30.   At 13:30 he finally arrived, plugged the cables and we logged in with my computer to register to modem for BigBond.  Took about 4.2 minutes.

When I ordered the connection, I wanted 100M SuperSpeed but the sales guy said that it comes free with the 500GB/month data cap bundle.

I guess it doesn't.

The Netgear cable modem doesn't have any POTS interfaces so I guess Telstra in this crazy country doesn't sell you a simple broadband over HFC but just bundles that include inter web over HFC and analog phone through the phone line.

Crazy.  TrackMyOrder is showing my bundle being "Delayed" but I don't care.  I will use the connection, pay decent bills, and cancel it in January.

Now I understand why this corner of the world is behind rest of the western world and many developing countries wrt to the Internet, and why there are so many independent ISP's left -- they can try to deliver a customer oriented service experience which the big telco's have here have yet to learn.  I hope NZ is doing better than AUS.

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