Telstra received just under 85,000 requests for customer information from government agencies in its 2014 financial year, the telco revealed in its first full year transparency report released today. Telstra had previously reported receiving 40,644 requests for information from law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies and emergency services organisations in the six months to December 2013.
Google has been secretly working for two years on a drone-based delivery system for both dispatching products to customers and assisting in disaster relief situations. The web giant today unveiled “Project Wing” – its latest effort in the autonomous vehicle space alongside experiments with self-driving cars – which sees it working to create a delivery system using self-flying vehicles.
Waste management company SITA has decommissioned its Sydney data centre, migrating all of its applications to Telstra in a painless shift that took just a weekend. SITA had built a new internal data centre in 2010 prior to the appointment of Michael Salas as CIO in late 2011. Salas, a former executive at Perpetual and Ticketek, has spent the intervening years moving staff off “the plumbing” in order to focus on the delivery of business applications.
The Australian Government has proposed setting up a panel of suppliers in December which will be continuously refreshed so that new products and vendors can be added. “As demand changes over time, Finance will add more categories through the iterative refreshes of the Panel,” said a Cloud Procurement Discussion Paper published by the Department of Finance earlier this month. “This will provide flexibility to capture new services available in the market and also increase competition. Providing multiple opportunities for suppliers to join the Panel will allow new industry participants to access government business,” it added.
A company chaired by Howard-era minister Ian Campbell has proposed the build of a data centre in Fairfax’s defunct printing plant at Tullamarine, Melbourne, under a complicated capital raising that requires the backdoor float of a new company. ADX Management Limited, chaired by Campbell and formed on 18 August, 2014, plans to raise capital to refurb the facility after a reverse listing with ASX-listed IM Medical.
Telstra will add Sydney and Adelaide to its trial of 4G services on new blocks of 700MHz spectrum in mid September, ahead of the formal commencement of access licenses in early 2015. The telco kicked off commercial trials of 4G services using the 2x20MHz of 700MHz spectrum it purchased in the Government’s 2013 digital dividend auction across Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith in June this year, after being granted an early access license to the spectrum.
IBM will offer its first SoftLayer cloud services to the Australian market via two data centres in Sydney and Melbourne, the company announced today, with both to go live before the end of the year. The company today confirmed the industry’s worst-kept secret by announcing its $35 million investment to build racks inside a Digital Realty-owned facility in Deer Park, Melbourne, from which it will offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service under the Softlayer brand from next month. The company also announced the same services will be available from a Sydney datacentre within two months.
Expanded facility costs associated with its new datacentres in Sydney and Perth have driven NextDC’s statutory net loss after tax to AU$22.9 million for the financial year ending 2014, but the company hopes to see positive earnings by next year. The Australian-listed datacentre-as-a-service company released its annual financial report (PDF) today, reporting a loss in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), adjusted for non-recurring items, of AU$16.1 million in FY14 — an improvement from its loss of AU$20 million in FY13.
The Chinese smartphone market is both the fastest growing and largest globally. Established electronic brands such as Samsung and Apple are placing a greater focus on these markets, but the leviathans are losing out to local Chinese smartphone companies, such as Xiaomi and Oppo. Xiaomi may have been crowned the number one smartphone vendor in China recently, but it is Oppo who will sell its smartphones to the western world first. Good Gear Guide has received an invitation to Oppo’s Australian launch. The event is scheduled within a fortnight on 2 September.
The Australian government buying back the copper network from Telstra almost 20 years after selling it to the public is a way for Telstra to move away from fixed line services, according to CEO David Thodey. Under the framework for a revise agreement between NBN Co and Telstra, the former government-owned incumbent telecommunications company will progressively hand over its copper and HFC network assets to NBN Co that will be used as part of a “multi-technology mix” model of the NBN that includes HFC and fibre to the node, in addition to the existing fibre to the premises, fixed wireless and satellite services.
NBN Co and Telstra have pushed back the disconnection of copper services for 58 areas in which fibre has been rolled out. The two companies had originally slated for copper services in the 58 fibre servicing area modules (FSAMs) to be disconnected in the Christmas and New Year period, but now say they want to make sure affected users are around to be notified of the disconnection. An NBN Co spokesperson said the dates had been deferred “so everyone can enjoy their summer holiday period”.
Internet service provider iiNet passed $1 billion in revenue for the first time in history during its fiscal year 2014, the company revealed today. The ISP attributed the milestone result to a return to organic growth following a string of recent acquisitions. The growth saw 40,000 new broadband customers join the company over the past 12 months. “The most pleasing aspect of these results is our return to organic growth,” iiNet’s new CEO David Buckhingam said.
[SYDNEY] Crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin should not be considered as money or a foreign currency when it comes to taxation, Australia’s tax authority ruled Wednesday. In guidance designed to help people finalise their tax returns, the Australian Tax Office said Bitcoins were a form of property, disappointing those hoping they would be seen as a currency.The decision follows a similar move by the US Inland Revenue Service in March.
Vodafone Hutchison Australia has chosen equipment vendor Ericsson to build its new core network, and plans to be Australia’s first telco to offer voice services over a 4G network. The partnership forms part of an effort by the telco to replace a network hobbled together as a result of its 2009 merger with Hutchison,. The patched network was blamed for service issues resulting in a customer exodus following the ‘Vodafail” movement in 2010. The deal will run for five years and is understood to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The NSW Government is rolling out an identity management solution that aims to provide all NSW public servants single sign-on to apps consumed from within its two new data centres. The ‘identity hub’ will manage all NSW Government user identifications, whether used to access government systems or cloud supplier services housed within the NSW Government’s Silverwater and Unanderra data centres.
Telstra announced today the launch of its global cloud-based unified communications service, the latest offering in its long-term partnership with networking giant Cisco. The service will be delivered through Telstra’s cloud infrastructure, which extends to seven locations around the world, including the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. Telstra’s global solution, launched in partnership with Cisco last year, is now available across four continents in 25 countries, and is delivered over Telstra’s worldwide network extending to more than 2,000 point of presence according to Telstra global enterprise and services director of marketing Nathan Bell.
The change in business for Telstra Corporation Ltd (OTCPK:TLSYY) from what originally was Australia’s public telephone company to an increasingly international telecom and enterprise service company can be seen very easily within its latest 2014 full year results. As the market leader in Australian home phone, broadband and mobile phone service, the $64.3 billion company is known for its solid dividend payment, which currently has a yield of 5.1%.
The Silverwater data centre is one of two sites built by Metronode for its anchor tenant, the NSW government. While primarily focused on state government agencies, the facilities also host private sector workloads – Metronode general manager Malcolm Roe estimates the ratio is about 80:20 between public and private sector utilisation. Last week, NSW Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet officially opened stage two of the Silverwater facility.
Metronode and the NSW Government expect that this time next year they will have produced the greenest facilities in the country, and the first to reach a five-star NABERS rating. At the opening of the second module of the Metronode facility in Silverwater today, CEO of Green Global Solutions Bob Sharon announced he had fitted the necessary equipment to commence the NABERS assessment process.
The NSW Procurement Board has directed state agencies to send all proposed telecommunications deals worth more than $100,000 past the state’s IT procurement working group. The formal directive is a response to findings by the state’s Auditor-General that many major agencies were not getting the best price for their telco deals. From Monday, NSW agencies will need to abide by a new procurement direction for the next two years.