As we are entering Spring, ACRS hopes you, your family and friends are safe and coping with the COVID changes we are all experiencing daily.
Maximising the WiFi in the premises
The installation of a quality cabling solution undoubtably offers the fastest and most reliable internet connection in a home. However, WiFi is still an important component needed to provide a wireless signal to laptops, tablets, smart phones and other portable devices.
When implemented effectively, WiFi offers the flexibility to roam or to position devices in areas which are not easily cabled, while still maintaining a high access speed. Most houses however do not have an effective wireless setup. Generally speaking, these houses are serviced by a single access point or modem (see Figure 1), which has been set up wherever the cable carrying the internet happens to enter the house. The WiFi signal loses its strength the further you are situated from the modem, resulting in poor WiFi in certain areas of the home.
Click here to read on and find out how you can maximise the Wi-Fi coverage
Smart home gadgets or essential technologies
There’s an extensive range of smart products on the market today, and this number only continues to grow. Whether they are controlled by voice, a smartphone app or by sensors, these products generally require strong, consistent WiFi coverage and a stable home network to function reliably. As covered in previous techtrends articles , in-home cabling is highly desirable for supporting these WiFi networks, and the devices that connect to them. The sheer variety of smart lights, smart speakers, smart switches, smart cameras (and more) that are on the market presents all kinds of cabling opportunities. We’ve put together a list of some of the most common smart technologies and how they can impact your work as an enterprising cabler. To read the full article click here.
NBN Co agrees to pay up for slow internet, poor service
Now that the rollout is largely complete.
NBN Co has agreed to pay daily rebates on slow, congested and underperforming services, as well as for missed appointments and service faults, in a drastic U-turn.
The changes could be in place as early as December when the network operator’s new wholesale broadband agreement – WBA4 – is anticipated to be live.
The present agreement, WBA3, ends November 30. Its negotiation caused so much controversy that it led to two long-running inquiries by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which were brought off a COVID-related hiatus today.
Within these inquiries, the ACCC previously raised the prospect of fining NBN Co for failing to meet service levels.
NBN Co vigorously opposed the idea , saying retail service providers would milk it for rebates. It even threatened to pull future upgrades of the fibre-to-the-node network in retaliation.
But as of today that opposition has evaporated – and pending approval from the ACCC and retail service providers (RSPs), a new rebate scheme will be in place for the length of WBA4.
The sudden lack of opposition may be because the company has largely finished what it calls the “initial build”, and is therefore substantially less likely to incur large fines than when it was still rolling out large portions of the network.
Some of these problems – and therefore rebates – could also be overbuilt in the long-term; closed-circulation telecommunications publication CommsDay reported earlier this week that -upgrades to the FTTN and fixed wireless footprints to full fibre could be on the cards to stave off competition and cherry-picking from 5G networks.
The proposed rebate structure is as follows:
On new connections that take too long to make, NBN Co proposes to pay $7.50 per business day (capped at 30 days) on a standard or ‘accelerated’ connection, or $10 per business day for priority assistance users.
Service faults would pay $15 per business day (up to 60 days) for non-priority assistance customers, or $20 per business day (up to 60 days) for priority assistance customers.
On missed appointments, NBN Co proposes to pay $50 “when the initial appointment time is missed”, and then $75 for additional missed appointments aligned to the same service ticket.
If NBN Co turns up late and the user consents to the work taking place, a rebate of 50 percent would still be paid.
There are also new rebates to be paid if FTTN/B/C speeds don’t hit the ” PIR objective ” i.e. the peak information rate.
This could mean NBN Co is fined for services that don’t hit the minimum 25/5Mbps speeds (though, long-term, NBN Co is likely to move such users to a different type of access technology to meet that minimum mandated service level).
While awaiting remediation, RSPs can expect to see a $10 a month discount in the first 1-3 months, rising to $15 a month for 4-6 months, and $20 a month if remediation work extends beyond that.
RSPs are expected to pass all rebates through to the end user.
NBN Co is also proposing a $20 a month rebate on fixed wireless services that are “persistently congested”; that is, suffering over 0.25 percent packet loss over backhaul, or with average downlink speeds of less than 6Mbps.
It previously argued there was “no strong basis” to pay out on fixed wireless services because it didn’t guarantee busy hour speeds there.
Exclusions, other changes
There are a number of exclusions to the rebate proposal, and these are contained in this document [ pdf ].
In addition to the rebate regime, NBN Co said it would publish a two-year roadmap of price discounts, which is the primary mechanism the company uses to set prices.
The discount mechanism was never intended to be used as such and causes considerable uncertainty for RSPs in not knowing when NBN Co might retract or alter pricing they rely on.
NBN Co’s re-positioning
NBN Co said in a separate statement [ pdf ] that the ACCC’s decision to temporarily halt its inquiries during COVID had given the company more time to engage with RSPs.
However, the halt also “led to some uncertainty about the way forward in relation to our WBA4” agreement, it said.
The company positioned its backdown on rebates as a resolution to an impasse that threatened to prolong the deeply unpopular terms of WBA3.
“We believe it is important at this point in time to gain greater certainty so we can move forward with industry under a new and more balanced agreement,” NBN Co said.
“With this in mind, NBN Co has submitted a proposal to the ACCC which we believe resolves the issues in the public inquiries and enables NBN Co to offer the industry a package under WBA4.
“Extending WBA3 is not preferred because this will delay the introduction of significant benefits to industry and end-users under WBA4.”
NBN Co said its proposal would offer “greater pricing certainty” to RSPs and end users, and ensure customers received services that “matched their expectations”.
It would also push “stronger incentives” onto NBN Co “to meet its service standards for connections, fault repair, appointment keeping, and network performance.”
The ACCC will take industry submissions on the proposals up until September 11.
NBN Co’s proposal was immediately welcomed by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).
“People have the right to know what level of service they can expect from their internet service provider and what steps their telco will take when these levels aren’t met,” ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin said in a statement.
“Ideally, we would like this service level information to be made public so that consumers can compare providers based on this metric before they sign up to any NBN broadband plan.”
Corbin also supported the rebate regime, with appropriate pass-through obligations on RSPs to ensure end users benefitted.
“It is not the telcos who are inconvenienced when an NBN technician doesn’t show up when they promised to do so – it is consumers,” she said.
Article provided by: Smart Home News 14 Sept 2020
24-26 Aug 2021
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed the way we work, live and interact, causing additional burden and heightened stress on our mental wellbeing. Working within a fast-paced sector that is the AV industry, can take a significant toll: long hours, company acquisitions, career changes or loss of employment or business opportunities are challenges to the workforce that can create long lasting impact on our mental health. This AVIXA® panel discussion raised awareness of the mental health conversation in AV and offered information and pathways for mental health support available to individuals and organisations. Information about support services for those who are suffering, regardless of their source of hardship was provided. To find out more information on mental health support visit – www.avixa.org/mental-health
ICC SYDNEY, DARLING HARBOUR 21 – 23 july 2021
Perhaps 2020 will come to be remembered not only as the year of the Coronavirus but also as the year when drones really took off.
Already widely employed by the military to detect and mitigate risk, we have seen their increased use for public safety and security applications this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, drones have been implemented to police public gatherings, enforce social distancing, quarantines and curfews.
No doubt the fact that drones can be operated remotely without putting their operators at risk of infection has proved to be one of their major advantages in the context of COVID-19.
Let’s take a look at a few other ways in which drone use has been transforming security operations during COVID-19.
Site Inspections and Asset Management
Efficient and cost-effective, drones are especially good for inspecting remote sites and assets where it is difficult, hazardous, or in the context of COVID-19 ‘illegal’, to send in personnel. Now offering enhanced imaging capabilities such as high-resolution, thermal imaging, and 3D modelling, they make it easy to capture accurate data in hard to reach locations with minimal cost. Furthermore, fully-automated drones incorporating AI can be integrated with video management systems to operate as a reactive remote detection sensor that can respond to an incident in minutes.
Perhaps one of the most interesting developments utilising AI, is using drone-captured images to create 3D digital twins to provide near real-time status and working condition information. Could this technology also be incorporated into site inspections to automatically detect unexpected changes caused by damage, theft or vandalism?
Perimeter Security and Border Control
Implementing an effective perimeter security solution for remote or hazardous sites can be challenging, particularly where human access is strictly limited. Being able to detect and react to potential incidents fast, which can then be verified from a remote control-room without jeopardising the safety of personnel, has been crucial during COVID-19.
Thermal imaging, real-time reconnaissance, target detection and tracking, have made for an ideal security solution for protecting national and state borders, even in poor visibility.
When NSW closed its border with Victoria at the beginning of July in response to the spike in community Coronavirus transmissions there, drones were enlisted to assist in the mammoth task of policing this. Already employed to monitor international borders around the world, there are now plans afoot to begin securing Australia’s borders in this way. The federal government has recently announced a $1.3 billion investment in a drone deployment programme.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen law enforcement agencies around the world employing drones in a number of ways. In Italy , drones went from monitoring lockdowns and issuing fines, to taking temperatures to detect potentially infected people. In Spain , they were used to warn people to stay home and in China they have been disinfecting public spaces and monitoring compliance with lockdown and wearing of masks. Closer to home, the WA police, who used drones to enforce social distancing during the lockdown, has recently added another 40 drones to their fleet. These drones will be carrying out tasks as diverse as land and marine searches, responding to serious incidents such as fatal crashes, tracking fugitive suspects and conducting land and water searches. In Victoria drones have been monitoring crowds in public spaces during the lockdown, as well as detecting people not wearing masks and scanning number plates of cars too far from home.
So, What Opportunities Does the Future Hold for Drone Applications?
The commercial drone market was calculated at AUD$19 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to AUD$60 billion by 2024, showing great potential for the security segment of this market. The Australian Government is currently developing a national framework to manage drones, along with other new aviation technologies, to further enhance their use in a safe and controlled way without invading personal privacy. This should particularly help iron out some of the questions around the use of drones to police public gatherings, enforce safety measures such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.
As the country begins to open and we continue to live with the threat of COVID-19, drone technology will present many opportunities, even when the threat subsides. As larger public gatherings begin to take place again, when the time is right, such as festivals, outdoor exhibitions, public activations and sporting events – it can be assumed that drone activity will continue to uphold COVIDSafe restrictions, alongside general security and safety measures in public spaces.
Looking after your mental health during coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
The impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, physical distancing and isolation can make us feel anxious, stressed and worried. Read about what you can do to look after your mental wellbeing and look out for those around you as we tackle these challenges together.
State or territory public health orders requiring isolation and quarantine
You may also be eligible to receive services if you are required to quarantine or self-isolate under a state or territory public health order or direction.
You can find the public health orders or directions for each state and territory using the following links (current as at 5 August 2020):
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- South Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
Dial before you dig www.1100.com.au
A2A and Network Boundary Issues www.telstra.com.au/smart-community/
ACMA Complaints line www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Telco/Infrastructure/Cabling-rules/cabling-complaints
Communications Alliance www.commsalliance.com.au
Smart wired www.registeredcablers.com.au/smart-home-news.html .
NBN Co (How to Connect) https://www.nbnco.com.au/residential/how-to-connect
Australian Standards AS/CA S009 http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/customer-cabling-rules-and-requirements