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Tech Talk Radio Show 47 of 2009
Transmission date: November 23, 2009

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Ep 47: Telstra's 100Mb HFC rollout with T-box, Optus trials LTE or 4G, We look at Chrome OS, Apple says no to support if you smoke, and Microsoft put on notice with ACCC

November 23 , 2009

A few months back on Tech Talk Radio, in May to be precise, we spoke of the upgrade to Telstra’s HFC cable, that’s the coax cable which lives underground in your street, that would allow the incumbent to supply 100Mb data streams to the average suburban house, and it seems the prophecy has come true with Telstra announcing availability from
December 1 this year, and also with the launch of its new high definition set top box.

Telsta FibreCurrently the HFC provides internet up to 30MBs and Pay TV provider Foxtel.  DOCSIS 3 is the new technology which underpins the leap forward in speed, and it should be noted that Optus are now upgrading their network not wanting to fall too far behind the competition.

On November 19, Telstra's group managing directors, Michael Rocca, Holly Kramer and Glenice Maclellan gathered in Melbourne for the unveiling and preview of Telstra's "new high definition set top box" and according to the press release, Melbourne will become home to Australia's fastest cable broadband network after the completion of an upgrade of the hybrid fibre coaxial broadband network offering an ultra fast, multi-user experience.

From 1 December nearly one million Melbourne homes will benefit from the upgrade to the cable network. The network download capacity increases to up to 100Mbps and the upload capacity to up to 2Mbps, offering an increase in bandwidth to share across multiple users and devices within the household. There is even headroom in the system to double the bandwidth to 200MBs per second.

Telstra also revealed the new television set top box – strangely named T-Box has two digital television tuners and has the ability to view and record free to air television programs up to seven days in advance, the ability to pause and rewind live television and naturally seamlessly integrates access to Telstra BigPond internet content such as BigPond TV channels and the BigPond Movies download rental service.

Now at face value you’ve got to ask why Telstra want to compete directly with the jointly owned Foxtel, and why they want to ruffle the Federal Government's feathers when it comes to the National Broadband Network. It should be noted that the HFC services is a city centric service, so households outside the major metro areas won’t see this speed in broadband until the NBN passes their front door. Even then, everything the Telcos claim when it comes to speed has to be taken with a grain of salt, so chances are, the 100Mb/s is a theoretical value, but seeing will be believing in December this year.

At the end of the day, Maybe Telstra’s  just fattening up the retail cow in preparation for sending it to market.

 This week on TTR

  • Adam checks out some power monkeys
  • Google Chrome OS 60-times smaller than Windows and we have a sneak preview,
  • Not wanting to be left out, Optus to upgrade HFC in Sydney, Melbourne, & Brisbane.
  • The ACCC puts Microsoft on notice for misleading Advertising and...
  • Optus will begin trials of long term evolution or '4G' mobile technology in the first half of next year as part of a coordinated regional test by its parent SingTel.