Life & Technology - 2GB 27th September, 2015

NBN this week turned on the first fibre-to-the-node portion of the National Broadband Network. If you’re listening from Belmont, NSW, this means you can sign up to a NBN plan now from most telcos, whether its Telstra, Optus, iiNet, TPG, or Exetel, to name a few.

 

FTTN technology is a cornerstone of the Coalition’s multi-technology mix (MTM) approach to the National Broadband Network rollout. Rather than run fibre directly to individual premises, fibre is run to a central cabinet service a neighbourhood. Customers then connect to the cabinet via copper.  Read more about the FTTN rollout here.

 

In other telco news, Telstra recently unveiled two very cool pieces of technology. The first is Voice over LTE, or VoLTE, a new network upgrade that will allow customers to make phone calls over 4G. At present, all phone calls are still made using the 3G portion of the network.

 

The second is a portable wireless hotspot made in partnership with Netgear, capable of blistering download speeds of up to 600Mbps, or 60 megabytes per second. It's insane! For the full story, take a listen to our podcast!

 

Microsoft launched a new version of Office 2016 this week including upgraded versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. Office 365 subscribers will receive the new software as a free download, but you can also buy a perpetual boxed copy from our sponsors, Harvey Norman. These start at AUD$178 for the Home and Student edition. Read about what's new here. 

 

D-Link is hoping to make home networking easier with a new range extender that allows users to travel around the home without the need to manually swap networks. While this technology has been in enterprise grade networking equipment for ages now, this is one of the first times we've seen this in a consumer grade product. Click here for more about D-Link's AutoZone extender.

 

Epson's EcoTank is a different kind of printer. Rather than changing cartridges, you refill the ink in them yourselves. This novel approach apparently gives you two years of printing which is pretty solid. The printers are a little more expensive, but the ink is cheaper. The three primary colours cost AUD$16.99 each, while black is AUD$24.99. Harvey Norman will be stocking the range of EcoTank printesrs. Check out the podcast for more on this story.

 

The UE Boom was a great portable Bluetooth speaker we’ve talked about a few times on the past on Life & Technology, and now it’s even better in the form of the UE Boom 2. Interested? Here's our review.