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THE NEWS WRAP: NBN Co set to battle TPG over fibre-to-the-basement

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 | By Andrew Sadauskas

New NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow is set to announce an aggressive rollout of fibre-to-the-basement technology in a bid to push TPG out of the market.


In September 2013, TPG used a regulatory loophole to begin a rollout to the basements of apartment buildings, in a move NBN Co says will damage its business case.


“A building that signs up to TPG runs the risk of being left with only one retail service provider – TPG itself,” Morrow told Fairfax.


“The NBN levels the playing field for Australian telecommunications and creates real and vibrant competition.


“The NBN offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to allow competition in Australian telecommunications to flourish. A clear majority of the industry is opposed TPG's plans or wants the firm to be subject to competition constraints.”


Google to buy drone maker


Google has announced it has bought out drone aircraft maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed amount in a deal that closed Friday.


The New Mexico startup manufactures drone aircraft that fly at a height of nearly 20,000 metres, which can stay in flight for a period of up to five years, and plans to begin commercial operations in 2015.


“Atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation,” Google told Reuters in a statement.


Auto closures will wipe $29 billion and 200,000 jobs from Australian economy: Report


The closure of Ford, General Motors and Toyota manufacturing plants will cost Australia 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, along with $29 billion in lost economic output, according to a new report.


The report, commissioned by Adelaide University's Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre and conducted by the National Institute for Economic and Industry Research, shows the impact will extend far beyond Victoria and South Australia.


While Victoria will be hardest hit, with up to 100,000 direct and indirect job cuts, along with 24,000 in South Australia, the flow-on effects will see New South Wales and Queensland lose 30,000 jobs each.


“The motor vehicle industry is the main conduit for the introduction into Australia of advanced technology and the training of labour in the necessary skills,” the report states.


“The ending of this conduit will increase the cost for other complex manufacturing industries, no doubt leading to other plant closures.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 16173.2. The Aussie dollar is down to US94.25 cents.