Chorus halts copper services sales
Chorus no longer sells new copper broadband services in areas where fibre is available.
The change, which the company describes as 'stop-sell', came into effect on Monday. It applies in both Chorus' fibre footprint and the areas covered by local fibre companies. The immediate change is for ADSL and VDSL connections. Chorus will cease selling copper voice services in these areas on June 1.
Chorus says this move is separate from its copper withdrawal programme which currently only affects Chorus fibre areas.
Copper broadband and voice services will remain on sale in areas that are not covered by the fibre network.
For now the change is not hard and fast; there are exceptions. Chorus will continue to allow transfers of services between two broadband retailers and upgrades of the same service. This could mean moving a customer from ADSL to VDSL.
Where a home is not yet fibre ready and there is a long wait for a fibre connection, Chorus will evaluate the new copper order depending on customer need and whether a timely fibre connection can be completed.
This is necessary at the moment because there are areas of the North Island where the essential recovery work following this years severe weather events has slowed work on new connections. The end of new copper services sales does not apply to homeowners who were affected by the events.
Ed Hyde, Chorus' chief customer officer says: "We understand that for some customers, copper is still a preferred option, but we want to emphasise that all the services available on copper are available on fibre.
"Not only is fibre more reliable and faster, but it's also a more resilient technology that will see New Zealanders well into the future.
Knowledge limited on reporting harmful content
Research commissioned by InternetNZ found six in ten New Zealanders don't know where or how to report harmful online content.
The report carried out by Kantar Public found 42 per cent say they know where to report harmful online content. There's a clear age gap: One third of New Zealanders aged 50 to 69 know where to go. That drops to one-in-four for people over the age of 70.
InternetNZ says the systems in place for dealing with harmful, dangerous or illegal online content are not working for communities.
Vivien Maidaborn, InternetNZ chief executive says: "Because our laws and processes are not adequate for our online world, some communities are experiencing hate, hurt and threats of violence. Minority, marginalised, and at-risk communities disproportionately experience these threats".
Pacific people concerned about digital divide
InternetNZ's research shows Pacific People rank every online concern higher than the wider population.
There are areas where the contrast between demographics is stark: Almost two thirds of Pacific People (63 per cent) say they are concerned that people from low socio economic backgrounds have limited access. This compares to 37 per cent in the wider population.
Likewise when it comes to concern about the cost of using the Internet. This worries 59 per cent of Pacific People while among the wider population concern drops to one person in three.
2degrees ex-CEO Aue surfaces as Chorus CFO
Chorus has hired former 2degrees CEO and Vodafone CFO Mark Aue as the company's chief financial officer. Aue replaces GM Customer & Network Operations Andrew Carroll who filled in as acting CFO. He moves into the role on April 11.
N4L taps private sector for nationwide school Wi-Fi upgrade
Network for learning, the Crown-owned school broadband business, is partnering with five private sector companies as it prepares a nationwide upgrade to school Wi-Fi networks.
Te Mana Tūhono (TMT) is a Ministry of Education programme where, among other things, schools can opt-in to have network equipment replaced as it reaches end-of-life.
The new N4L partners are: TTS, MB3, Isometric Solutions, GoCloud and Entity Hub. They join 10 other IT companies already working with N4L.
Mobile market share Q4 2022
Datamine's Telcowatch for the fourth quarter of 2022 shows Vodafone and 2degrees gaining a small amount of mobile market share from Spark.
Spark and Vodafone, soon to be rebranded as One New Zealand, both enjoyed a 35 per cent market share during the quarter. 2degrees has 23 per cent market share. Spark's Skinny subsidiary has a seven per cent share of the market. Add Skinny to Spark's total and the combined mobile business remains the market leader at 42 per cent.
Girls in space
Women in Space Aotearoa New Zealand has formed a club to encourage high school girls considering a career in space. Space Up is aimed at girls in years 9 to 13 but any high school student is welcome.
Te Pūkenga to teach AWS cloud skills
Te Pūkenga, the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, will teach the AWS re/Start Associate programme. It's a course from the cloud computing giant that aims to give unemployed and underemployed IT professionals a mid-career upgrade on cloud skills.
AWS says in the past the programme has managed to connect more than 98 per cent of students completing the course with job interviews.
Dr Megan Gibbons, deputy chief executive of Te Pūkenga, says: “We know there are many New Zealanders out there with valuable information technology experience who are well positioned to upskill and pivot to cloud computing roles".
At the time of announcing its partnership with Te Pūkenga, AWS published research saying workers using advanced digital skills contributed an estimated $7.3 billion to New Zealand’s annual GDP.
Apple accounts for 8 of the world's top 10 phones
Counterpoint Research reports that eight of the top ten mobile phones sold in 2022 were iPhones.
The year's most popular phone was the iPhone 13, which was the best selling phone in the US, China, UK, Germany and France. It was the best selling phone every month until the iPhone 14 was launched.
Samsung's Galaxy A13 and A03 models were the only non-Apple phones to make the top ten list.
Classical music app gives Apple users 5 million high quality tracks
Apple has announced its long awaited classical music app. The company says Apple Music Classical will give subscribers access to more than five million classical music tracks, many of them will be in high quality audio. There are thousands of exclusive albums and hundreds of curated playlists. Subscribers will be able to explore composers and expanded features on key works.
For now the app is available for pre-order in the App Store. At the moment it is only available for iPhones and iPads running new versions of iOS.
"Diminished confidence" in Datagrid's Southland project
A report in Stuff says power company Meridian has diminished confidence that Datagrid's plan for a billion dollar Southland data centre will go ahead.
Meridian says Remi Galasso's departure from the company behind the plan, BW Group, could make the data centre less likely. Galasso's replacement at BW Group, Ludovic Hutier says the plan for the Hawkaiki Nui submarine cable and the data centre remains on track.
In other news...
IDC reports sales of virtual reality (and augmented reality) headsets dropped more than 20 per cent in 2022.
Tuesday's edition of CommsDay led with a story about the Circles.Life mobile plan offering a 22.8 per cent discount for females. The figure represents the Australian gender pay gap.
Stuff reports that the New Zealand Defence Force ordered soldiers and other employees to wipe TikTok from any government issued devices. This is in line with government agencies in many other Western nations who are concerned the app can be used by Chinese intelligence services to monitor activity and capture data.
Mass layoffs at Xero will start this week. The company says 15 per cent of staff will go, that's between 700 and 800 jobs. While Xero says the cuts will be felt in the company's locations around the world, there will be a large number of redundancies in New Zealand. While this could take pressure off other employers who have felt the technology talent crunch, there may be a skills mismatch between the departing Xero employees and vacancies elsewhere in the sector.