5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Photo: Commonwealth of Australia/Department of Defence

Hello, this is what you need to know in tech today.

1. Andy Penn’s spoken out about the backlash on Telstra pulling public support for marriage equality. This is what he said:

Following yesterday’s marriage equality debate around Telstra, I want to be clear about Telstra’s perspective as our long track record in diversity and inclusion was generally overlooked.

We clearly need to make this simple statement: Telstra supports marriage equality as part of the great importance we place on diversity and standing against all forms of discrimination.

Equally we recognise there are many and varied views and if we are all truly accepting of diversity, there should be room made for all of them.

While Telstra continues to support Australian Marriage Equality and has not changed that position, we have made a decision not to publicly participate in the debate further. This is because the proposed plebiscite process gives everyone an opportunity to contribute and out of respect, it is important we allow them to voice their own views.

However, this position was interpreted by some as us abandoning our tradition of supporting diversity and inclusion, be it in the community or in our workplace. This could not be further from the truth.

However, he is still yet to confirm or deny influence from the Catholic Church.

2. Harris Farm is trying to beat Woolies and Coles online. Using strong technology partnerships and same day delivery, the family-owned grocer is hoping it can give its business an edge over the big guys in the online business. We had a chat to them about it.

3. Huawei says it has a wireless solution for the NBN. Speaking at the company’s analyst summit in Shenzhen, Huawei Australia chairman John Lord says the company could offer super fast point-to-point wireless broadband from nodes into homes.

“Part of the problem in Australia is that we ended up getting into a very heavy debate about the prescriptive solution and we’re still in it,” Mr Lord said.

“While we’re having that debate, us and our competitors are producing broader solutions.”

Huawei was banned three years ago from contracting for the NBN infrastructure due to security concerns. The company has always denied allegations.

4. Telstra’s billion dollar defence deal is in trouble. According to iTnews, Telstra’s largest ever customer contract is dramatically behind schedule. The $1 billion replacement of the Department of Defence’s telecommunications network is allegedly yet to finish its first milestone, with just three months to go in the program. That milestone alone is now said to be two years behind schedule. Telstra has admitted there have been some delays on the transformation schedule, but wouldn’t comment more.

5. Big banks are apparently trying to scare customers away from fintechs. Micro investment company Acorns has accused ANZ of telling its customers that they can’t share their passwords with the service in a bid to hamper its growth. This is despite the government’s new fintech advisory group trying to push for changes to the ePayments Code to make it clear that customers can supply their passwords to fintech companies without the bank’s approval.

Several fintech apps such as Acorns and Pocketbook request passwords to users’ bank accounts so they can see transactions, where in Acorns’ case, it then invests ‘spare change round-ups’. Pocketbook can help manage your budget, knowing all transactions.

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