5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Enjoy this weekend’s Melbourne F1 GP. Photo: Bryn Lennon/ Getty.

It’s Friday, and hopefully you’re not nursing a big St Patrick’s Day hangover. This is what you need to know in tech.

1. What in the world is going on with Telstra? Australia’s biggest telco suffered its second major outage in as many months yesterday afternoon, with the network crashing for several hours and users not able to make or receive calls and use data. The outage started around 6pm AEDT, and services began restoring around three hours later. The outage has understandably caused outrage with customers, as the telco charges a premium for its services over Optus and Vodafone, claiming it has the best network in the country. But now some serious questions need to be answered at Telstra – there’s obviously big cultural and engineering problems at the carrier, and if things keep going on like this, you just have to look at what happened to Vodafone a few years ago to see the result.

2. Telstra wants to either float Foxtel or sell it off. Telstra is considering a $4.5 billion initial public offering or sale of its 50 per cent stake in Foxtel, according to Fairfax. The telco currently has employed potential advisors working on a stock market float of all or part of its holding in the profitable Foxtel business which is believed to be worth between $8-9 billion.

3. Victoria has a new $91 million data centre. The new centre is to be announced today, with global tech firm Digital Reality acquiring land in Melbourne’s West. The 8000sqm facility, which is in its early stages of development, will be located next to the company’s existing data centre and will be its third in Victoria.

State small business minister Philip Dalidakis said the centre will contribute 450 construction jobs and 35 ongoing fulltime roles to the economy.

4. NBN could be ditching Turnbull’s FTTN for 300,000 homes. The highly criticised FTTN technology could be replaced with new fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) for 300,000 homes, with the network trialing the technology in Sydney and Melbourne. Unlike FTTN which runs fibre to the node in the big green boxes you see on streets, FTTdp will run much closer to homes, meaning the copper which connects the home won’t be as long and speeds won’t suffer as a result.

“When we look at from 2017 on, we see around 300,000 cases where this is more feasible than FTTN, or in some cases fixed wireless,” NBN CEO Bill Morrow said.

5. Netflix is going to enhance the second screen experience in Australia. It was announced last month that Netflix will be adding a second screen experience to its app, but locally, many big players have tried adding such a feature with very little success. The problem is that when others gave it a go, it was detached from viewing and people had to go out of their way to access their phone or tablet. Netflix wants to implement it in a way that would see the second screen option mainly used when someone is casting off their phone or tablet, so the device is already out.

Have a great weekend!

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