The weekend is almost here! Check out these tech stories to finish off your week:
1. Is this the end of the road for banks vs Apple Pay? The ACCC has handed down its final decision that CBA, Westpac, NAB and Bendigo banks cannot negotiate as a group with Apple for access to its near-field communications payment chip. The banks were hoping to use the iPhone to run their own digital wallets, instead of paying commissions to the tech giant to use Apple Pay. Read more.
2. The NBN has doubled the speed of wireless in the bush. At an event in Bendigo yesterday the national network provider revealed it would up the highest speed of fixed wireless connections from 50Mbps download to 100Mbps download by next year. This means that residents and businesses in country areas that do not have access to fibre cables will still theoretically be able to receive similar speeds to their urban counterparts. Read more here.
3. Australia’s first accelerator for creative tech has launched. The Collider Accelerator Program revealed itself to the world at Brisbane’s Myriad innovation festival today, promising to fill a gap in the entrepreneurial sector that was long ago addressed in the UK and USA. Read more on the type of startups Collider will support.
4. Virgin Australia is following Qantas’ lead and will start testing in-flight wi-fi services in April. The partnership with Gogo and Optus sees the satellite trial accompanied by free access to streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Pandora. The airline says it will use the three-month trial to work out the best business model for the service. Read more here.
5. A school communications app sent out messages to 32,000 parents in less than a minute during yesterday’s heavy rains in Queensland. CRN reports South Australia’s MGM Wireless saw a big spike in the use of its School Star app yesterday morning when Brisbane and Gold Coast education institutions were trying to let parents know that schools had shut for the day.