5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Xero CEO Rod Drury. Image: Supplied.

It’s a bumper edition of tech news for your Thursday:

1. The NBN more than doubled its coverage in just one year and it thanked technology that irks a lot of people. The organisation attributed the rapid pace of rollout to fibre-to-the-node, which has been criticised for arbitrarily delivering slower speeds to some Australians. 1.9 million premises connect to the NBN using that method, out of a total of 4.6 million that are now covered. Read more here.

2. All these new customers mean that complaints have also spiked for the NBN. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman reported a 117.5% increase in complaints in 12 months, which the NBN said was a “downward trend” of 30% after “taking into account the increase in the number of active services”. Read more on how we’re complaining about our internet service more than ever.

3. Tech contractors can exhale now. The ATO has agreed to release the frozen funds that have barred Plutus Payroll from paying the wages of thousands of contractors. The dispute between the tax office and the payroll service provider is far from over, but the company expressed relief that innocent third parties would be paid their missing salaries. Read more here.

4. Ever thought about quitting that corporate job to join a fintech startup? Read this before you do. Guest columnist Grant Movsowitz has revealed all the things you need to think about before deciding to slap that resignation letter on the boss’ desk. The startup life ain’t for everyone.

5. Voice imitation scams are on the rise. But the tech company that provides ANZ Bank and the ATO with digital assistants says there’s a long way to go before you need to be worried. Read how the technology distinguishes between real humans and fake humans.

Bonus: Xero is cashflow positive. Its annual result showed a net loss of $64 million, but the cloud software company is comfortable with positive cashflow while focusing on subscriber growth, upping revenue and improving operating efficiencies. Read more here.

Another bonus: Internet of Things startup Xped has acquired Adelaide artificial intelligence firm Jemsoft. Xped announced the deal to the ASX while saying the buyout “adds a substantial piece in Xped’s larger vision of building a complete end to end Internet of Things platform”. Read more.

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