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Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Fiat Group SpA to run company

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Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Fiat Group SpA to run company

Friday, May 1, 2009

The American auto company Chrysler filed for bankruptcy Thursday, however a deal with European auto maker Fiat went through. The emerging Chrysler will be owned 55 percent by the United Auto Workers, eight percent by the United States Government, two percent by the Canadian Government and Fiat would begin with a 20 percent share.

Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli will step down when the bankruptcy proceedings are finalized.

Initially, the Italian company, Fiat, will appoint three members on the emerging Chrysler’s new board, and the United States government will appoint six. Fiat can assume the majority of the ownership upon repayment of American loans.

Chrysler administrators expect that the bankruptcy should take a couple of months.

“We expect this to be a very short, 30-to-60-day bankruptcy process, during which the company will function normally,” a top administration official said, “People will be able to buy cars, they will have their warranties honored, and everything should go on normally.”

The bankruptcy filing indicated that Chrysler was in debt to 20 creditors to a tune of more than $10 million each.

Meanwhile, the deal with Fiat did go through, and Chrysler should have cars designed by Fiat out on the market by 2011.

“It’s a partnership that will give Chrysler a chance not only to survive, but to thrive in a global auto industry,” said American president Obama, “Fiat has demonstrated that it can build the clean, fuel-efficient cars that are the future of the industry.”

However, automotive analyst Erich Merkle has hesitations.

“History would show that alliances really don’t work that well,” Merkle said, “even though, no matter how good they may look on paper.”

The restructuring has been managed by Steve Rattner, a former investment banker, and the U.S. Government auto task force.

Obama has set three ultimatums before Fiat. Fiat should produce a 40 mile per gallon vehicle while managing the new Chrysler, transfer fuel efficient Fiat technology to Chrysler factories in the United States, and produce cars in Chrysler factories and distribute them in Europe.

Severe flooding hits Cumbria, England

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Severe flooding hits Cumbria, England

Friday, November 20, 2009

Parts of the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria have suffered severe flooding on Thursday, with forecasters predicting further rain. As of 21:09 GMT there were six severe flood warnings (the highest alert in the UK Flood Warnings system) in force in the county, with a large number of flood warnings and watches also in force across the region.

According to BBC News, the main street in the town of Cockermouth is under several feet of water, and around 200 people were being evacuated by helicopters. At least 350 homes in the Elliot Park district of Keswick are also reported to be without power.

A number of local roads are flooded (including the A6 in Kendal). The West Coast Main Line railway is also reported as subject to disruption due to flooding between Oxenholme and Carlisle. Some mainline services are terminatingat either Carlisle or Preston. Local services between Carlisle and Barrow are also reported to have delays.

Some properties in Keswick, Cockermouth and Kendal had already been evacuated under pre-existing emergency plans.

Robert Runcie, the Environment Agency‘s director of flood and coastal risk was quoted as saying: “After persistent heavy rain combined with saturated ground and full rivers across Cumbria, the decision was taken to evacuate residents in towns and villages across the Lake District, before the onset of serious flooding.”

“Since early on Thursday we have been helping emergency services coordinate community groups that are going house-to-house ensuring people were taking precautions and evacuated where necessary. These emergency plans were established following the Cumbria floods of 2005 and have worked successfully. The last thing we want is floodwater putting lives at risk.”

“We urge people to take care and check the latest flooding situation and sign up to our free flood warnings service or by calling 08459 881188.”

Earlier Cumbrian police had advised against non essential travel, and against fell-walking entirely.Chief Superintendent Kevin McGilloway of Cumbria Constabulary stating “All the agencies are working together with local people to ensure they are kept as safe as possible during the severe weather which is hitting some parts of the county. We are asking people not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary.” He also gave some advice, “Pedestrians in areas where there are floods, such as Cockermouth, Keswick, Penrith and Kendal, are being urged not to attempt to walk through flood waters. Anyone who notices blocked drains are also being urged not to put themselves at risk by attempting to unblock them. The key message is for people who are affected by the floods to be prepared, to try and protect any properties that are liable to flooding. Look out for one another including vulnerable friends and neighbours. Anyone in affected areas should ensure they carry mobile phones, torches, waterproofs and other equipment they may need and ensure they have all essential medication with them.”

In Kendal, demand for sandbags has been high. A spokesperson for South Lakeland council stated:”More than 1,000 sandbags have already been collected from our depot and we have ordered 4,000 more to meet the demand.”

The Mayor of Keswick praised efforts by those involved in the flood response. “It is all hands to the pump, really” he said. “The emergency services are well co-ordinated and have been fantastic.”

How To Use Food Pyramid Guide For Better Health?

By Shabi

For those of you who don’t know, the food pyramid is a carefully drawn up plan of exactly what the human body needs nutritionally. That is, the food pyramid is a guide to help us determine what we should eat everyday. It doesn’t have a set menu of food that you need to eat per day. All it has is a guide that can help you plan your meals so that you get the correct amount of nutrients into your system every day.

The food pyramid will show you the path to keeping yourself fit and healthy through a steady and healthy diet. Up until recently that’s all the food pyramid did. In 2005 however, the food pyramid as we know it was changed forever, and a more up-to-date food pyramid took its place. Now you’ll find that instead of the two-dimensional food pyramid we’re so used to, it’s become more three-dimensional. To show the added benefits that regular exercise will have on you, a figure running up a flight of stairs on the side of the food pyramid has been added.

Earlier if you looked at the food pyramid you would have seen horizontal lines spanning the food pyramid with the food that we eat the most of, starting at the bottom. The food that we should eat the least amount of, could be found at the top. This is the food pyramid that we all know about and the one that was shown to us when we were in school.

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The new food pyramid however, is completely different. Apart from the fact that it’s become three dimensional and has a figure climbing up the side of it, this new food guide has also eliminated the horizontal lines. Instead we can now see lines starting from the tip of the pyramid and radiating downward.

Each of these sections are only as big, or small, as the earlier food pyramid sections were. Only with this new food pyramid, you now know that although you need to eat some food types more than others, even within those food groups there are some foods that you should only eat in moderation.

Additionally you’ll also find that your new food pyramid is color coded. So you’ll get an Orange stripe representing grains; a Green stripe for vegetables; a Red stripe for fruits; a Yellow stripe denoting how much fats and oils you should have; a Blue stripe for the milk and dairy products that you’re allowed; and a Purple stripe showing you the quantities of meats, fish, beans and suchlike that you should eat in a day.

With six colored stripes denoting the quantities of food you should take, and a figure of a healthy person running up a flight of stairs on the side of it, this new food pyramid is definitely better than the old one, and can help you learn more about better eating habits, and a healthy lifestyle.

About the Author: Author’s Sites:

Home Remedies

,

Natural Beauty Care

and

Aromatherapy Essential Oils Recipes

Source:

isnare.com

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Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

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Democratic holdout agrees to support health care reform in US

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A conservative Democratic United States senator has agreed to supply the key 60th vote needed for passage of a sweeping health care reform package. Senate Democrats have reached a breakthrough in their struggle to pass sweeping heath care reform legislation, lining up the 60 votes needed to overcome fierce Republican opposition. Senators met Saturday in Washington, D.C. during a driving snowstorm in a frenzied effort to move forward on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The spotlight was on moderate Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had been the last holdout as Senate Democrats raced against the clock and against determined Republican opposition to pass their health care bill by their self-imposed deadline of December 25th, Christmas.

Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform.

Nelson said he is now ready to vote for cloture, which would advance the bill. “Change is never easy, but change is what is necessary in America today and and that is why I intend to vote for cloture, I intend to vote for cloture and for health care reform,” he said.

Nelson said he decided to support the bill after winning new concessions from Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to limit the availability of abortions in insurance sold under the new legislation along with millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for Nebraska.

The legislation would extend health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans and impose new regulations on the health insurance industry.

Senator Reid of Nevada has been working for months to win over one holdout Democratic senator after another, repeatedly altering the bill to satisfy different demands. Reid says reform is essential. “The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose,” he said.

The broken system cannot continue and it will not continue. When President Obama signs this bill into law, we will officially end the era in which insurance companies win only when patients lose.

Nelson’s support should pave the way for Senate Democrats to win the first of a series of crucial procedural votes scheduled to begin at one o’clock in the morning on Monday and set to conclude — if everything goes smoothly for them — with final passage on Christmas Eve.

Republicans have been using a number of parliamentary procedures to delay action on the bill, including forcing a reading on the Senate floor Saturday of Reid’s 338-pages of last minute amendments. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky responded to the apparent Democratic breakthrough. “And Democrats are forcing a vote on it, as I indicated, over the weekend, counting on the fact that the American people are preoccupied with Christmas and not paying much attention to what they are doing,” he said.

The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people.

Republicans are unified in their opposition, saying the bill is too expensive and will not solve the problems with the current health care system. Senator McConnell dismissed claims by Democrats that the bill is historic. “The history that is being made here, make no mistake about it, the history that is being made here, is the ignoring of the will of the American people,” he said.

Senator John McCain of Arizona echoed those comments in the weekly Republican radio address saying, “Regrettably, there’s nothing in this legislation that effectively addresses the problem of health care hyperinflation. In fact, experts tell us the Democrat legislation makes matters worse.”

Democrats say they have been trying to reform the nation’s health care system for close to 70 years, ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in office. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut was emotional as victory seemed within reach. “All we are trying to do is to guarantee that if you are a fellow citizen of ours, and you are struck with illness or a loved one is, that you will never again have that fear, that you will end up losing your home, your job, your retirement and your life savings because you have been afflicted with an illness through no fault of your own.”

If the Senate is able to pass a bill next week, it would be viewed as a major victory for President Obama. But the bill would still need to be reconciled with a health-care reform bill passed last month by the House of Representatives before the president could sign it into law next year.

US state of Kansas in battle over “Intelligent Design” in education

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US state of Kansas in battle over “Intelligent Design” in education

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Tempers are flaring in the U.S. state of Kansas, where a school board may be on the verge of passing a measure to require that Intelligent Design be taught in public school science classes.

Christian political activists such as Reverend Jerry Johnston of First Family Church in Overland Park Kansas are supporting the effort to shape Kansas science standards according to religious beliefs. Johnston said, “Getting intelligent design into school curricula is the worthiest cause of our time and the key to reversing the country’s moral decline.”

In an apparent attempt to make the inclusion of Intelligent Design into the curriculum seem foolish, “believers” in the Flying Spaghetti Monster are lobbying the Kansas school board, calling for it to require that creation by the Flying Spaghetti Monster be taught alongside Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

Bobby Henderson, the creator of “pastafarianism”, said “I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms… One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.”

Several members of the Kansas Board of Education have already indicated that they might vote in favor of such an initiative. Board member Carol Rupe wrote, “The new version (of science standards) changes the very definition of science from ‘seeking natural explanations’ to ‘seeking logical explanations.’ That is why I think FSMism is able to be included. It is as ‘logical’ as any other theory.”

In 1999, Kansas also wrote Creationism, a precursor of Intelligent Design, into the public school curriculum. A later school board, however, overturned that directive.

Australian Federal Police raid home over unauthorised access to pay TV services

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Australian Federal Police raid home over unauthorised access to pay TV services

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Australian Federal Police officers reportedly raided the home in Argenton, West of Newcastle, New South Wales of a man suspected of distibuting software to enable unauthorised access to pay TV services Foxtel and Austar.

A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that officers seized computer equipment, including an “external hardware drive”. The spokesperson said police were assisted by Foxtel’s fraud invesigators and computer forensic experts from Ferrier Hodgson.

Debra Richards, Executive Director of the Australian Subscription Television Association, the organisation which represents the interests of Australian pay TV service providers, said, “Industry members are working cooperatively through ASTRA to address a problem that results in lost revenue and resources that would otherwise be used to grow the Australian television and production industries.”

“The real victims here are the consumers who are being hoodwinked into being involved in a criminal activity, often paying more than they would otherwise for a legitimate service,” she said.

Finding State Financial Aid Daycare Grants For Parents

By Loren Yadeski

Parents want the best for their children, especially when they are young and at the formative years of their lives. However, some parents just cannot provide the best because they are financially constrained and have no other means to even get the most basic needs for their children. The current cost of living has sky rocketed and many families have been left homeless or are living near or below the poverty level. It is the children who have to bear the brutal brunt of the financial crisis affecting the country. For some lucky parents who still have jobs, the challenge is leaving their children with somebody they trust but even this has become impossible for some parents because they lack money to pay for daycare.

Parents who are in need of child care assistance can go to the proper state agency that handles Federal Child Care and Development grants. The Child Care and Development Fund is a federal assistance program designed to aid low income families under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. If you are such a parent, you can go to the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center web site where you can see the list of agencies in your state. You can avail of this grant if you are working, studying or under training, or your income is not beyond the limit as determined by the state where you are living, your child is under 13 years old or/and your child has special needs.

You can also avail of state daycare grants if your child is under court supervision and is less than 19 years old. You have to contact the agency concerned directly for information about your eligibility and application process for child care assistance. Some states allow parents to apply by mail or telephone for added convenience. You can also go to your local licensing office for information on other child care resources available in your local community. Child Care Aware has a list of referral agencies and child care resources on their website. As a parent, you have the opportunity to select from many of the available grantors and bring your children to authorized child care providers.

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These grants are made available to parents so they can go to work or study without worrying about the cost of child care. There are different types of grants depending on your situation. For example, if you are attending college you could get the student child care grant to pay for child care while you complete your academic program. Single parents can also avail of certain child care grants with the goal of providing debt relief.

Another government program that aims to help parents in child care is the Head Start program. It promotes the healthy development of children in low income families and provides various services based on the children’s and family’s background which forms the framework of developing a program for the children’s education and development. The Head Start program has other components as well like the Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start.

These daycare grants are provided to parents who are in need to help them recover and get back on their feet without the stress of having to worry about repaying the money back.

About the Author: Loren Yadeski, author of this article, is knowledgeable in

child care and daycare grants

. If you live in Illinois, check out

DaycareGrants.org — Illinois

for more detailed information on how you can avail of financial aid grants for daycare facilities in Illinois.

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Controversial melatonin supplements confirmed as sleep aid

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Controversial melatonin supplements confirmed as sleep aid

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA —An analysis of melatonin studies has upheld the controversial supplement’s effectiveness as a sleep aid.

The analysis, which included 17 peer-reviewed scientific papers, was aimed at determining whether supplements of the hormone can improve sleep among insomniacs, older adults and others.

“A meta-analysis essentially tells ‘yes’ or ‘no’—that a treatment does or does not have a significant effect,” says Richard Wurtman of MIT, the study’s principal investigator. “When a meta-analysis says ‘yes,’ there should no longer be any controversy about whether the treatment works.”

Previous studies by Wurtman and colleagues showed that small doses of melatonin, about 0.3 milligrams, are necessary for restful effects. The researchers found, however, that commercially available melatonin pills can contain 10 times the effective amount.

At that dose, says Wurtman, the hormone’s effects end after a few days because melatonin receptors in the brain become unresponsive when exposed to too much of the hormone.

Such inadvertent overdosing, say the researchers, has contributed to controversy over melatonin’s efficacy.

But the new meta-analysis shows that melatonin does indeed have positive effects on sleep—even though some of the analyzed studies also involved high doses of the hormone.

The research is reported in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews.

Bank of America leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about mortgages

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Bank of America leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about mortgages
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about mortgages in the United States shows Bank of America leads all lending institutions in complaints.

Since mortgages complaints were recorded in December 2011, 77,622 total have been added to CFPB’s database. 29.2% of these complaints involved Bank of America, with the second most received by Wells Fargo, accounting for 15.5% of all complaints. JPMorgan Chase ranked third by volume of complaints with 9.8%. Ocwen was fourth with 8.7% and Citibank was fifth with 4.8%. Nationstar Mortgage; Green Tree Servicing, LLC; HSBC; PNC Bank; U.S. Bancorp; OneWest Bank; SunTrust Bank; Flagstar Bank; and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. each had between 1.0 and 3.8% of total complaints. The remaining 14.4% of all complaints about consumer mortgages were divided between about 530 other lending institutions.

The Motley Fool reported last month that for the past fiscal quarter, the biggest US based mortgage lenders were from first to fifth Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bancorp.

According to the US Federal Reserve, debt for family residences stands at US$10.706 trillion for the second quarter of 2013. As of the end of June of this year, Bank of America is the United States’s second largest commercial bank with US$1.343 trillion in domestic assets. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest commercial bank with US$1.251 trillion in domestic assets. JPMorgan Chase is the largest US commercial bank with US$1.329 trillion in domestic assets and US$1.947 trillion in total assets.

The mortgage complaints in the CFPB report include several subproducts. Conventional fixed mortgages account for 27.1% of all complaints. Conventional adjustable mortgages account for 10.0%. FHA mortgages account for 7.7% of all complaints. Home equity loans or lines of credit account for 3.8% of all complaints. VA mortgages are 1.4% of all complaints. Second mortgages and reverse mortgages each account for 0.6% of complaints. The remaining 48.7% of complaints are about other mortgages or other mortgage issues. A few years ago, FHA loans accounted for about 10% of all US mortgages while VA loans accounted for about 3%. Prime loans accounted for over 75% of the market and the rest were subprime mortgages.

California leads all states by volume of complaints with 14768. It is followed by Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. When complaints are divided by a state’s total population, New Hampshire leads. The state is followed by Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Complaints do not correlate with national rankings for August’s foreclosure rate by state where Nevada topped the list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

Two zip codes account for over 1,000 total complaints between them. 565 complaints originated in the 48382 zip code, which is in Commerce Township, Michigan, located in suburban Detroit. 553 complaints originated in the 33071 zip code, in Coral Springs, Florida. According to real estate website Zillow, there are currently 1,033 properties in foreclosure in Coral Springs while Commerce Township only has 131 properties currently in foreclosure. Four other zip codes have 100 plus complaints originating from them. 91730, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had 158 complaints. 33409, in West Palm Beach, Florida, had 132. 92626, in Costa Mesa, California, had 125 complaints. 92660, in Newport Beach, California, had 122 complaints. Respectively, the towns had 534, 1,068, 153, and 134 properties currently in foreclosure. These numbers are higher than for the cities of a few sampled zip codes where there was only one complaint, such as Gold Hill, Oregon which has 4 properties in foreclosure, and Decatur, Illinois which has 6 properties in foreclosure.

The CFPB categorizes complaints into six categories: “Loan modification, collection,foreclosure” or problems when a person is unable to pay; “Loan servicing, payments, escrow account” or problems with making a payment; “Application, originator, mortgage broker”; “Credit decision / Underwriting”; “Settlement process and costs”, and “Other”. The CFPB says the complaint types indicate consumers “appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives. The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” Currently, 59.6% of all complaints against lenders deal with being unable to pay. 25.1% deal with problems in making a payment. 7.0% have to do with the application process.

Of the complaint-heavy zip codes, for 48382 in Commerce Township, Michigan, 98.9% of all complaints have to deal with being unable to pay. Accounting for 23.4% of all mortgage complaints in Commerce Township, 132 of the complaints for being unable to pay were made regarding Bank of America, accounting for 97.8% or all but 3 complaints against them from the zip. 121 of the Bank of America responses in Commerce Township were closed with explanation and 12 were closed with non-monetary relief. 33071 in Coral Springs is different, with 537 of the 553 complaints being categorized under other. Only 11 complaints relate to foreclosure and issues with being able to pay. 92626 in Costa Mesa, where 32% of the mortgage complaints were about Bank of America and 26.4% were about Wells Fargo, had 93.6% of its complaints dealing with being unable to pay. 5 total complaints dealt with payment issues and 3 dealt with applications.

Beyond regional variance in complaint types lodged, the top five mortgage lenders by volume of complaints all had being unable to pay as their top complaint category, ranging between 55.8% for Citibank and 69.4% for Bank of America. Problems with payment accounted for the second largest area of complaints, with Ocwen having the largest percentage of complaints at 31.9% and Bank of America having the smallest at 18.8%. Foreclosure was the top area of complaints for a number of other lending institutions including 1st Alliance Lending, OneWest Bank, Ally Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, BOK Financial Corp, Caliber Home Loans, Inc, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and EverBank.

Nationally, complaints reached a high of 5,840 for January 2013, 1,107 more than the next highest month of April 2013. The total emerging for September is the second lowest since records were first kept in December 2011. On a state by state level, this pattern largely repeats with a major exception for Florida which saw a peak of 849 complaints in June 2012. Then, as now, Florida was one of the top five states in the nation in its foreclosure rate. The national January spike came as the Qualified Mortgage standard required by the The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 came into play. It required mortgage lenders to take steps to insure borrowers could repay their mortgages.

Bank of America’s complaint volume follows the national trend, with a spike in January 2013 with 1,925 total complaints. Unlike nationally, the next month by volume of complaints was February of this year with 1,598 complaints. Prior to that, the highest month was May 2012 with 1,418 complaints. The lowest volume of complaints is September this year with 334.

Wells Fargo matched national trends for volume of complaints by month, with the exception of the current month being the lowest on record for number of complaints with 197 compared to the next lowest month, December 2011, when they had 221. JPMorgan’s complaint volume by month spiked in January and March of this year with 504 complaints. April of this year was the next highest month with 493 complaints, edging out May of last year with 488 complaints. September this year is on track to be the lowest month by complaint volume.

The federal government shutdown is unlikely to impact the current mortgage situation in the United States directly for most consumers, though mortgage processing by the Federal Housing Administration could be slower, resulting in fewer mortgages processed.

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Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology

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Telstra becomes the first in the world to switch to HSPA+ wireless Internet technology
By BbGFjuyG | Posted in Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On Monday, Australian telecommunications company Telstra has introduced dual carrier HSPA+ standard for broadband Internet business customers in the Next G network. This is the first time this technology is being introduced on national scale. The bandwidths the users can deploy increased into two to three times, with Telstra becoming the world’s fastest national mobile broadband service. The switch started with enabling the service for premium users. After some feedback, Telstra may expand the plan.

Contents

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Technology
  • 3 Election campaign
  • 4 Distribution
  • 5 Sources
  • 6 External links

The higher speeds for wireless are intended to simplify and ease multitasking of users.

John Paitaridis, Telstra’s executive director, network products and services in Enterprise & Government, said “One of the reasons we decided to launch first to Enterprise And Government and Business customers is that clients are saying that their ability to access applications quicker makes a difference to their business and when they start to equate time savings and doing calculations around productivity it does become a return on investment.”

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff also stated that the efforts aren’t as sudden as it might seem, having feedback of many users as the base.

Australians are telling us they can’t afford to be tied to the desk all day and these new speeds mean they can now access mobile broadband at speeds typically reserved for the office. We have been deploying the high-speed capability in the network since December 2009 and now, with the launch of the new Ultimate USB Modem, these new speeds are available to customers across all capital city CBDs and associated airports, selected metropolitan areas and in more than 100 regional locations. These high-speed zones cover approximately 50 per cent of the Australian population and match the areas of highest customer demand and will make the frustration of waiting around for files to download a thing of the past. In other metropolitan and regional areas, the Telstra Ultimate USB Modem offers typical download speeds ranging from 550kbps up to 8Mbps… Our customers have told us that they want higher speed mobile broadband so they can work more flexibly outside of the office and we are delighted to be the first in the world to offer these new blistering speeds on a national network. The new Telstra Ultimate USB Modem provides customers with the speeds needed to handle large files, multi-task and update cloud-hosted applications effortlessly on the go when they are in a coverage area.

Previous modems were able to reach peak speed 21Mbps, with real life speeds ranging from 0.5Mbps to 8 Mbps. The theoretically expected maximum of the new technology is 42Mbps with user speeds varying between 1.1 and 20 Mbps. The new speed is twice as fast. This is caused by that the dual-carrier “Evolved High-Speed Packet Access” technology allows networks to send and receive wireless data using two channels simultaneously. This technology can be deployed on Next G networks. Telstra switched to them in February, thus making the switch to HSPA possible now.

Telstra delayed the implementation of the new technology until elections end. This decision was intended to avoid wrong interpretation of them by Coalition. Coalition’s claims include that wireless networks can be an alternative to the Labor party “fibre-to-the-home” proposal to introduce more expensive wired Internet. The announcement of the new technology, initially planned on August 25, was delayed, with Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton explaining, “We just didn’t want to feel like we were influencing the [telecommunications] debate.”

The political parties have different plans on development and funds on the Internet. The Labor party aims to spend AUD 43 billion to bring 1 Gbps wired Internet nationwide, and the Coalition plans to spend AUD 6 billion to introduce a variety of improvements including upgrade of existing copper Internet as well as expansion of wireless Internet to support 12Mbps. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said in the past that Australians shouldn’t assume wireless technologies won’t ever be comparable to fixed-line technology. Telstra’s upgrade shows that wireless broadband is reaching the 100 Mbps minimum speeds promised by Labor’s national broadband network.

Telstra has only 2000 devices which support the new technology. This is why the opportunity to try it out is being given only to the Business plan customers, and they receive it for the same price as they were paying for the previous NextG plan. Since October 5, the device will be available for sale, with the Business customers able to buy it with 75% discount and a prepaid data allowance. The upgrade is expected to cover roughly 50% of the population. This is happening at the same time as one of Telstra’s competitors Vodafone is doubling data download quotas on mobile cap plans.

As some testing showed, real life download speeds reached only about the half of the maximum. Telstra executive director of wireless Mike Wright explained that the predicted figures were the estimates, with real life speeds lower due to interfering environmental conditions: “It’s possible to achieve better than the typical user speed claims, but those claims occur in the ideal network environment with good signal quality. When you’re out on the streets you get a lot of variation where the network is subject to signal quality, your location and the network load.”

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