NBN cuts entry-level broadband prices, nixes differential pricing for video


NBN Co has detailed a price cut for entry-level broadband services that could make it more economical for retail service providers (RSPs) to offer ADSL-equivalent plans.

The company said it planned to shave at least $16.80 off the additional monthly charge levied on entry-level services once an extremely low usage threshold is passed.

NBN Co in June launched an industry consultation on its wholesale broadband pricing, with the company indicating it wanted to encourage the take-up of higher speed services as well as make NBN services more attractive to low-income households.

The company today revealed it had launched a second round of consultation, with NBN Co indicating it would move to quickly cut the wholesale pricing of low-end broadband services.

The company has a complex pricing structure for its entry-level 12Mbps services. A basic service with 150Kbps of included capacity has an effective wholesale price of $22.50. That can be used to serve households that are only interested in voice services or that have very low data needs.




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Focal’s new Chora speakers use recycled carbon fiber at accessible prices


Focal Audio might be known for producing some of the best speakers and headphones in the world, but the company hasn’t forgotten those of us that can’t spend $230,000 on a pair of towers. Case in point: Focal today announced the Chora series, a family of bookshelf and tower speakers replacing the company’s popular entry-level Chorus line, starting at $899 for a pair of bookshelf speakers.

Unlike most speaker companies, Focal creates its own drivers in-house, meaning it’s able to precisely tweak each driver for a given speaker model. The company created a new woofer material for the Chora line dubbed ‘Slatefiber,’ comprised of a thermoplastic polymer with non-woven recycled carbon fibers. All that translates into improved damping, rigidity, and lightness over its predecessor’s polyglass cone, promising clearer midrange. It also just looks cool:

For the tweeter, Focal is its trusty aluminum/magnesium inverted tweeter set into a waveguide that presumably controls the directivity of the high frequencies and improves the soundstage. Other highlights include an optional stand that tilts the speaker towards your ear, magnetic woofer grilles (the tweeter has a permanent grille), and a sleek design in three finishes. I caught an early glimpse at the speakers, and they’re a classy-looking bunch – the blue and dark wood finish is particularly unique.

The lineup consists of three speakers sharing a tweeter but differing in size and number of woofers. As you’d expect, the larger speakers can reach lower and play louder.

  • Chora 806: The bookshelf speaker, with a single 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) woofer reaching down to 49 Hz (-6dB). Focal says it’s an ‘ideal fit for rooms up to 269 sqft (25 sqm)’
  • Chora 816: A tower with dual woofers reaching down to 45 Hz and meant for rooms up to 323 sqft (30 sqm) and suggested for home theater use.
  • Chora 826: The flagship tower with dual woofers and a dedicated midrange driver, reaching down to 39 Hz and suggested for the largest rooms or those who want the best sound quality and dynamics.

The Chora family is available to order starting today at $899 from Focal.com/US. We expect to get our hands on one of the models in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more.

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Published September 5, 2019 — 16:01 UTC




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