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Network breaks wireless speed barrier

Add a WAP device to a new packet-switched system running modem compression software, and you get breakneck speeds of 50Kbit/sec, a five-fold increase on current digital wireless networks. Which is exactly what Nortel Networks and Telstra achieved at a recent demonstration of live wireless Internet applications on a live GPRS (general packet radio service) system. GPRS is a packet-based communications platform which overlays Telstra's GSM (global system for mobile communications) network to provide high-speed wireless data access.www.nortelnetworks.com, www.telstra.com.auSoftware restrictions liftedThe federal government has lifted import restrictions on packaged business and educational software that will eliminate the current supply monopoly held by industry giants like Microsoft and Novell. Multinational software companies will lose monopolies on bringing their products into Australia, as importers can now obtain brand name products as soon as they are released anywhere in the world without having to wait for local companies to supply them. Attorney general Daryl Williams predicted business software prices to drop 27 per cent and said the government didn't expect strong support for the move in the US, but "what we are doing is acting in the interest of the Australian consumer, not in the interest of overseas multinationals". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission applauded the change claiming consumers had been held hostage to the interests of multinationals and forced to "pay through the nose" for many years. www.law.gov.au/wotl.html Copyright act amendedThe Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Bill was passed in parliament last week effectively updating legislation to cover the online environment. The Bill includes new enforcement measures to give copyright owners the tools to protect their rights online basically replicating the balance used in the print environment. It also clarifies the limits and liability of service providers such as ISPs for copyright infringements on their facilities.

Full text of the bill is available on the Web site www.aph.gov.au

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