TIO warns of hardship spike after NBN financial assistance winds up

More consumers are expected to experience hardship in paying their National Broadband Network (NBN) bills as Australia’s telcos look to eventually turn off the tap for financial support, a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) representative told a Senate committee on Friday.

Standing before the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network on Friday, TIO Judi Jones said the financial support given by government and industry had stalled any potential uptick of complaints that the agency expected from consumers.

“We’ve waited to see an increase in complaints about hardship and problems paying a bill — we think that will come, but by the end of the year it wasn’t showing up as a particular issue. It was starting to rise but it actually dropped off as an important issue in the pandemic because of financial support,” Jones said.

“We are anticipating, as government and providers wind back support measures, we’ll see

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Market Seems To Be Seeking Direction As Quarter Winds Down

Key Takeaways:

  • Volatile trading could continue after choppy session Thursday
  • Costco earnings beat expectations, but stock loses ground
  • Washington stimulus hopes still ticking, but sides far apart

As the election nears, it feels like there’s been a change in market psychology, and a note of caution on stocks in general following the great summer run-up.

Though stocks fell in pre-market trading this morning, it doesn’t seem like there’s a real sense of direction. Things are just drifting around, waiting for something to happen. This week has featured lots of intraday volatility, and it’s hard to see that changing. It’s a jittery market to both the upside and downside, and investors should be on their toes.

Yesterday’s minor rally that lifted the battered Tech sector seems like a long time ago this morning, with stock index futures down across the board and volatility edging higher. The S&P

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Stellar winds hint at how planetary nebulae get their stunning shapes

In their dying throes, some stars leave behind beautiful planetary nebulae — disk, spiral or even butterfly-shaped clouds of dust and gas (SN: 5/17/18).

How these fantastically shaped clouds arise from round stars is a mystery. New observations of red giant stars suggest that massive planets or other objects orbiting dying stars help stir up stellar winds and shape planetary nebulae, researchers report in the Sept. 18 Science.

“We were wondering how stars can get these beautiful shapes,” says Leen Decin, an astrophysicist at KU Leuven in Belgium. So she and her colleagues examined 14 stars in the red giant phase, before they become planetary nebulae. Data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in Chile revealed that stellar winds — fast-moving flows of gas, dust and subatomic particles such as protons — ejected from the red giant stars have different shapes, including spirals, disks and cones.


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