Why can’t I get an ADSL2+ service?

  • Why you might not be able to get ADSL2+
  • Pair gains and RIMs explained
  • Alternatives to ADSL2+

Broadband subscribers are often disappointed when they are advised by their internet service provider that an ADSL2+ broadband service is unavailable.

There are a number of reasons why an ADSL2+ service is unavailable on a line. In some circumstances, ADSL2+ is available at the exchange but further checks reveal the property is too far away, or there are no ports left.

In some cases, the problem is due to incompatible infrastructure on their phone line. These failures are often know as Pair Gain or RIM failures and will affect your ability to subscribe to an ADSL2+ broadband plan with any provider. Because the issue lies with the phone line that is attached to your house, no internet provider will be able to provide an ADSL2+ service at your current address.

Pair Gains and ADSL2+


If the copper line that connects your home phone line is connected to a pair-gain system you will not be able to run an ADSL2+ service. If the pair gain is removed successfully you may be able to run an ADSL service but will still not be able to connect an ADSL2+ service.

Best ADSL plans from Club Telco and TPG

A pair-gain system refers to the technology Telstra uses to run several phone services along the same length of copper line from the telephone exchange. Telstra will often install pair-gains systems to reduce installation costs and cabling space when connecting multiple phone services.

Instead of installing a separate copper line into each premise, which can often be too expensive, a pair gain system will use the same line that is then split and run into several houses. The resulting line is adequate for a phone service but cannot support a high speed broadband connection.

In most cases you your internet service provider can submit a request to Telstra to try and remove the pair gain system. If you have applied for an ADSL2+ service and received a pair-gain notice, the internet service provider will usually offer to attempt to remove it for free if you agree to sign up for an ADSL service.

Pair gains removals are only successful around 70% of the time. The removal of a pair gain will allow an ADSL service to run on the line. Unfortunately, even with the pair gain removed, you will not be able to receive an ADSL2+ service as connection is restricted to ADSL speeds.

RIM failures and ADSL2+


Similar to a Pair Gain system, Remote Integrated Multiplexer or RIM are often installed by Telstra to extend copper line to reach more areas. RIM infrastructure allows a voice or data to travel further along the copper phone line and can also be used to split a line to several premises. RIM’s are generally used when there is insufficient space for more copper cabling, where there are cable-laying difficulties or the overall expense of copper cabling is too prohibitive.

If there is RIM infrastructure on your home phone line you will be unable to run a high-speed ADSL2+ broadband service. The fastest connection possible on a RIM service is an ADSL connection. Your internet service provider will suggest suitable connection once a RIM notification has been issued. If you have been notified of a pair gain or RIM on your phone line, you can search ADSL broadband plans here.

Alternatives to ADSL2+

If ADSL2+ is unavailable, you could consider a cable connection from Optus instead. Cable broadband does not use the copper phone line system so is unaffected by infrastructure problems such as pair gains or RIMs.

However, cable is not available everywhere and if you cannot access an ADSL, ADSL2+ or cable connection you could try mobile broadband instead.

Search best mobile broadband plans