Why are some broadband providers at my exchange, but others aren’t?

When you start to shop around for ADSL or ADSL2+ broadband internet you may be surprised to see some companies’ services at your local phone exchange, but others not. You may also find one provider can offer ADSL2+ while another only ADSL1. Why do these variations occur?

The answer is fairly simple, but not always obvious. There are many thousands of telephone exchanges around Australia, the majority of which are part of the Telstra infrastructure. If an ADSL broadband provider wants to offer an ADSL connection from a phone exchange, it has two options: put its own equipment into the exchange, or rent Telstra wholesale ports for reselling.

The first factor that will help a provider determine whether or not it provides a service at a phone exchange is simply how much money it feels it could earn back from the investment. If there are already numerous providers offering a service there, or if the phone exchange is located in a sparsely populated area, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) may deem the exchange as not being worth the trouble of investment.

At some phone exchanges, especially in regional or rural locations, the exchange doesn’t have space for ISPs to install their own ADSL equipment. In this instance they will have to rent ports for resale off of Telstra wholesale.

Historically, Telstra hasn’t always offered resellers a good enough wholesale price to make the venture worthwhile. In situations where it has been profitable, some providers have found when they’ve inquired there are no more ports available, as other ISPs have taken them all. Some ISPs have special contracts with Telstra, so they can offer their services in more locations than those who can only provide a connection via their own equipment.

The story with Optus is a different one altogether. Optus uses its own telephone infrastructure separate to the main Telstra network. Sadly, Optus’s network is much smaller than Telstra’s, and so it can only provide a service in certain locations, usually in metropolitan areas. In some cases Optus rents Telstra lines and offers its service via the Telstra network.

Why can one provider offer ADSL2+ at my phone exchange, whereas others only ADSL1?

This is a question we at Compare Broadband hear on a regular basis. Again, it comes down to whether or not an ISP has put its own ADSL2+ equipment into an exchange, or whether Telstra has rented out ADSL2+ ports to resellers there.

Larger ISPs can usually offer ADSL2+ in more locations, because they simply can afford to make the investment. If an exchange already has several ADSL2+ providers there, and the surrounding populace is not intensively dense, an ISP may look past that specific exchange in order to source more economical opportunities.

Give Compare Broadband a call on 1300 106 571 to find out which ISPs have services at your local phone exchange, and what kind of ADSL broadband they each offer there. We endeavour to help you get matched up with the most suitable plan for your needs based on your usage and other variables like price, speed and contract length. Using maps and telephone number checkers, we can get a good idea of what is available in your location.

Note: If there are any infrastructure issues (technical problems) at your exchange or home, we may be able to discern this, and your number of choices will then be adjusted accordingly.