Telstra plans nationwide ADSL2+ upgrade

  • Telstra appeal to regional consumers
  • Rural exchanges covered as well
  • Top Hat upgrades brings broadband to 200,000 more people

Telstra has confirmed upgrades to its infrastructure, potentially bringing ADSL2+ speeds to 200,000 Australians.

The country's biggest telco is introducing new 'top hats' to 2,000 street cabinets that deliver telephone and ADSL1 services to homes and businesses.

The street cabinets were built to service new housing estates as an alternative to building a new exchange, and are also known as RIMs.

However, the cabinets are too small for Telstra to install ADSL2+ DSLAMs, so customers could only access slower ADSL1 plans, if they could get a broadband service at all.

The new 'top hat' solution allows Telstra to bolt on the necessary equipment to upgrade the cabinets to support ADSL2+, without building a whole new cabinet. This means the telco can now upgrade thousands of customers to ADSL2+ quickly and relatively cheaply.

Upgraded exchanges will make ADSL2+ available to both Telstra customers and customers of other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who use Telstra Wholesale services.

Backhaul to the cabinets will also be upgraded, providing extra capacity in anticipation of the higher demand.

The announcement is an interim solution to provide fast broadband until the National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolled out.

Telstra said it will be letting communities know as they roll out the technology in the next 18 months.

Customers who are on an ADSL1 connection should contact their ISP to find out when an upgrade is possible, or compare broadband providers to find the best ADSL2+ plan, then call to find out if the plan is available in your area.