I've been trying to get ADSL2 for a while but Telstra say we are too far from the exchange (but everyone in my street has adsl or cable) and also that we cant get 'Cable' because our driveway is too long and that the connection will get lost over the long distance. I live in Eltham its a suburban area. I have 2 questions, firstly, can I get Adsl2 offnet? And second why can't I get cable and just pay extra for a more heavy-duty cable which won't drop out over long distances? Im sure there is a solution - I don't wish to keep paying a ridiculous $99 per month for 12gig of wireless! Thanks, Lewis
Well Lewis, you’re in a sticky position. Take the time to read this response; I don’t know every detail of your situation, so this is general information; the best solution might be somewhere in between.
To provide an overview: every service provider is dependent on Telstra’s Copper Access Network (CAN) to link customers to a local exchange, and then use their own network out of the exchange to complete your connection to the internet. The major IEN (Inter Exchange Network) providers are Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode and Primus. Telstra is something like a backstop – they’re available for a full connection to the internet at every exchange, whereas the others are limited to exchanges that are heavily populated and offer a good return on investment. Our records indicate that the Eltham exchange (which you’re likely, but not definitely connected to) houses DSL Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs) for Telstra, Optus, TPG, Primus, iiNet and Internode. In other words, you hypothetically have every option available to you.
Now, an issue with being ‘too far from the exchange’ with one provider is usually a sure sign that other providers will be subject to the same physical limitation. ‘Offnet’ doesn’t mean going with a different copper line connection. Offnet is when one of the aforementioned major ISPs have not connected their own network point to the exchange, and are wholesaling the full connection from Telstra (at much higher prices). In your case, Offnet connections wouldn’t be on the table, and wouldn't provide any sort of solution anyway.
Anecdotally, Telstra has been known to keep very strict criteria for providing an ADSL connection at a quality above and beyond what other ISPs find suitable. What this means, in layman terms, is that Telstra might look at your cable length, the quality of the copper, and the work involved in making a circuit, and conclude that the final line speed will be below 1500kbps (1.5Mbps), and say “this doesn’t meet the minimum criteria for a quality service by our definition”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing on Telstra’s part – Telstra is a frequent target of regulators and of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, and limiting their connections to those that will work well might be part of their strategy to increase customer satisfaction.
Other ISPs, meanwhile, might decide that providing even a very slow, but otherwise steady and good value ADSL connection is worth it, and will complete the circuit for you. Generally speaking, cheaper ISPs like Dodo (1300 136 793) might not bother, whereas firms like Internode (1300 106 571) will go the extra mile simply because they don’t have an alternative to offer, the way Telstra does with mobile broadband.
As for the Cable issues – you should really push Telstra on this, and continue to escalate the issue. If a cable tap exists at the property, Telstra can usually be persuaded to complete that connection – but you really have to push them hard. We don’t recommend escalating an issue to the TIO right away, at least not without escalating through the proper channels at Telstra first. But in your case, you’re being knocked back on two fixed line connections, which, as you’ve hinted at, are on a completely different economic scale to mobile broadband. Telstra’s mobile broadband product is very good, but even a very good mobile broadband connection can’t be compared to the value and reliability of most fixed line alternatives.
I know this is a lot to take in. I could recommend that right now, the easiest path might be to call us – we’re dealers for TPG and Internode, and we can arrange a connection for you for these providers. If it fails, then you should get a clearer idea that it simply won’t work regardless of whom you go with. That will at least narrow your focus to escalating the cable issue with Telstra, and the TIO (if necessary).
Adam at Compare Broadband
1300 106 571