You found out what super-fast ADSL2+ broadband internet was, decided to get it, but then found out you were on a sub-exchange. What does this mean, and where do you go from here? Put simply, a sub-exchange is a smaller-sized telephone exchange that Telstra has built for homes that are too far from a normal exchange. The problem is, if you’re on a sub-exchange it means you won’t be able to get ADSL2+ with any broadband providers, and sadly, in some cases it can mean you won’t be able to get ADSL internet altogether.

Try Optus as an ADSL2+ alternative:

So, what are your options? The first fact you should know is the majority of ADSL internet providers in Australia use the Telstra telephone infrastructure to supply broadband. The main alternative is Optus, so it’s worth calling Optus on 1-800-780-186 to see if they have any normal-sized telephone exchanges in your area. If you luck out you may be able to get ADSL2+ through them.

If possible, go for a quick ADSL connection:

Most sub-exchanges still offer ADSL connections, some of which are quite quick in terms of download speed. Most people go for a 1,500kbps speed, which is pretty fast, while people who need as close to an ADSL2+ speed as possible can pay a little more and go for a premium 8,000 kbps plan.

As the ADSL sector is not as competitive as ADSL2+ internet, don’t be upset to discover you’ll ironically pay more for your ADSL connection. Exetel are currently one of the industry’s leaders for ADSL, so check out the Exetel ADSL X/1500 plan for $50 per month with 60GB, or the Exetel $65 FP-D1 ADSL 8,000 plan with 6GB in the peak time, and unlimited downloads in the off-peak, which goes from 12am-12pm EST. There are numerous other variations of plans to choose from.

Try iiNet as they often provide broadband via sub-exchanges:

Even if most internet providers can’t provide ADSL from a sub-exchange, iiNet have a special partnership with Telstra, which allows them to provide ADSL internet from many sub-exchanges. Give iiNet a call on 1 300 796 169 and see what your options are.

If you can’t get ADSL at all, go for Mobile Wireless broadband:

In instances where ADSL isn’t available at your local sub-exchange whatsoever, you can go for Mobile Wireless broadband internet, which works off of the mobile phone tower transmissions. In regional areas this is usually your best bet, because if the copper wire doesn’t reach you, the aerial-based mobile internet signal will.

Optus, iPrimus, Dodo and Westnet are all cheap options for Mobile Wireless, and they’ll work anywhere there is good Optus Mobile Wireless coverage. If you can’t get Optus coverage you can still go for 3, Vodafone, or Bigpond who use different networks, but you will have to pay more for Bigpond as they own the infrastructure and have the best coverage in Australia.

Ask Telstra to bypass the sub-exchange or lay a new cable:

In some cases people have successfully inquired and gotten Telstra to re-route their copper telephone line, so that it stretches all the way from the main exchange instead of going through the sub-exchange. This could cost you, and there are known issues relating to lines that are too far from an exchange, like increased noise on the telephone line, and a large decrease in internet speed, which in effect defeats the purpose for the change. Discuss with Telstra to see if this is a viable option for you.

Your last option is to ask Telstra if they can lay a brand new line from a major exchange to your home. This costs $299, but if it’s a viable choice you’ll probably save money over time, as ADSL2+ is cheap to run and a much better service than other broadband options.