When you are doing the rounds enquiring about getting an ADSL2+ broadband internet connection, it is not uncommon for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to say, ‘Sorry, there are no ports available at your local telephone exchange.’ What does this mean? Will you be able to get ADSL2+ at all?

Fortunately, the truth of the matter is just because one provider doesn’t have ADSL2+ ports available from their DSLAM equipment in your local phone exchange, it doesn’t mean all providers won’t be able to offer a service. Whether or not an ISP has enabled a phone exchange is arbitrary. It’s an expensive investment, so you’ll find different companies have enabled some exchanges and not others in order to make their investment back as soon as possible.

Try other broadband providers

If a provider doesn’t have ports available it means they have enabled the exchange for ADSL2+, but all of the ports on their specific DSLAM equipment are currently being rented out to customers in the area. You could wait until a customer leaves, or until the company adds more DSLAM equipment, but it’s nearly impossible to know when this will happen.

Your main option is to contact various other ISPs to see if they have ADSL2+ ports available at this local exchange. If one company has enabled the exchange for ADSL2+, there is a good chance another one has done the same. Call as many providers as you can, and compare prices between the ones who do have ports available for an ADSL2+ service.


One point to note is this rule does not always ring true, and the instance when it doesn’t is when you are talking about BigPond. BigPond is part of Telstra, who of course currently owns the main telephone network in Australia. This means BigPond can sometimes provide ADSL2+ in areas where the other companies don’t, especially in certain locations just outside of metropolitan areas.

However, BigPond is not as competitive or affordable as other providers, and so it still could be better for you to go for an ASDSL1 connection with a different company in this scenario.

RIM or pair gain

The main idea to remember is not having ADSL2+ ports available isn’t the same as having an infrastructure issue like being on a pair gain, sub-exchange, RIM, or living too far away from a phone exchange. These issues usually impede an ADSL2+ connection altogether, regardless of which provider you are considering signing up to. If you are in this predicament, your best option will be to look for the top ADSL1500 or ADSL8000kbps connections from a number of providers in your area.

Having no ports is not the end of the world, and it definitely should not be the end of your search for an ADSL2+ broadband connection. If there is a specific company’s plan you would particular like to sign up to, you could wait for a port to become available. The way to find out is to consistently call the provider to see if any ports have become free. Otherwise, shop around and sign up to a different company’s ADSL2+ service. You may even find a better plan along the way!