Internode continues ADSL2+ roll-out despite NBN commitment

Plenty of long term demand for ADSL2+, the ISP says

Internet service provider Internode has switched on seven new Digital Subscribe Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs) in Tasmanian suburbs, despite recently committing to a National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre service in the state.

DSLAMs were installed at telephone exchanges in Howrah, Sandy Bay, Lindisfarne, Kingston and New Town in Hobart, and the South Launceston and St John exchanges in Launceston. This brings the ISP's network of DSLAMs in Tasmania to nine in total, though Internode also offers ADSL2+ services through Telstra's own equipment.

A statement released by Internode said that the company plans to install DSLAMs in Bellevrie and Glenorchy in Tasmania by the end of the second quarter of this year.

"We intend to keep deploying more ADSL2+ DSLAMs around Australia in parallel to being an active participant in the ongoing development of the NBN," ISP CEO Simon Hackett told Computerworld Australia. "We don't see these as conflicting things. Our customers need the best service we can build for them today, as well as being able to access the best service tomorrow (via the NBN) as and when that becomes an option for various geographic regions around Australia over time."

Hackett said the eight-year projected build timeframe of the NBN meant that ADSL2+ was still an important service.

"We think there is plenty of long term demand for ADSL2+," he said.

The new equipment, which costs roughly $100,000 each to set up, will provide ADSL2+ connections to 3000 of the ISP's customers currently on ADSL connections. Internode intends to migrate those customers to the faster network over the next two months, which will see the bandwidth for each customer rise from 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) to a theoretical maximum of 24Mbps, depending on the distance between their home and the telephone exchange.

According to the statement, it will also cost the ISP less to provide Internet services to its customers.

Hackett said the new DSLAMs provided "a significant expansion of the number of customers with access to our highest performance offerings. It's not an expansion of our customer base, it's an expansion of value and quality for that customer base (and it does also tend to lead to more signups too, of course)."

When asked if the new ADSL2+ services would potentially cannibalise sales of the ISP's NBN offerings from early adopters, Hackett said that it wasn't the ISP's role to make that choice.

"That's up to our customers," he said. "We are, as always, interested in providing them with as much choice as we are able to provide to them."

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