Telstra yesterday announced it is conducting a trial of ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Loop) broadband technology amongst 100 retail and wholesale customers.
Telstra will use the trial to assess user reactions to ADSL, and make predictions on volume take-up of ADSL services.
David Stokes-McKeon, managing director of convergent business at Telstra, said the carrier aims to extend the trial to 1000 users by April or May of 2000, with a full commercial launch of ADSL services scheduled for August 2000.
The multimillion dollar rollout of ADSL will occur first in areas where Telstra does not yet offer broadband capabilities based on satellite and cable technology, said Stokes-McKeon.
ADSL technology can be used to deliver services including high speed 'always on' internet access, and interactive video applications.
Telstra has not yet determined what it will charge users for broadband services using ADSL.
Stokes-McKeon said the carrier is working to develop a pricing structure for retail broadband solutions which is "not dependent on ADSL, satellite or cable", but rather on services delivered.
However, in the wholesale broadband market, Rosemary Howard, managing director wholesale products, Telstra, said: "I don't think you'll see a rapid movement to a technology neutral pricing mechanism."
Telstra has chosen Alcatel to supply access equipment for ADSL, including Customer Multiplexers and Multiple Service Access Nodes, which will enable Telstra to deliver ADSL on its copper network.