Telstra invests $10 million into the bush

Following the results of the recently released Estens Inquiry, Telstra has announced it will invest $10 million into improving broadband services for its outer metropolitan and regional customers.

Part of the $10 million will be spent on enabling 100 exchanges for ADSL, 40 of those should be enabled by the end of the year. The remaining 60 exchanges are expected to be ADSL-enabled by the end of June 2003. Telstra says it will also roll-out broadband-enabled Remote Integrated Multiplexers (RIMs) to new housing developments and high-growth suburbs during 2003.

Another key initiative will be to install new "mini" ADSL devices across various exchange points servicing suburbs and some apartment blocks, which will allow these areas to access ADSL services in the future. Telstra expects to begin testing the first of these devices in early 2003.

Telstra Networks and Technology Group managing director Doug Campbell said the new ADSL initiatives will be supported by improvements to the telco's broadband registry, including a revamp to its methods of capturing customer registrations in 2003.

Released earlier this month, the Estens Rural Telecommunications Inquiry into Telstra's communications services across regional and rural Australia found while Internet services throughout rural areas of Australia had improved over the past two years, the demand for high-speed Internet access was growing. As a result, there is a need for Telstra and other service providers to more effectively promote and facilitate access to faster services such as ADSL, the report stated.

The report also recommended Telstra maintain a minimum 19.2Kbps Internet access speed for services throughout rural and regional Australia.

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