Telstra Offers Faster Internet

Telstra has announced ADSL2+ services for Australian internet users, but would you bother?

After taking a close look at the announcement, Telstra’s ADSL2+ only operates from telephone exchanges that are already ADSL2+ enabled, plus the prices and data packages are less competitive than what is already in the market.

ADSL access through the Telstra internet network has to date been at best slow. 256k in line speed stopped being called ‘broadband’ in other countries many years ago. We were shattered when it was announced that the ‘fibre to the node’ network was not going to be built and as soon as we saw the announcement about Telstra’s ADSL2+ , we thought – Wahoo!, more ADSL2+ for all. We thought this new announcement needed to have some explanation of the key points.

Here is the bad points of the new services –

  1. ADSL2+ is only available in exchanges where there are already ADSL2+ offerings from competitors. So the new service does not allow NEW areas of Australia to benefit from the faster speeds. We’re told this is so in the future Telstra is not forced to wholesale off their ADSL2+ network to other retail providers. This may or may not be correct as Telstra has not clarified this with us directly, however should this be true or should it not, we’re still faced with the fact that if your exchange is not enabled with Telstra’s competitor, then it is not now enabled with Telstra ADSL2+ either.
  2. The prices for the new, faster speeds are uncompetitive when compared to other providers. I felt a little faint when I saw that for $60 a month, I could sign up to Telstra (and their phone system) and transfer 600 megabytes of data OR I could sign up with iinet (and let’s face it many others) and download 21 gigabytes for $55. Notice that for Telstra I said ‘transfer’. At present Telstra counts your uploads toward your monthly usage cap and is the only ISP I know of to do this.
  3. The upload speeds of Telstra’s ADSL2+ network are half that of competitors at just over 50k a second. Other providers are offering 100k a second for all uploads.

The good is a lot less than the bad, but it still rates a mention –

  1. The new download speeds offer even better access to Telstra’s online content. Content will be made available for the V8 racing car series, AFL, NRL, movies and music (and others), plus content will also be faster to download and we may see content improvements in the near future. For example, video clips may be offered in higher resolutions for ADSL2+ customers simply because you can now access the higher through-put on the faster internet connection.

All in all a big announcement, but it does not go as far as we would have liked to have seen.

These are some of my thoughts on the new service, agree or disagree – post it in the Cyber Shack forums.

Charlie Brown.