Internet service provider Netspace today announced the activation of 10 DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) in Tasmania.
Areas covered by the new Ericsson-built DSLAM installations, which will bring ADSL2+ speeds of 20 megabits per second to the state, include Hobart, Launceston, New Town, Sandy Bay, Glenorchy, Kingston, Claremont and Lindisfarne. The company has slated two more for the state.
Netspace regulatory affairs spokesperson Mathew Phillips told ZDNet.com.au today that Netspace hopes to bring a Naked DSL service to Tasmania within the next six months, but noted that this hinged on Telstra providing access to its Unbundled Local Loop (ULL) service.
"We've launched ADSL2+ based on spectrum sharing, which requires an underlying telephone line. We're looking to augment that service with a Naked DSL offering and we plan to do that in the next six to 12 months. The problem is getting access to Telstra's ULL, which at the moment requires intervention by the [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission]," said Phillips.
At present, said Phillips, getting access to Telstra's ULL at prices set by the ACCC requires an access dispute being drawn by Netspace and following the competition watchdog's process.
"At the moment Telstra is not agreeing with the access price. That is why it is difficult to say we will do it in the next six months," he said.
Netspace will maintain its use of Telstra's Bass Strait backhaul link to Tasmania until it can grow demand for high speed broadband there, said Phillips, after which it may consider shifting traffic to Basslink's recently opened cable.
"Until customers start taking up the high speed service we announced today, we don't need any more capacity than we already have. When that capacity grows we'll be looking to make that investment," said Phillips.
He said Netspace was not concerned that the NBN fibre build would devalue its DSLAM investment because while it will offer higher speeds, customers are unlikely to be willing to pay more than what they already were.
"If you can get 20Mbps for $29.95 that will be enough for a lot of consumers, and the prospect of paying more for something running on fibre might not be that attractive," he said.
"I can predict with a much greater level of surety that consumers won't be looking to pay more in terms of the cost they expend every month for their internet access. They will take whatever speeds you can throw at them, but they will not pay two to three times what they're paying now for internet access services," he said.
Today's launch by Netspace is Tasmania's fourth major broadband announcement in recent months. Following the activation of the Basslink fibre cable earlier this month, Internode also announced it will boost its DSLAM count in Tasmania to 12. The Federal Government last week kicked off the NBN in Tasmania with the announcement that a Tasmanian NBN Company would be established.