Perth-based internet service provider Westnet has started trialling ADSL2+ services using its new parent iiNet's broadband network, with a formal launch date likely to come before the end of the year.
The trial is a step towards Westnet's goal of being able to offer ADSL2+ through its new parent iiNet, which acquired Westnet in May. Currently Westnet offers ADSL2+ using Optus' network as well as ADSL1 from Telstra.
"We're building the product in terms of the sign-up experience," a Westnet spokesperson said of the trial's aims. "It's really more the front of house facilities."
Using the iiNet network could have "great cost benefits" for Westnet, the spokesperson said. "iiNet are not looking to make any significant margins off the back of the wholesale."
This could result in better pricing for customers or higher download quotas, the spokesperson said. "With the Optus product we're as competitive as we can be."
While the Optus ADSL2+ product was only offered bundled with telephone services, the ADSL2+ product running on the iiNet network would also be offered as a stand-alone product, the spokesperson said.
The launch date for the official service was loose, according to the spokesperson, but would occur before the end of the year, perhaps in November.
When it goes ahead, Westnet will look to offer the iiNet product "first and foremost", but will still keep selling the Optus product "because there will be gaps", with some areas only able to be serviced using Optus equipment, while others can only access ADSL2+ through the iiNet network.
"There will be many instances where Optus are going to provide availability of ports," the spokesperson added. "Both networks are going to play a role for us."
iiNet had been considering migrating all Westnet customers to iiNet equipment, not just those interested in ADSL2+. However, iiNet CEO Michael Malone said last week that that will not be happening for the next 12 months at least, after negotiating a new business deal with Telstra's wholesale division to reduce the cost of supply to Westnet for 2009.
"The objective of mass migration was to save some money, and we're saving the money anyway without having to move and with no execution risk. Much better for everyone," Malone said in a Whirlpool post on Sunday.
On naked DSL, the spokesperson said that although Westnet had been resisting offering the service until now, the next few months would see the company looking into both naked and VoIP services. "It's not really such a geek's product any more," they said.