Over 10 months, Telstra has installed 1,000 of the 2,000 planned "Top Hat" boxes on top of street-side cabinets, designed to upgrade ageing cabinets and provide ADSL2+ services to some 200,000 customers who never before had access to ADSL or ADSL2+ services.
The Top Hats are designed to deliver broadband to areas that were previously only served by remote integrated multiplexer (RIM) cabinets. Telstra, with Alcatel-Lucent in November 2011, embarked on an 18-month project to install Top Hat upgrades to 2,000 cabinets across the country.
Mike Wright, Telstra's executive director of networks, today said that the company had switched on its thousandth Top Hat in Moruya, New South Wales.
"So far, we've invested around $80 million to make ADSL2+ broadband services available to more than 200,000 homes and businesses," he said. "Around 100,000 of these customers have been upgraded from an ADSL service to ADSL2+, while the remaining 100,000 services provide the opportunity for new customers to access fast fixed broadband for the first time."
Wright said that the company will have around 1,850 Top Hats installed by the end of 2012, covering 350,000 premises.
At the same time, Telstra is upgrading the connection running from the cabinets to Telstra's core network, up to gigabit Ethernet fibre.
In January, the Commonwealth Bank predicted that, as these Top Hat upgrades were rolled out, some customers would switch to fixed line broadband instead of mobile broadband. While Telstra continued to see growth in mobile broadband for the 2011-2012 financial year, the company also added 203,000 new fixed broadband customers. The company did see a decline in PTSN customers for the year by 281,000, however.