DSLAM roll-outs continue despite NBN

DSLAM roll-outs continue despite NBN

Summary: Australia's telcos have not stopped rolling out broadband infrastructure such as ADSL Multiplexer (DSLAM) hardware in exchanges, despite the Federal Government's $43 billion National Broadband Network plans.


Australia's telcos have not stopped rolling out broadband infrastructure such as ADSL Multiplexer (DSLAM) hardware in exchanges, despite the Federal Government's $43 billion National Broadband Network plans.

The Croydon (Vic) exchange area
(Credit: Telstra)

iiNet CEO Michael Malone pointed out that despite a dearth of information on the government's plans, the network build looked to continue over the next five to eight years, with backhaul set to be upgraded to under-served areas over the next 12 months.

"Given those estimates, and unless we hear otherwise, iiNet intends to continue with its planned DSLAM roll-out, focusing on metropolitan areas for expansion, and hopefully being able to address some regional centres as well if backhaul is made available," he told ZDNet.com.au.

Internode's managing director Simon Hackett had already voiced his belief when the network was announced that his company and his rivals could continue to build.

"Leaving the copper network in place will maintain the current ADSL2+ competitive broadband environment, so that Internode and its rivals have many more years of useful ADSL2+ network building ahead... Bypassing the copper network also means the existing access regime can continue unchanged while the new network is put in place, in parallel," he said at the time.

The unformed nature of the government's plans meant that Soul would also be forging ahead. "The government's FTTH project still has many unknowns so our business and DSLAM roll-out is moving forward as planned," a spokesperson for the carrier said.

Optus was a notable exception in that it had no plans to further its footprint, but not due to the National Broadband Network. According to a spokesperson for the company, Optus had finished its DSLAM roll-out last year, bringing the total number it fielded to 366.

Telstra would not comment on the issue, but has not made any announcements saying it planned to stop its latest project, a Hybrid Fibre Coaxial upgrade which will allow around one million Melbourne customers to reach peak speeds of 100Mbps.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Telcos, Optus, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Cairns?

    All this talk and yet STILL no-one has bothered to install infrastructure in Cairns and other north QLD areas.
  • Thank you lord!!!

    Come DSLAM rollout!

    iiNet and Internode are welcome to roll their DSLAMs toward Newcastle any day! We're stinging for some decent ADSL2+ infrastructure in this area. All we have so far is under resourced Optus, over-priced Telstra, and unreliable TPG! And that's if you are connected to one of the lucky exchanges.
  • *

    iiNet only go far as the METRO line in most states.
    Internode only do CBD exchanges.

    Yay for more DSLAM rollouts into exchanges that DO NOT NEED THEM!

    Maybe move into the regional area's where there is no other providers than Telstra. Then you might get a better reputation than your current exchange cherry picking process!
  • backhaul is the issue

    the problem with extending into regional areas is the lack of backhaul to service the exchanges.

    With the new NBN looking to run fibre all over place, which is effectively backhaul, there should be a period during which backhaul is sufficient, but the final NBN is still a long way off, and its at that point when it would be feasible for ISPs such as Internode and iiNet to install their DSLAMs.

    iiNet have at least got the New Lambton exchange in Newcastle, which is regional 1, listed as 'proposed'. Now if only they would commit!
  • Indeed backhaul is the issue.

    The problem is not lack of backhaul, the problem is the cost of backhaul from the incumbent provider where there is no competition.
  • Indeed backhaul is the issue

    ...well yeah that's where I was going with it. ISPs options are to buy backhaul from Hel$tra, at exorbitant prices that must be passed on to the customer, thus rendering the broadband plans unrealistically expensive, or install your own backhaul, which would require a significant up front outlay with no guarantee of return.
  • Continuing ...at a snails pace.

    When they say they are continuing with the DSLAM roll-out, it has been failed to mention how SLOWLY the technology is being rolled out in the first place, lets face it the broadband technology roll-out in Australia has always moved at a snails pace, so that now in 2009 we have one of the slowest internet speeds at the highest prices of developed nations.

    Let's face it, these companies have held on to their monopolies and never cared about people waiting at all, in my mobile IT service I constantly hear from my customers in big cities who can't get ADSL because Tel$tra or optu$ own the cables and only provisioned half the street.

    It's only right that the govermnent has stepped in now that our embarassing stats are obvious to everyone. It's a big kick up the butt to the competition in Australia and a big slap in the face to Telstra.

    p.s I hope Telstra does get dismembered.
  • Cairns

    Actually there are 2 exchanges in the Cairns area which do have alternative provider equipment in them . CRSX(Cairns) and PTSM(Portsmith) . Typical of Optus cherry picking the most profitable exchanges to install equipment though. Townsvile also has a few exchanges enabled as well.
  • Hold that "Thank you"

    I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for an iiNet ADSL 2+ rollout in Newcastle anytime soon... I've been pushing for it for several years now, and as of a month ago, they were still saying they have no plans to rollout ADSL 2+ DSLAMs up here. You and I both know they'd make a killing up here if they were to give us the speeds we deserve, but that doesn't, unfortunately, seem to make any difference to the powers that be. So for now and the concievable future I'm stuck on a ADSL 1+ that's capable of 8000 mb/s but only getting around 2500... unless I move to Bigpong, and pay their Big, Pongy prices.
  • That's fine

    When the NBN rolles out - they can take that equipment to the 10% of where Dslams are needed and people who don't have NBN cable hockup. It will still be great!!! - my patience goes out to people who can't get it to begin with!!!
  • Internode Cherry Picking

    I'm not surprised that you decided to post as 'Anonymous' when making a blatently incorrect statement such as 'Internode only do CBD exchanges'.

    From what i know of my Geography Geelong (VIC), Whyalla (SA), Tintinara (SA), Port Lincoln (SA), Murray Bridge (SA) & Mount Gambier (SA) are all non CBD exchanges and are enabled by Internode. I'm sure someone from South Australia can give me examples of others.

    Let's not forget, they STARTED with Meningie , which wasn't even enabled by Telstra.
  • internode blah

    only one thing worse than a telstra fanboi and thats an internode fanboi
  • Internode - grant and govt contracts....

    With large government subsidies, Internode has enabled non CBD/metro exchanges.

    Good ol' Mr Hackett has been in the game along time and knows how to get the govt subsidies and contracts to build his business.

    More power to him, but please dpn't think Internode are any more altruistic than any other provider - they are just really good at getting Govt subsidies and contract.
  • Monopoly? WTF? I think not.

    I wouldn't call the ISP industry a monopoly.
    The only near exception is Telstr's control of the exchanges and the last mile.
    But here is SA we have Internode, Adam, Optus, Hel$tra, I think iiNet and a host of smaller ISPs, - nothing like a monopoly.

    But yeah I hope Telstra's gets broken up too.
  • Not cherry picking

    Optus is mainly restricted to the backhaul

    My guess is most of these exchanges are connected via the fibre network running parallel along the north coast rail-line. Both owned/managed by Qrail and Optus.

    Anyone outside the footprint of these service doesn't have Optus DSLAM install sadly

    Same thing has happened to Hervey Bay and Maryborough. But because the train line runs directly thru Bundaberg and they have Optus DSLAM
  • RE: Hold that "Thank you"

    You _honestly_ think your personal thumb-in-the-air analysis is better than the information iiNet would have access to and the process they would go through before deciding that it will be profitable to purchase and install a DSLAM in a particular exchange?

    ISP's don't play darts to randomly choose where to put DSLAMs and they're not running charities either. It's all about money.
  • charities

    telstra are a charity according to some and should spend $m's with minimum roi, just so that these people can get the latest and greatest.
  • Internode

    In South Australia Internode has DSLAMs in rural towns such as Meningie, Tintinara, Coonalpyn, Tailem Bend, Maitland, and Minlaton; and then in larger centres such as Murray Bridge, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, and Port Augusta.

    Soon to be included is Mt Gambier, and even Port Pirie is on the cards.

    They are also NOT funded by the Govt in any way. Backhaul may have been funded in part by the Govt for an unrelated project, but they were never built solely for the purpose of providing ADSL.

    The Coorong network was built to deliver lower cost telephony services. DSLAMs were added years after the network was commissioned, and certainly not covered by the original funding.

    The Yorke Peninsula network was built to deliver wireless broadband to that region. DSLAMs were installed at some locations, but were not part of the funding for that project.

    Port Augusta, Whyalla, and Port Lincoln were funded by Internode as there was simply a business case to do so.

    Its all there on the website, no secret, and certainly not "CBD only".