Business and wholesale telco PowerTel has launched ADSL2+ broadband services, with Perth-based Westnet to be one of the first retail Internet service providers to offer the product.
ADSL2+ offers download speeds of up to 24Mbps, as opposed to the up to 1.5Mbps ADSL1 which is commonly sold in Australia by providers utilising Telstra's wholesale network.
PowerTel's offering uses its own hardware as well as the extensive ADSL2+ network built by retail ISP iiNet, after iiNet granted PowerTel exclusive rights to wholesale the network earlier this year.
Westnet had previously only offered ADSL1 services based on Telstra's network. The Perth-based ISP had for some months been playing coy with its customers about its ability to offer ADSL2+ services, in the face of increasing speed-based competition in the broadband market from the likes of iiNet, Internode and others who have been offering ADSL2+ for some time.
PowerTel's move comes as reports have recently suggested that Telstra will soon launch its own ADSL2+ services.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel recently said publicly there was currently no need to force Telstra to provide wholesale access to its new ADSL network, fuelling speculation Telstra would soon launch retail ADSL2+ services.
Westnet, which has some 115,000 residential broadband customers nationally, will not for long be alone in buying wholesale ADSL2+ from PowerTel.
Strong evidence points to the idea that fellow ISP Netspace has also recently signed an access deal with PowerTel.