Telstra 'loses game of chicken' on ADSL2+ rollout

Telstra 'loses game of chicken' on ADSL2+ rollout

Summary: Telstra has officially switched on over 900 ADSL2+ exchanges, amid allegations of spin by the telco over its decision to back down on the issue of regulation.

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Telstra has officially switched on over 900 ADSL2+ exchanges, amid allegations of spin by the telco over its decision to back down on the issue of regulation.

Some 370 exchanges will be switched on within seven working days, with some locations including Alice Springs getting the speed bump within the next two days.

Another 132 exchanges, including some in Camperdown, Victoria and Loxton, SA, will be ADSL2+ enabled in three weeks, followed by an additional 405 within 200 days, according to the telco.

BigPond users in newly ADSL2+ enabled areas will need to move to more expensive plans to access the higher speed services, which will see up to 2.4 million users now able to access broadband speeds of up to a theoretical maximum of 20Mbps.

While the exchanges have been ADSL2+ enabled for some time, Telstra had been holding off on flicking the switch due to regulatory concerns: the telco had not green-lighted DSLAMs in areas where no competitor operated in case the competition regulator mandated it allow rivals to resell those services.

Telstra said it had been given assurances from the government that "it did not consider a compelling case had been made for regulating third-party access" in the newly switched-on areas, after it received a letter on the subject from Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy. Telstra's CEO Sol Trujillo added in a statement that the telco welcomed the government's "regulatory forbearance".

However, the letter in question does not appear to mark any change in government policy, as Telstra has implied.

Conroy's letter says the regulation of the services is not a matter for the government and that he has checked with the ACCC for their position on the matter.

"Mr Samuel [head of the ACCC] has advised: The ACCC has previously indicated that a compelling case has not been made for declaring and regulating third party access to a wholesale xDSL service (including ADSL and ADSL2+ services) ... Mr Samuel has informed me that this position has been reiterated publicly on several occasions", the letter reads.

It continues: "Given the consistency of the ACCC's statements on this matter, I believe there is a high degree of regulatory certainty in relation to the ACCC's approach to wholesale ADSL2+ services ... I would welcome a decision by Telstra to switch on ADSL2+ services in as many exchange areas as possible."

Telstra could not immediately be reached for comment.

David Forman, CEO of the Competitive Carriers Coalition, said Telstra's decision to enable ADSL2+ was an attempt by the telco to rebuild its relationship with the government ahead of its planned rollout of fibre-to-the-node.

"There's been no change in position from the government or regulator ... what there has been is Telstra giving up a point of blackmail. This is the second example of games of chicken [the first being CDMA] with the government and this is [Telstra] realising the government is not going to give way," he said.

Topics: Telcos, Government, Government AU, Microsoft, Telstra

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24 comments
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  • Clear as crystal.

    Jo, your record as a Telstra basher remains unequalled. As I recall the ACCC told Telstra that a decision by the ACCC, would not be made until after Telstra switched on the ADSL+2. Under this ruling Telstra could not afford the risk of system domination by the ACCC. The Labor Government has obviously assured Telstra that after switch-on the ADSL+2 would be safe from the parasites.
    anonymous
  • and maidstone remains monopolised

    i dont care if telstra rolls out adsl2 in timbuktu, the maidstone exchange in victoria remains monopolised by telstra.

    lets get some competition allowed in this area
    anonymous
  • Unethical reporting standards

    I have read the same story on 5 different sites as well as the Telstra media release and none were as blatantly bias, inaccurate and aimed at appeasing the disappointment the anti Telstra brigade is experiencing as your article Jo.

    How could you attempt to call this a news story, I would have expected to read something like this from Lord Watchdog, Grump or Keith Styles.

    I would stop visiting this site if it wasn't for the fact that all the anti Telstra people, which you are obviously one, would be happy to have no replies to their comments.
    anonymous
  • Competition allowed?

    There is no restriction on competition, it is called investment by the private sector. Any registered telecommunications company can request access to the exchange and install equipment to deliver their own services but you are obviously not economically viable for them. There are over 5000 exchanges and the majority of these are open to all carriers for an ACCC controlled fee, the only times they are not open is when there is space, power or a number of other ACCC approved reasons.

    Other then the ULL which is maintained by Telstra the only reason they are considered a monopoly is that no one else wants to invest in many non-profitable areas.
    anonymous
  • Sydney's eye sight problem.

    I'd go have your eyes checked,..Sydney.

    Jo did no more than report facts and statements made by others. Did you NOT see the quote marks around the statement by David Foreman?

    If anyone is bashing anyone, it's you bashing Jo, because you can't handle factual criticism.
    The only parasite is you and your one eyed commenting. Tel$tra could have thrown the switch and had ADSL2+ running last year, but chose to play funny bu**ers with everyone,..The government, the ACCC, and all of the Australian public, in the hope it would regain it's monopoly! The pity of it is, where there is no competition, Tel$tra will milk everyone with it's exorbitant and outrageous pricing policies.

    Bring on more competition...
    anonymous
  • Your wish is granted.

    Try removing your blinkers!!
    anonymous
  • Where?

    HI, I would like to know where these 900 exchanges are.

    We had an organisation here (RAWNET) that offered ADSL2+, but since they went bust no other was able to offer the same in this area (Townsville Suburbia)

    So would someone be able to list these exchanges?
    anonymous
  • Read the letter

    Before bashing Jo read the actual letter first. Nothing has changed at all !!!

    Just to help - here is the link.

    http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/81223/senator_conroys_letter_to_telstra.pdf
    anonymous
  • What a joke

    "BigPond users in newly ADSL2+ enabled areas will need to move to more expensive plans to access the higher speed services"

    That's hilarious - other providers offer ADSL2+ at much cheaper than Telstra's ADSL1 as it is. The joke is it will either cost Telstra the same (if on the same equipment) or more (if on older equipment) to keep customers on ADSL1.

    With all of Telstra's b.s. about technical issues, the reason behind the original 1500kbs cap was to charge more when they *eventually* turned up the speed even though there would be little in the way of extra cost. No wonder they got upset when the ACCC allowed competition to jump straight into ADSL2 speeds - competition that Telstra allowed, nay almost forced to exist through through their relentless milking of the product lifecycle through artificial delay.

    Telstra marketing people need to go back to university and learn that customer does not equal cash cow.
    anonymous
  • Two sides of the fence

    The view for each person looking to the other side will always be different. Why do you even bother trying to change each other's minds. We all know the likes of Sydney are hardened Telstra supporters while the likes of Jo & Keith are anything but Telstra supporters. Jo and Sydney can have valid arguments when they want to while Keith is slowly losing the plot. I have learned never to take Jo's articles and shift the facts 50% towards Telstra's side to get a balanced story and with Sydney shift the facts about 25% the other way to balance it out.

    Jo, please keep writing these nonsensical stories and Sydney please keep responding in your wonderful manner. Keith please just take a Valium and go lie down.
    anonymous
  • Unethical reporting standards?

    LOL - I get a mention whether I comment or not these days. Such is life I suppose.

    Chris, I don't see anything unethical about the article and in Telstra's favour I don't have a problem with them installing equipment in exchanges and then letting it gather dust until the ACCC bend over backwards to Telstra's requirements either. If Telstra wishes to call that a good business decision then that is a matter for them.

    One thing I do not understand (and never will understand) about Telstra is that they are reported by several sites to be preparing to ask their subscribers to pay a higher fee for migrating from ADSL1 to ADSL2. Bigpond's ADSL1 prices are already amongst the highest even before allowing for addons like static IPs. I'll add that ADSL2 supplied by many small ISPs is cheaper than the far slower ADSL1 offered by Bigpond.

    Bigpond doesn't need to raise their prices but as I have said before they are happy to do so and get away with it because the majority of their subscribers do not know that there are dozens of well capitalised smaller ISPs with the capacity to install their own gear and offer some value for money.

    In conclusion I am happy for you to reply to my "anti-Telstra" comments if you wish. I may not agree with you but I do respect free speech.
    anonymous
  • bring on more competition...

    yeah all we need is another 50 companies chasing the easy revenue by offering cheap broadband in the major cities while leaving telstra to be the only one really investing their own money in regional australia.
    anonymous
  • think about it

    jo is a journalist and reports what people say, telstra and telstra competitors. Sydney just cheerleads telstra whatever happens and will not except criticism even where it's justified. it's not the same at all.
    anonymous
  • Jo and Sydney twist the truth

    Jo simply is paid for twisting it, Sydney does it out of blind love for Telstra
    anonymous
  • The Damage is already done

    Telstra as a whole has already damaged themselves with their dodgey products with over inflated prices and also their bully boy tactics on competition to anyone not with telstra.
    Who cares if they have enabled the other exchanges if it wasn't for other ISP's putting ADSL2+ dslams in exchanges Telstra wouldn't have lifted a finger in the first place.
    Telstra isn't even worth spitting on and i would like to see the downfall of telstra when another company can do the job better and manage the network better
    anonymous
  • Wouldn't have lifted a finger?

    Telstra installed ADSL2+ enabled CMUX devices in close to 2,000 exchange and only needed to "flick a switch" to turn them on. If you were the CEO of Telstra would you have turned them on knowing the ACCC could at any time step in and force you to sell your own hard work at a fraction of the cost? I agree that they should have switched them on earlier but I do not agree with the ACCC thinking they could or should "declare" a service when any other vendor could connect their own infrastructure if they wanted to invest real money in this country. I respect the company for holding their ground, although some consider it ransom, to ensure their investment is secured and they have an opportunity to see a real return on investment.
    anonymous
  • Telstra ADSL2+

    It still baffles me that anyone believes Telstra is a friendly, "competitive" company.
    Speak to any worker, current and former, that has dealt with the "head up their arse" beauracracy (think I spelt that wrong?) and total indifference that Telstra has for what used to be know as "service".
    To say the ACCC can step in and take away all Telstra's hard work, when virtually every exchange has been around for 20 plus years, then factor in profits of billions of dollars each quarter, completely overlooks the fact that competition, in Telstra's mind, means Telstra and Telstra only and sod teh rest of the world.
    anonymous
  • Ownership IS Owndership

    At the end of the day every exchange is owned by this company, people may want to think differently but the original owners were reimbursed when they company was privatised. There are rules around anti-competitive behaviour and the ACCC loves to pounce on Telstra when they can and in recent times they have been exceptionally quiet.

    Should Rio Tinto simply roll over and allow BHP to give it to them where the sun doesn't shine simply because the coal has been in the ground for hundreds of thousands of years?

    Exchanges cost a huge amount to run, staff, maintain, power etc and other companies think they can walk in and have free unfettered access to them without any of the burden that comes with it.

    As someone who worked for Telecom, left to work for Optus and 3 others only to realise the error of my way and returned to (and still at) Telstra I have no hesitation is saying that the "head up their arse bureaucracy" is no worse then those at all the others.

    The only real difference is that Telstra has no idea to market itself.
    anonymous
  • Stop the personal attacks.

    Anonymous twerp who makes fun at other peoples namesake has spoken.

    Please keep your weaknesses to yourself or simply identify yourself. Your positings as they stand are backfiring against you!
    anonymous
  • Telstra employee advice

    An ex-Telstra employee told me that when working for Telstra you never look out the window in the morning so that you have something to look forward to in the afternoon.

    Go Telstra!
    anonymous