Telstra trials copper network improvements

Telstra trials copper network improvements

Summary: Telstra will be conducting a limited trial of technology to improve its copper network that could increase the number of ADSL ports available and bring welcome relief to customers.


in brief Telstra will be conducting a limited trial of technology to improve its copper network that could increase the number of ADSL ports available and bring welcome relief to customers.

The project, code-named "Delta", will see Telstra run a limited trial of a prototype that the telco told ZDNet Australia would "provide a low-cost solution to increase availability of ADSL ports to customers on existing infrastructure to meet existing demand". The news was first revealed by Communications Day this morning, which reported that the project would include an upgrade to street cabinets that will allow Telstra to fit more equipment, so that it could add more services and customers on its network.

Despite the expectation that the finalisation of the $11 billion deal with the National Broadband Network (NBN) — to decommission its copper network, lease its ducts and pipes to NBN Co and move its customers onto the NBN — is going to be announced on Thursday, Telstra said that it is committed to upgrading its copper network for the time being.

"It will hopefully be great news for residents and businesses in areas covered by RIMs, which at the moment have limited or no ADSL port capacity," Telstra said. "We are constantly looking at ways to improve our broadband service and coverage for our customers, and this is a trial for that very purpose. If it were to proceed, the extra capacity, which we expect to be limited to the tens of thousands of ports, will be available to both wholesale and retail customers in the usual way."

Topics: Broadband, Telcos, Telstra, NBN


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • It'd be nice if Telstra put as much effort into expanding the congested and overloaded backhaul into so many of their RIM cabinets today. Telstra routinely wreck Internet performance for all customers on impacted RIM cabinets today. If they can't service the ports they already have, how can the service more of them?

    On a related note, Internode has had its legal right (Declared services) to access the copper pairs terminating in the POI inside RIM cabinets denied by Telstra for years, on the basis of there being no space in the cabinet to make it possible.

    It'll be interesting to see whether these expanded cabinets are built with 'no spare space' in them as well - kinda 'accidentally on purpose' of course - they'd never deliberately block access to a competitor, of course.
  • Simon, don't get your knickers too twisted. ;)
    They're most likely just replacing the existing array of PSTN and DSLAM equipment with ISAM/MSAM's. I doubt the physical cabinets will change.

    For those that don't know what that means, it is my understanding that the majority of RIM cabinets contain two sets of hardware. The phone hardware, and the DSL hardware. There are cables joining them. There has been, for quite some time, equipment that does both. Obviously there is enough phone equipment to service 100% of the lines that feed back to the box, so logically replacing the phone equipment with phone+DSL equipment will enable 100% of the area to get DSL.
    The back haul is another matter, but over the past few years Telstra have apparently been upgrading the backhaul to most RIM's to fibre instead of the previous coaxial cable. That makes the backhaul upgrade plug-and-play.
  • "Telstra said. "We are constantly looking at ways to improve our broadband service and coverage for our customers, and this is a trial for that very purpose"

    Why does the cynic in me wonder why this has not been possible until now despite the complaints of rimmed customers for years? Same week as the NBN deal with Conroy is signed?

    Then again Conroy is unlikely to understand the difference between rimming their customers and a term which sounds very much the same (rhymes with beaming) which he would know more about from branch politics!
  • Simon.
    what is ACCC role with respect to:
    (1) Telstra's expanded Top Hat cabinets being built with ' no spare space' in them as well so as to deliberately block access to a competitor--eg., Internode.
    (2) Telstra not improving the backhaul from RIM to the Exchange?

    Do you know?
  • Simon I think it may be a good idea to forget the whinge and win tricks of past years and concentrate of real fair dinkum competition.

    In the interests of pure, open and consumer benefiting competition the old vilify and demonise Telstra is no more. Telstra will no longer be a monopoly and all RSP are in for the fight of their lives to the benefit of the Australian consumer.

    Naturally Telstra will in the short term try to attract as many customers as possible, who will be on-sold to the NBN progressively, but this will be achieved with fair and intense competition. So Simon go in hard and compete and forget the tricks.
  • Sydneyla keep carrying on with all the BS under the sun (as you do)...

    But only one company is playing tricks. It's the one who was fined $18m for doing "exactly as Simon said"...

    Please get your facts straight, before speaking on behalf of the portfolio.

    FYI - this is not a dig at Telstra it is a dig at your incessant lack of knowledge, as what I say occurred and what you say only occurred at NWAT, not in real life, where Simon's company IS legally entitled to access...!
  • Rizz please abandon your constant, and boring, journeys into past history and look to the future. I am well informed of the past happenings where Telstra opponents used devious tricks to have outrageous regulation placed on Telstra which has been most successful to restrict Telstra to the disadvantage of the Australia consumer.

    With the sale of the Telstra Wholesale to the NBN Co. opponents of Telstra have lost their milking cow and naturally have some concern. It will be interesting to see if Telstra opponents accept the level playing field or continue their invidious call for unfair sanctions to restrict Telstra and advantage themselves.