Telstra uncaps ADSL broadband

Telstra uncaps ADSL broadband

Summary: update Telstra today finally launched uncapped ADSL1 and ADSL2+ broadband services, more than 18 months after some competitors started offering the higher speed services. However, the telco will only sell ADSL2+ services in locations where competitors are already offering the higher speeds.


update Telstra today finally launched uncapped ADSL1 and ADSL2+ broadband services, more than 18 months after some competitors started offering the higher speed services.

However, the telco will only sell ADSL2+ services in locations where competitors are already offering the higher speeds. It will offer the uncapped ADSL1 service nation-wide as a wholesale offering to competitors.

Telstra has up until now sold ADSL1 capped to 1.5Mbps, but the uncapped ADSL1 will allow speeds of up to 8Mbps. ADSL2+ allows speeds of up to 24Mbps, but Telstra is advertising the service at up to 20Mbps.

In a press conference this morning, Telstra's group managing director of its BigPond division, Justin Milne, said Telstra had ADSL2+ hardware in around 360 telephone exchanges, with a further 2400 capable of the upgraded ADSL1 speeds.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning, Milne blamed the geographical limitation on the ADSL2+ services on government regulation.

"Because of regulatory constraints, the up to 20Mbps service would be limited to [telephone] exchanges where competitors are also offering those higher speeds," Milne said.

Telstra has in the past voiced concerns the national competition regulator would force it to offer ADSL2+ as a wholesale offering to competitors, as it currently does the ADSL1.

The move to limit ADSL2+ to areas where competitors already offer it will be seen as an attempt to forestall the need to offer ADSL2+ as a wholesale offering.

The move comes as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Graeme Samuel said late last month that there was currently no need for Telstra to provide wholesale access to its next-generation ADSL network.

In the press conference this morning, Milne defended Telstra's controversial decision to cap its ADSL1 offering at speeds of 1.5Mbps since it was launched more than six years ago.

"Look really it's a regulatory question. We don't set the regulatory rules, the regulator sets the regulatory rules, and we have to operate within those rules," he told reporters.

"So now we've had a decision that having a balance for the interests of our shareholders, our customers most of all, and looking at the rules that prevail in Australia, we can get a commercial return by launching DSL2 today, and that's the reason why."

Milne also defended Telstra's move to limit the upstream speeds on its upgraded ADSL service to 384kbps. The technology is theoretically capable of much more.

"Well, it's an increase on our current upstream speed, and it's really where the network guys have set the network configuration for the time being. But this is an ongoing, evolving story, this one, so no doubt we will evolve," he said.

Milne said unlike other telcos, Telstra was not trialling the so-called Annex M standard which more than doubles upload speeds on ADSL2+ services.

Customers are able to check what speeds may be available in their area through Telstra's Web site. Some customers may need to purchase a new modem to take advantage of ADSL2+ services.

BigPond has also announced a range of new consumer-grade ADSL plans, as follows (download limit and price is per month):

  • 256kbps/200MB (AU$29.95)
  • 256kbps/12GB shaped (AU$59.95)
  • 1500kbps/400MB (AU$39.95)
  • 1500kbps/12GB shaped (AU$69.95)
  • 1500kbps/25GB (AU$99.95)
  • High speed/600MB (AU$59.95)
  • High speed/12GB shaped (AU$89.95)
  • High speed/25GB (AU$119.95)
  • High speed/60GB (AU$149.95)

"High speed" refers to uncapped ADSL1 or ADSL2+, depending on geographical location.

Topics: Broadband, Government, Government AU, Telcos, Telstra, NBN

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Pricy!

    I get ADSL2+ from Adam for $45/month, with 10Gb up and down..

    How can Telstra compete with that?
  • Limits

  • ADSL2 But Not For The Bush

    Yet again rural Australia has been screwed over by Telstra in it's never ending war with the regulators. So it is no ADSL2 for us :(
  • Another Con!

    Anyone who is conned by this latest nonsense from Milne and the "Mad Hatters" in the Board room, should go see their psychiatrist!

    Any number of ISP's will provide ADSL2+ without all the ifs and maybes associated with the Telstra offer and at a price which is MUCH MORE affordable.

    For Milne to argue the Regulations are the cause of all Telstra's problems, ignores the reality of their stupidity & displays their arrogance yet again.
    Telstra could have had it ALL had the idiots running the BigPond division, opened the network up to the full capabilities of ADSL and ADSL2 years ago and at a reasonable price, without double charging for upload as well. The BigPond D*&kheads then add insult to injury by restricting this deployment so that rural and country users wont get it.

    I have ADSL2+ running at 20Mbps with 20+G of download and NO upload charge all for $49.95 and VoIP for $9.95/month. That's a broad band service plus cheap phone rental & calls that makes the Telstra plans look like theft! It's only that expensive because Telstra gouges my ISP with an excessive charge for the ULL copper to my home.
    The worst part of all this is the dumb Feds who don't understand the technology and allow Telstra to fleece the nation & then do nothing to reign in the 3 Amigos, who seem to think the network is their own private play thing!

    Guys..the network is a National asset. Go read the Regulations!

    Why would anyone even consider the Telstra plans? I certainly would not!
  • Bigpond = Rip Off!

    Overly pricy plans and includes uploads (which no other ISP that I know of does). Their usage meter sucks if you do big downloads through torrents (totals are more than they should be). Can't wait till my current contract with Telstra expires...much better value out there.
  • Bigpond = Rip Off!

    Overly pricy plans and includes uploads (which no other ISP that I know of does). Their usage meter sucks if you do big downloads through torrents (totals are more than they should be). Can't wait till my current contract with Telstra expires...much better value out there.
  • Still Expensive

    It's nice to see that Bigpond has started to 'Cap' their plans. However, their major competitor in Australia, OptusNet, has had for many years better deals. Keep in mind these prices through Bigpond are more-than-likely bundled prices.

    In a recent call from Bigpond, explaining that my current internet deal through OptusNet bundled is 21GB (7GB On, 14GB Off) and 1500/256 (ADSL1) for $49.95 a month, I was told that there was no way OptusNet could provide such a deal. I understand that OptusNet has the 512/128 (ADSL1) version advertised at present, but where does this leave Telstra? They used to provide a 20GB plan bundled for $119.

    A comparison of the most expensive plan through OptusNet at 1500/256 which is 20GB On Peak, 40GB Off Peak is $69.95 bundled or Telstra's equivalent price plan is 12GB. I know there is much better if you look for other internet providers, but if Telstra cannot compete with Optus, then how can they compete cheaper?

    Bigpond really does their customers a great disservice by offering additional charges - I know for a fact one of my friends got stung $13,000 by bigpond for going over the download by 60GB. Obviously the issue was resolved by lowering the bill, however it's not uncommon for me to find a $200+ bill from a person who doesn't understand that browsing the internet technically is downloading.

    Long story short, bigpond has a long way to go before they even start to offer competitive pricing.
  • bigpond service

    I live 5.1klm from my local adsl enabled exchange. I can't get broadband because of poor line quality. A bloke down the road is 5.3klm from the same exchange and he has adsl because his line is better than mine. Telstras response. Basically, "Tough luck" So unless I fork out for wireless or satelite, (both at unacceptable cost to me) I'm stuck with dial up with an average data transfer speed of around 25kbps. The sooner Telstra goes belly up the better for everyone.
  • Telstra

    As a (I hope) rational reasonably intelligent human being it is difficult to for me to understand how, considering all the disparaging remarks made about the Telstra Management, Telstra continues to dominate and decimate it's competitors in the Australian Telco market. It may well be that those writing with hateful criticism of Telstra may have a hidden agenda to harm Telstra and are probably speaking for and on behalf of opposition businesses who Telstra continually outperform in the marketplace.
  • Accumulated Frustration

    Perhaps those railing loudest against Telstra are simply people, like myself, who are frustrated with the telco's seeming lack of interest in what their customers want from them. I think it's dangerously glib to counter any argument, be it emotional or not, with an "oh, it's just another Telstra bash" comment.

    I have nothing to gain from running Telstra down, in fact I'd love nothing more than for Telstra to get its act together and actually perform to its capabilities instead of constantly under-performing and wasting so much time on managing down our expectations.

    I'm on the Sunshine Coast, where broadband is generally available. However, I'm just lucky enough to live in an area that's too far from an exchange to make use of my exchanges ADSL capability. I'd rather see an upgrade to the infrastructure such that the reach of ADSL is extended to a greater number of people at a reasonable speed, than watching the already connected hordes get speed increases and the price benefits of more competition in the marketplace. And don't even start me on satellite...

    So please excuse me if I don't rejoice at Telstra's latest broadband announcement; but don't then dismiss me as a Telstra basher either.
  • A Telstra Share Holder?

    Mr. Lawrence.
    Are you a share holder or do you work for Telstra? These are the only 2 reasons I can think of for you to defend the indefensible.

    Please read my comments, above, again.

    They only state the facts.

    Telstra has restricted the technological availability of a decent Broad Band service for the past 7+ years, for no good reason which is obvious to ANYONE, except those who have an interest in milking the users & restricting a service which could be provided to everyone.

    My comments are those of an engineer who fails to understand the nonsense we have had to suffer, for so long & for no good reason except the skull duggery of Telstra Management.
    For Mr Milne to blame engineering, is just more of the nonsense he expects us to believe.

    The Network IS regulated. A fact Telstra management has never quite understood. It could have co-operated for the benefit of all users, but it chooses not too!

    Utter balderdash!

  • Re: Telstra

    Hmmm, Telstra out-performs and decimates the competition? Colour me surprised!

    If any other provides was the incumbent national monopoly with a legacy taxpayer-funded infrastructure and the inertia of a monopoly customer-base, they'd be "decimating" too.

    Telstra has always had a leg-up on other providers, yet continues to whine about "unfair" regulation whilst fighting a rearguard action to both frustrate the competition of competitors and preserve inflated pricing on outdated technologies. Telstra preserve their legacy revenue stream at the expense of customer satisfaction, good service, and the national interest.

    Why on earth Telstra hasn't been split into a government-owned infrastructure company (preserving the taxpayer-funded infrastructure) and a "level playing field" service provider company is beyond me. No wait - how could John Howard find a buyer for Telstra to prop up his antisocial agenda under such a sensible arrangement...?
  • Feel like Bart Simpson doing the v for victory

    Until I recently moved to Singapore from Australia I didn't fully comprehend how slow things are.

    Now I'm enjoying my 30+ MB/s download speed uncapped for less than $70 SGD.

    However this does highlight some interesting differences that people in Australia often overlook:

    Australia = big country with lots of infrastructure required to deliver services;
    Infrastructure = costly because a lot is required;
    Customer base = small relative to the deployed infrastructure;
    Maintenance = not so cheap because work force is expensive, especially in comparison to other countries;

    This all equates to a 'not so cheap' product. However to be fair, Telstra and its wholesale customers do take a significant hit on their revenues, so it could be worse than what it currently is.

    IMO there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the consumer, unless the government digs deeper into its pockets and addresses shortfalls in the current regulatory environment.
  • Bigpond = BigRipOff

    ...and this is exactly why after Telstra announced their new ADSL2+ plans I canceled my Bigpond account and went to another ISP who offered ADSL2+ at a much more reasonable price with better service.

    Ah Bigpond, never again!
  • Distance

    It is not their fault that you are beyond the threshold for ADSL... ADSL is not Telstra's invention..

    Your friend may be further from the exchange, but the cable distance may be shorter..
  • I am with you

    Im with you i would love to see telstra be the national treasure it should be but i live on a PGS so no ADSL. A new suburb and still no reply form coonan or others to my letters. i would just like to get off dial up. Lets spend the money on everyone!!!!!!!! getting broadband then think about increased speed.
  • Telstra broadband

    If you want fair comparison with Telstra try Canada. Big country, small population, prices for internet, telephone, mobile phone and internet speed are superior by at least 2x to anything in Australia.
    Telstra is a dog, now the government has got their money out of it put it down.
  • bigpond

    we moved from wangaratta to benalla was told l could have adsl on and just been in formed theres no adsl on after we have mobiles and home fones with them and have to wait another week to try wireless out pain in butts bigpond very disappointed in ya for making promises you cant keep and now we dial up and have that many probs with it