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Optus inches forward on wholesale ADSL2+

Number two telco Optus has already signed supply agreements with at least one party as it moves closer to giving Internet service providers (ISPs) wholesale access to its extensive new high-speed broadband network. The company has recently inked a deal with ISP Exetel where Optus would supply the company with wholesale ADSL2+ and telephone services, Exetel spokesperson John Linton confirmed to ZDNet Australia this morning.

Number two telco Optus has already signed supply agreements with at least one party as it moves closer to giving Internet service providers (ISPs) wholesale access to its extensive new high-speed broadband network.

The company has recently inked a deal with ISP Exetel where Optus would supply the company with wholesale ADSL2+ and telephone services, Exetel spokesperson John Linton confirmed to ZDNet Australia this morning.

These services will be delivered on the back of Optus' AU$150 million new broadband network, which is slated to cover some 2.9 million homes and businesses.

Exetel has also recently signed a similar deal for ADSL2+ services with business and wholesale telco PowerTel, which is building its own ADSL2+ network.

PowerTel will also at some stage in the future exclusively provide wholesale access to iiNet's extensive broadband network, but the timing of that offering is still unclear.

Earlier this month an Optus spokesperson reiterated via e-mail the company's line that it was currently testing wholesale ADSL services and expected its service to be commercially ready in the second half of this year.

Optus' decision to open its network is a welcome move for ISPs frustrated with their rocky relationships with Telstra's wholesale division.

Exetel, which claims to have some 46,000 business, government and residential customers, certainly falls into this category.

The company said this in a posting to its online customer forum earlier this month:

"As Exetel stated in July of 2005, one of this company's major objectives was to move to a position of not being dependent on Telstra Wholesale for any substantial supply of services by December 31st 2006.

"Since that time we have begun the gradual movement of as much of our business as possible away from Telstra although, at this time, we continue to spend slightly over $1,000,000 per month (out of a total expenditure of around $2,000,000 per month) on Telstra services of various kinds.

This is expected to now rapidly decline to less than $500,000 per month by December 2006 and then to again decline to almost nothing by June 2007."

In the posting Exetel said it would as early as July start offering ADSL2+ services from Optus and PowerTel.

It said it had already started migrating its customers off Telstra's services.