Queensland ISP takes on Telstra

Queensland Internet service provider OnTheNet claims it is the first non-Telstra ISP in the state to install broadband ADSL infrastructure into telephone exchanges. OnTheNet told ZDNet Australia   it had established its own DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) device to help deliver ADSL services to residents in the Gold Coast area.

Queensland Internet service provider OnTheNet claims it is the first non-Telstra ISP in the state to install broadband ADSL infrastructure into telephone exchanges.

OnTheNet told ZDNet Australia   it had established its own DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) device to help deliver ADSL services to residents in the Gold Coast area. However, OnTheNet will not be completely independent of the tech heavyweight -- it will still be using Telstra's last-mile copper connections to deliver its services.

Managing director Tak Woo says the company-owned infrastructure is the least important feature of the new service.

"Customers don't really need to know what infrastructure they're on, but they should know that we are twice as fast as Telstra for the same price," said Woo.

Entry level plans for the company's new "Turbo" deals start at AU$29 per month, offering a download speed of 512Kbps with an allowance of 300MB, excess usage is charged at 15c/MB and capped at a AU$30 excess fee.

Customers on the old infrastructure will be automatically updated to the new system and the faster speeds, however, only customers in the Southport, Bundall and Surfers Paradise exchanges will be able to receive the service.

OntheNet says this phase of the service's roll-out will be completed by July this year, eventually encompassing around one third of the Gold Coast area. The company says the second phase will be completed by December 2004, expanding coverage to over 210,000 Queensland residents or just over half of the Gold Coast city.

Woo says that the service began production more than a year ago, and that with the new infrastructure the company is now able to effectively compete with Telstra.

"We offered the AU$29 monthly plans before at a loss, but now we can sustain the plans with our own infrastructure," said Woo. "We can now offer the same price as Telstra but double their speeds and with more downloads."