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Telstra quiet on broadband plan rumours

Telstra has declined to comment on information apparently leaked to a broadband community Web site suggesting the telecommunications heavyweight plans a push next month to drive customers on to higher-speed broadband services.According to Whirlpool, Telstra is preparing to launch the second stage of its so-called Project Panama in December.

Telstra has declined to comment on information apparently leaked to a broadband community Web site suggesting the telecommunications heavyweight plans a push next month to drive customers on to higher-speed broadband services.

According to Whirlpool, Telstra is preparing to launch the second stage of its so-called Project Panama in December.

However, a spokesperson for the telecommunications carrier said Telstra "does not comment on speculation and rumours".

According to the Whirlpool report, Telstra plans to introduce higher speed broadband services in December, with its 20GB BigPond ADSL plan being introduced to cable. There are also expected to be discounts for returning ADSL customers who preselect their phone line to Telstra.

The report also stated that 2GB plans on all speeds and the 256/64 500MB plan will be dropped as part of the project. Customers who are already in the plans to be scrapped will be allowed to remain in the plan till the end of their contract.

Capped plans under phase 2 are said to have a 15c/MB excess usage charge while customers on the unlimited plan get unlimited usage with the possibility of reduced speeds after the initial 10GB.

Project Panama Phase 1 was announced in early September, with the introduction of a 400MB 512K plan at AU$39.95 for customers who choose Telstra for all their access, local, long distance and international phone calls.

Telstra also announced today that it will make ADSL broadband available to an additional 75,000 customer services this financial year following a AU$7 million upgrade of the network.

Telstra Country Wide regional managing director, Roger Bamber, said the investment would upgrade equipment known as RIMS [Remote Integrated Multiplexor Systems] in certain parts of the network currently incompatible with ADSL.

"Following the upgrade, ADSL access will be available to approximately 85 percent of New South Wales customer services," Bamber said.

"RIMS or pair gains systems were installed to deliver telephone services to areas of high demand such as residential estates and apartment blocks during times when delivering high speed Internet services on normal phone lines was not contemplated," he added.

Telstra is setting its eyes on providing access to ADSL broadband to over 90 percent of customers nationally by the end of 2006. Telstra said 246 sites within 113 communities across NSW will benefit from today's upgrade announcement.