Internet service provider Exetel has blamed
its upstream bandwidth provider Optus for network issues that
have left around 3,000 ADSL broadband users in NSW stranded with
slow speeds over the past few weeks.
"Since June 12 there have been an increasing number of
speed issues experienced by Exetel users connected to Exetel via
the Optus ADSL [backhaul] network," Exetel admitted in a recent post to its online customer forums.
The ISP said it had started using Optus' backbone network
links (called "backhaul") as it prepared to start reselling services based on Optus' new AU$150 million ADSL2+ broadband network. Exetel will migrate many of its customers from Telstra's ADSL network to Optus' hardware.
However the move appears to have backfired, with one ZDNet
Australia reader comparing his current broadband speeds to those
available under dial-up hardware.
Exetel blamed the problems on congestion in the Optus network
as the provider transitions to a more modern hardware
"The fundamental issue appears to be that Optus' plans to move
their national ADSL backhaul from an ATM-based network to a
[Gigabit Ethernet] based network has encountered a series of
delays," the ISP said.
The ISP added it had met with Optus "several times" to
determine when the current issues would be resolved.
"At this time it appears unlikely that Optus will deploy the
required additional backhaul bandwidth before July 7," said
A spokesperson from Optus said they were investigating the issue.
While Exetel said it had itself implemented a number of
workarounds, including restricting peer to peer traffic, the
ZDNet Australia reader said passing the buck to Optus wasn't good
"This changeover was poorly planned by Exetel, and should have
been assessed prior to the Optus backhaul," he said.
No matter the source of the Exetel problems, the
issue in general raises significant questions for Optus as it
starts to sell wholesale broadband services on the back of its new AU$150
million ADSL network.
Exetel is only the first of what is expected to be a number of
ISPs switching to buy wholesale broadband services from Optus
rather than Telstra, which currently supplies most of the
Optus will need to get its systems and processes bedded down
before it starts to bring on board large numbers of end users owned by
third parties like Exetel.
Exetel claims to have some 46,000 business, government and residential customers.