National telecom carrier Telstra, is expected to extend its Internet dominance in Australia with plans to launch asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) services in the next few weeks.
Telstra is widely reported to be preparing business-targeted ADSL products to run over Australia’s copper-based telephony network, called the “local loop”, which it owns and operates because it is the part-privatised government carrier.
The launch would occur less than two months after the industry watchdog,
the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC), officially
opened the local loop to Telstra’s competitors, which include Cable &
Wireless Optus, UUNet and AAPT.
The ACCC’s decision means that rival carriers and Internet service
providers were allowed to install equipment at Telstra’s telephone
exchanges — including hardware devices called splitters, which are essential to boost
ADSL signals to their maximum bandwidth capacity.
Telstra has been trialling ADSL for several years, but until now had
preferred to push its OnRamp network, which is an all-digital network
based on ISDN and ATM, and which it had built at a cost of AUS$300
million (US$195 million).
The carrier has reportedly signed up French networking vendor Alcatel to
provide equipment for the ADSL services.
The Australian government will float 16.6 per cent of Telstra’s stock in
October for and expected figure of AUS$17 billion (US$11 billion),
selling its stake back to 50.1 per cent.