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Tel$tra downgrading high speed 3rd party ISP ADSL services in Deakin – upgrading users to Tel$tra provisioned slower services on a RIM

proofpositive 5 March 2009 22

ITWire has an interesting story.

Tel$tra will once again be flexing their monopolistic muscle and effectively downgrading the ADSL services provided through 3rd party ISP providers to users in Deakin. The ability for affected users to access or have the option of 3rd party ADSL+2 (as they do now) will be removed on 1 June 2009. Naturally Tel$tra structure their arguments to portray the changes and upgrades as unavoidable, essential and beneficial for the greater good, rather than highlighting the removal of choice, competition and functionality.

The ability to have LSS and ULLS based ADSL (where the ISP provides ADSL/ADSL+2 internet services over their own equipment, with or without the need for a normal phone service – effectively bypassing Tel$tra infrastructure) will be removed and users will have to suffer experiencing ADSL access on a RIM (technology from last century), slower, with less services at a higher price than they are currently paying. Rightly the ISPs providing the service see this as an anti-competitive practice and will be pursuing the issue with the ACCC.

Now for the the 20 megabit per second question: Which of the Federal Parliamentary Representatives will champion the cause and fight the fight for the people affected like Lundy did for “pair gain” victims when she was in opposition? I suspect that Lundy will be silent given that she is no longer the communications spokesperson and will be told to toe the ALP government line and not make waves.

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22 Responses to Tel$tra downgrading high speed 3rd party ISP ADSL services in Deakin – upgrading users to Tel$tra provisioned slower services on a RIM
johnniec johnniec 8:27 pm 10 Mar 09

Hi All, newb poster here so I won’t post the competitors names but I think there really are somewhat decent competitors to the iiNET/Internode type ADSL in the area (though I’ve never heard anything but good about Internode and don’t know much about iiNET so not knocking them at all) … I thought the local provider I used previously till they got to exepensive for my liking, had their own fibre network in place in the areas affected already, you know who i’m talkin bout? Though they’re a bit more pricey and have some dodgy plans there’s some resellers who aren’t to bad.

Also if you have line of sight to the top of MT Taylor from the roof of your home/dwelling it’s possible you could have a longreach wireless service installed which I currently use and am further down in chifley away from the tower getting 11MBit/s down and 3/MBit peak uploads (The advertised max speed but I did pay extra for a Striker on Install which focused the signal better) the upload speeds differ dramatically though depending on the location I’m uploading to, I uploaded to a guy in civic close to the civic exchange on adsl2 at 300KB/s sustained for 10 hours though which was pretty awesome (That’s DivX/XviD on demand speed) =D

You need good line of sight to the top of Mt Taylor to get that service and, I can’t really rate the service and support of the ONLY ISP that offers it very highly only a 5/10 but most ISPs are like that, only problem is you’re locked into them for your initial investment, getting it installed which cost me $300 + 12 month plan at $60 per month, and got hit with some nasty excess download charges cause they don’t shape the connection when you go over.

Also upload speeds to the US and elsewhere from tests were pretty average with average sustained throughput of 150KB/s which is a little less than 1.5MBit, but considering I used to download at those speeds I’m not to fussed 🙂

Final thoughts, while I dislike anti-competitive behaviour that hurts the consumer, It would be good to see iiNet/Internode say a big F.U to telstra by undercutting them with a better wireless service in the area or some other solution, obviously they need time to do this and Telstra has put them in the position of rapidly losing customers. Also Alexander building is about 100metres tops from MLC it seems pretty lazy not to move the copper connections, Tel$tra/Telecom were the one’s who put it there in the first place!

johnny_the_knife johnny_the_knife 3:37 pm 09 Mar 09

I will be on 666 radio tomorrow morning at either 7:40 or 8:40 talking about this issue. I believe they will also be talking to Telstra CountryWide.

harvyk1 harvyk1 1:50 pm 09 Mar 09

Tempestas said :

And the Is ABC Online is covering the results of JK’s results in getting Stanhope to look into this.

Anyone running a book on how Tel$tra PR is going to spin the downgrade into a service improvement.

Why would the Telstra PR machine even need to bother spinning? They only spin when you actually have a choice, this on the otherhand is basically funnelling you to them. Given the majority of Oz won’t care (until it happens to them) I can’t see Telstra raising a single eyelid in regards to positive PR.

Tempestas Tempestas 8:04 pm 07 Mar 09

And the Is ABC Online is covering the results of JK’s results in getting Stanhope to look into this.

Anyone running a book on how Tel$tra PR is going to spin the downgrade into a service improvement.

Tempestas Tempestas 2:59 pm 07 Mar 09

Looks like this got a run in yesterday’s Australian.

And to think that the Tel$tra chair is seeking a more aggressive replacement for Sol.

johnny_the_knife johnny_the_knife 12:05 pm 06 Mar 09

I suspect all they can really do is lean on Telstra and the Federal Government.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:38 am 06 Mar 09

johnny_the_knife said :

Hi All,

I just phoned up 666 Chief Minister Talkback and had a brief chat with Mr Stanhope regarding this matter. I have been assured that the ACT government will pursue the matter.


Are they actually going to pursue the matter, or is pursuing Telstra only an aspirational target?

I-filed I-filed 11:31 am 06 Mar 09

I’m on the do not call register, but every time I get a phone call from a dodgy Indian telco pretending to be Telstra, I tell them to keep up the good work, keep impersonating Telstra and keep giving them a bad name. It’s about all that can be done about the monopoly!

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 11:00 am 06 Mar 09

Having the ACT government “pursue the matter” reminds me of a Lateshow skit with Rob Sitch (as Dr Hewson) going “fop! fop! fop!”

johnny_the_knife johnny_the_knife 10:03 am 06 Mar 09

Hi All,

I just phoned up 666 Chief Minister Talkback and had a brief chat with Mr Stanhope regarding this matter. I have been assured that the ACT government will pursue the matter.


johnny_the_knife johnny_the_knife 9:11 am 06 Mar 09

This move will impact a large number of businesses in the Phillip area who are currently relying on ADSL 2+ services from providers other than Telstra, including iiNet and Internode. Once the sub-exchange is moved from the Alexander building, businesses wishing to utilise ADSL services will have to do so via Telstra infrastructure, this can be done in two ways:

1. Buying directly from Telstra, i.e, Bigpond
2. Buying from an ISP that resells Telstra ADSL services

I agree this move stifles competition, and is, from my perspective as the operator of an IT business in Phillip who needs fast Internet access (currently on Internode ADSL 2+), extremely annoying. Aside from Internode and iiNet complaining to the ACCC, I’m not sure what Jo Citizen or Jo Business owner can do. At this stage, I will try to raise the matter with the Canberra Business Council along with my local member (both Federal and Local), but I can’t see this having much impact.

I would also suggest that if anyone concerned has some contacts within the Canberra Times and/or local radio (ABC 666 for example), this could be a good way to raise the public profile of this issue.

Ari Ari 12:53 am 06 Mar 09

If you want a parliamentary representative to champion your cause how about you tone down the geek speak and explain stuff in terms the rest of us understand.

E.g. The ability to have LSS and ULLS based ADSL (where the ISP provides ADSL/ADSL+2 internet services

Sure, you seem to know what you’re talking about but it’s hardly going to set the average punter’s heart on fire as a call to action.

Alternatively, you can just argue amongst yourselves as a form of IT acronym p*ssing contest.

el el 11:26 pm 05 Mar 09

They’re all being knocked down Pandy.

el el 11:26 pm 05 Mar 09

I live in Woden and will be directy affected by this. Currently getting ADSL2 through iinet (on the ‘sub-exchange’ in Woden).

Obviously in other parts of the country, telstra’s actions can have an impact where people don’t have any other choices, but this isn’t the case at Deakin. Leave telstra to itself and move to a better and cheaper service.

Complete bollocks. FFS -“Move to a better and cheaper service”??

I’d have to move house into a different area.

Pandy Pandy 9:14 pm 05 Mar 09

Alexander building being demolished? Source?

Unbeliever Unbeliever 5:42 pm 05 Mar 09


Grrrr Grrrr 1:35 pm 05 Mar 09

Unbeliever – What? The first paragraph was a bunch of facts. Your second made no sense. Leave Telstra to itself? We can’t. So many competitive consumers services rely on Telstra one way or another: equipment in Telstra exchanges, services provisioned over the copper phonelines that were stupidly privatised with the rest of Telstra years ago.

I guess what needs to happen to fix this is to route copper from the old sub-exchange to the new, so that companies may continue to use the old pairs currently from Deakin towards the old sub-exchange. Whether Telstra should be forced to pay for this is another story. Certainly if their competitors had to pay for it, it might take a long time to pay for itself.

Note that most stories on this seem to leave a bunch of stuff out. As I understand this is NOT the Deakin exchange which is closing. It is a sub-exchange, in the soon-to-be-demolished Alexander Building, Furzer St, Philip/Woden. Telstra are opening a new sub-exchange a few hundred metres down the road in the MLC Building, Furzer Street.

As I understand it, there were no competitor’s DSLAMs in this sub-exchange, but rather lines were patched through to Deakin.

Telstra are taking advantage of the move to run Fibre back to Deakin, and abandon the copper pairs they were using. Fibre is good for Telstra’s future expansion capabilities, but bad for their competitors who have DSLAMs in Deakin: Customers connected with copper all the way from their home/business through the subexchange to a DSLAM Deakin will be disconnected. They will have to move to a Telstra-DSLAM at the new sub-exchange. They can presumably remain a customer of non-Telstra ISP by using a Telstra resold service.

Telstra aren’t planning on having room in the new sub-exchange for competitors’ DSLAMs, either. Perhaps competitors could have their own sub-exchange next door, but I bet Telstra haven’t chosen a site that would make it easy for that to happen. I’m guessing backhaul from the sub-exchange will be non-existant or pricey, too..

What REALLY needs to happen is the current NBN process needs to be scrapped, and the govt needs to encourage a national rollout of FTTH with open access arrangements. A whole new fibre network that does nothing to disrupt existing copper networks, and gives us real speed. Not the mandated 12mbps that half of the customers of Telstra’s competitors are ALREADY getting. Further, direct the $4.7b towards rolling it out from the outside in – to give it to the people who currently have the slowest speeds.

(Wow, what a rant.)

Unbeliever Unbeliever 1:22 pm 05 Mar 09

I was refering only to ULL or LSS at the Deakin exchange.

harley harley 1:09 pm 05 Mar 09

Reading the story, it looks like Philip is the issue, as a sub exchange hanging off of Deakin.

phew… Curtin is OK…

Unbeliever – if telstra do as they plan, the users on the sub exchange cannot get Unbundled Local Loop or Line Sharing Service (The only way to get non-telstra ADSL) ever… They will be forced to use wholesale Telstra services only. Sure, they can pay someone else, but Telstra get the majority of the cash, not the service provider.

deye deye 1:08 pm 05 Mar 09

I love the semi regular phone call I get from Telstra:

T: “We’ve done a check on your line and see you are no longer with Telstra”

Me: “This phone has never been with Telstra, it’s bundled with my internet and you can’t match any part of the bundle”

T: “We’ve made some changes, we’ve now got ADSL 2/2+ that is the fastest in Australia at 20 Mbps”

Me: “lol you can get faster than that, besides your download limits and costs aren’t in the same league as my provider. Goodbye”

T: “but” *click*


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