[LINK] 1.5 Mbps limit lifted from Telstra's ADSL DSLAMs?

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Fri Jan 12 08:38:40 AEDT 2007

On Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 09:48:52PM +1100, Robin Whittle wrote:
> Until now, I understood that Telstra capped the rate of its ADSL
> services - the ones it retailed and those it wholesales to Internode
> etc. - to 1.5Mbps, even though the DSLAM and modem might be able to go
> to 6 or 8 Mbps.
> Does anyone know the politics of this?  I guess the old limit was to
> stop people downloading videos too fast and competing with Foxtel - or
> maybe as part of jockeying for the need to do VDSL (AKA Fibre to the
> Node).

the old limit probably had more to do with not undercutting demand
for their corporate plans. you need high speed upload to run any kind
of hosting and/or internet service business/web site. if ADSL is fast
enough, that will eat into sales of their corporate services with faster
upload - even without the same reliability or Service Level Agreement
(SLA): ADSL is pretty much on a best-effort basis.  SDSL and other
corporate plans are generally provided with a contracted guarantee of
quality and reliability.

also because Telstra (like any Telco) sees high-speed broadband as the
death of their traditional cash cow, overpriced landline voice calls.
it's happening already, with VOIP providers springing up all over the
place. they know it's inevitable....but they're going to drag their
heels as long as possible to milk the last cents possible out of it
while they still can.

> Now those limits are gone.

well, not quite gone.  ADSL1 is capable of up to 8Mbps down, and up to
1Mbps up (depending on distance from exchange, quality of copper line,
quality of modem, etc).  Telstra is still limiting ADSL to 384Kbps up
(presumably also so that ADSL doesn't compete against their other plans
- 1Mbps up is enough for a reasonable hosting business*, 384K is less so)

Telstra has also enabled ADSL2 (up to 24Mbps down and 1 or 2MBps up)
on some exchanges. unfortunately, even though their DSLAMs in most
exchanges are capable of ADSL2 (it hasn't been possible for ISPs/telcos
to buy new ADSL1-only DSLAMs for a few years now), they have only
enabled it in exchanges where other ISPs (iinet, internode, a few
others) have already installed ADSL2 DSLAMs.

* OTOH, anyone with more sense than dollars would co-locate their
hosting servers (or rent servers) in the US. cheap, fast bandwidth, and
lots of it.


ps: my new ISP (greentreefrog.net.au - i churned in mid-Dec after about
2.5 years with the previous ISP) will be set up for the almost-uncapped
ADSL1 sometime this month.  $99/month for 8M down/384K up, and 80GB
quota. my current speed is 512/128 with 40GB quota for $55/month. i'll
be upgrading when it's available. i could have upgraded to 1500/256 in
the interim, but then i'd be paying two upgrade fees...i can wait.

the ISP also says that they're negotiating a deal as an Optus DSLDirect
(ULL) reseller, and that should be available on my exchange (coburg) in
a few months. that will allow me to upgrade to ADSL2 for the same price,
and optionally let me churn my voice number over, with no monthly line
rental charges, saving the $19.95/month i currently pay for Telstra's
HomeLine Budget rental plan (actually, i'll save that twice because i
still have a dedicated adsl line also costing me $19.95/month in line
rental - a historical legacy from when that was my modem line. i'll be
able to get rid of both of them).

he also does some VOIP stuff. i'm vaguely interested in that but only
so that i can play with asterisk (i want to block phone spammers)
- i make so few voice calls that i really don't care how much they
cost. line rental is more of a concern to me than call costs (i was
paying $39.95/month line rental on both lines until i jumped through
telstra's hoops to switch them over to the budget plan - they make
it difficult....it's the ONLY rental plan which is NOT available for
ordering on their website and their call-centre staff are obviously
trained to talk you out of it unless you really insist that you want

anyway, so i'm paying 30cents per local call on the budget plan. big
deal. i'd have to make many hundreds of calls per month to even come
close to what the old rental was costing me. and i have my mobile with
its $29 cap for any STD or mobile calls i might need to make.

back to adsl: i expect i'd get the full speed (or very close to) from
either service, i'm in the inner city and less than a kilometer from my

craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>           (part time cyborg)

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