Home Your IT Home IT Telstra to upgrade 200,000 phone lines to ADSL2+ UPDATED

Telstra has finally confirmed the existence of Project Top Hat, its plan to make ADSL2+ services available on an additional 200,000 phone lines presently limited to ADSL1 services because there is no space in street-side cabinets to add ADSL2+ equipment.

The upgrade will be implemented by bolting an additional box on top of existing cabinets and will be available both Telstra Retail and Wholesale customers. Telstra said: "In the past, to permanently increase the broadband capacity of a street side cabinet, we had to build another cabinet alongside the existing one. This could take months of planning and network construction."

When news of the plan first broke, in June Telstra had yet to announce that, subject to shareholder approval it had finalised its definitive agreement with NBN Co and the project was seen as a move by Telstra to strengthen its negotiating position.

Telstra says it is now finalising the locations of the first 900 of a planned 2000 Top Hat installations but "Locations where NBN rollout is imminent or on the roadmap for the near future will not be getting Top Hat technology. It is an interim technology to provide fast broadband pending NBN rollout."

Details of the first 970 locations to get aTop Hat upgrade can be found here. The material is not in a particularly user-friendly format but detailed maps of each area can be downloaded.

Telstra is also upgrading backhaul from the street side cabinets to gigabit ethernet to remove potential bottlenecks in the network. This work will take place over the next 18 months.

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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