Australian ISP iiNet says it has signed up 100,000 ADSL2+ broadband subscribers and claims it is now the largest provider of such services in the country. ‘In the last six months we have been through a sustained network expansion with more than 6,000 existing customers transferred over to ADSL 2+ each month and additional capacity built in to support new customer growth,’ iiNet managing director Michael Malone said in a statement. The news comes after a turbulent few months for the Perth-based company. Spiralling costs prompted iiNet to halt the trading of its shares in April. It returned to the market the following month after Sydney-based telco PowerTel agreed to acquire a 14.9% stake in the company for AUD13.94 million (USD10.6 million) and Perth-based telco Amcom acquired a 19.97% stake for AUD18.3 million (USD13.9 million). Both Amcom and PowerTel acquired the bulk of their stock at a 50% discount on iiNet’s AUD1.69 share price before it stopped trading. At their peak, iiNet shares were trading at AUD3.4 in September 2005.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, iiNet introduced ADSL2+ via Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) technology under the banner ‘iibroadband2+’ in February 2005, becoming the first operator to offer connections at speeds of up to 8Mbps. The service was upgraded to 12Mbps in June and 24Mbps in December 2005, allowing iiNet to launch triple-play voice, data and video services for the first time. iiNet plans to have ADSL2+ coverage of 90% of metropolitan Australia by 2007.