SingTel Optus, Australia’s second largest fixed line and broadband provider, has announced it will launch wholesale ADSL2+ services for ISPs over its AUD150 million (USD110 million) next generation network (NGN) in the fourth quarter of this year, offering download speeds of up to 24Mbps to resale customers. At present, incumbent Telstra offers wholesale ADSL at downloads capped at 1.5Mbps. Optus says it is currently in the final phase of testing services, following the successful technical launch of NGN on 24 July. It says 148 exchanges have been ADSL2+ enabled so far and it plans to increase that figure to 340 by the middle of 2007, making it one of the biggest alternate DSL network rollouts in Australia. However, Optus has so far refused to provide a list of NGN coverage areas, saying only that it will eventually offer ADSL2+ broadband to around 2.9 million homes and businesses.