After a stand-off with the government lasting more than a year, Telstra yesterday turned on its ADSL2+ broadband network. The telco had refused to activate ADSL2+ before, except in exchanges where its competitors were already operating. It claimed it did not have regulatory certainty from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it would not be forced to re-sell the service to its competitors. This was despite several public statements from ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel that ADSL2+ would not be made a declared service. The move will provide broadband speeds of up to 20Mbps for up to 2.4 million homes and businesses across the country. In a marked change from the fraught relations with the former Howard government, Telstra’s chief executive, Sol Trujillo, praised the incoming Rudd adminsitration yesterday and declared that he stood ready to deliver the government’s proposed nationwide broadband network. ‘A lot has changed in the last few months,’ Mr Trujillo said. ‘This simple act of the new Government unlocks the potential of high speed broadband for households and businesses around Australia. It has been able to be done because of the Rudd Government’s sensible pro-investment approach.’
Telstra’s decision to enable ADSL2+ at more than 900 telephone exchanges – after refusing to do so for the last 14 months – follows its decision to respond diplomatically last month when Senator Conroy delayed for three months the closure of the regional CDMA mobile phone network.