Despite the NBN, Telstra is upgrading its cable network meaning treble the download speeds in all the main cities. The upgrade of its hybrid fibre coaxial network will push speeds from 30 megabits per second to 100Mbps.
The move will see download times of movies and media reduced up to just one third of what they are at present and allows Web surfers do more things simultaneously, like listen to Internet radio while watching YouTube.
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The upgrade will apply to for 2.7m Telstra customers in capital cities of Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Gold Coast, only however, and won’t go nationwide.
Melbourne subscribers were already privy to the upgrade to the DOCSIS 3.0 HFC cable broadband standard, as part of its $300m upgrade in 2009.
BigPond’s Ultimate Cable plans go from 5GB for $39 to $99 for 500GB of data (bundled), and includes a 200GB option for $79 per month over 2 years for Telstra HomeLine users.
Existing eligible BigPond Turbo and Elite customers can buy an Ultimate Cable self install Wi-Fi modem for $149 to upgrade.
The upgrade announced today, comes despite the soon to be finalised deal with the NBN, which will see the telco hand over its cable network as part of the $11billion deal.
However, the work will not interfere with the NBN deal, Telstra insists, but may increase the number of customer it hands over to NBN Co eventually, as part of its $36bn optic fibre roll out to 99% of Australia.
The cable work was announced by Telstra CEO, David Thodey, this morning.
The upgrade is limited to capital cities due to poor demand in Melbourne for the high speed broadband plans, according to reports, although Telstra insist greater customer demand was driving the roll out.
The upgrade will be available in Perth from 30 November and Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney customers two weeks later, December 12.
“This upgrade provides additional capacity to Telstra’s network and will provide one of the fastest broadband services available in Australia today,” said John Chambers, Telstra Director of Fixed Voice and Broadband.
“BigPond customers also enjoy no peak or off peak restrictions and peace of mind that they won’t incur any additional usage charges – as speeds are slowed once the monthly usage allowance is reached,” Mr Chambers said.
The volume of data consumed over BigPond fixed internet had more than doubled in the last financial year and the upgrade would help meet the growth in connected devices and online media use, he said.