Internet service provider (ISP), Netspace, has initiated its ADSL2+ service in Tasmania to loosen Telstra’s iron grip on the state’s broadband market.
With more than 400 ADSL2+ national exchanges already in place, Netspace’s Tasmanian coverage is now available in Hobart and Launceston. There are also plans to broaden the network in the coming months.
Prices start from $29.95 for 10GB download when bundled with a home phone service.
Netspace regulatory and carrier affairs manager, Matthew Phillips, said the company’s prices would be enticing to Tasmanian customers who were used to expensive high-speed broadband.
“The only other provider of ADSL2+ is Telstra through its Bigpond retail outlet,” he said. “Other ISPs exist but they generally wholesale Telstra’s lines that are offered at, what we consider, premium prices.”
Phillips expects to convert a portion of the incumbent telco’s customer base to Netspace but does see a fall in Telstra’s prices due to this increased competition.
“We anticipate growing market share considerably on the back of this investment,” he said. “But Telstra has national pricing and competition in mainland states and it has not affected its prices so I don’t expect to see this in Tasmania either.”
Netspace had been engaged in its own local exchange equipment and ADSL2+ line rollout for the past 12 months. Backhaul fibre to connect the exchanges was provided by Aurora.
In a statement, managing director, Stuart Marburg, said about 80 per cent of clients could switch to the speedier broadband service by the end of August.
While Netspace had anticipated the impending Basslink fibre service to reduce Telstra’s dominance of Tasmania’s broadband, it decided to jump the gun with its expansion plans.
“We didn’t wait for the Basslink to come on,” Phillips said. “We had enough excess capacity with our existing cable to carry us over for a couple of months so we might as well switch it on and bring the services to customers sooner.”