Telecom to launch symmetrical DSL next year

Telecom is poised to launch more broadband services based on DSL technologies over the next 12 months.

Telecom is poised to launch more broadband services based on DSL technologies over the next 12 months.

DSL, or digital subscriber line technology, uses unused frequencies in a telco's existing copper wires. Telecom’s commercial DSL offering, JetStream, uses asymmetrical DSL, in which uploading speeds peak at a theoretical 480kbit/s while downloading can reach 2Mbit/s. Future services will include SDSL, a symmetrical version - meaning that upload and download speeds are similar - that is undergoing internal trials. The company is already using HDSL, which is symmetrical in nature, for providing its new IP data service, IP.Networking, says spokesman Glen Sowry.

Sowry was responding to comments made by Andy Bearsley, partner in Auckland-based software design company Ambient Design. Bearsley works from his home in the Waitakere Ranges, 25 minutes out of Auckland’s central business district, but his local exchange is not DSL-enabled, though it is on the waiting list. “What we’re really after is high-speed connectivity in both directions.”

Bearsley says the company uploads just as much data as it downloads, but having to pay Telecom to upgrade the exchange, somewhere in excess of $70,000, is not an option for his company.

“I understand Telecom’s business model means they won’t make a profit out of us, and I respect that. But they are blocking any other company offering us the service, and another company may have a business model where they can make a profit out of us.”

Bearsley says Ambient uses Ihug’s Ultra satellite-based service, but says the service is unusable because of the weather for a lot of the time. “We really need a cable-based solution.”

HDSL, high-bit rate DSL, is a symmetrical offering with a lower overall maximum speed and was one of the earliest forms of DSL to be rolled out commercially internationally. SDSL is similar to HDSL but has a higher speed — potentially around the 2Mbit/s mark. “One of the things we’re looking at is SDSL and we’ll look to roll that out, where there’s demand, next year,” says Sowry.

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