Telecom JetStream customers will be able to purchase their own DSL modems from a range of suppliers later this month.
Until now, Telecom has been leasing or selling Nokia-branded customer "modems" (which are, strictly speaking, DSL routers), but with the setting of standards for such equipment, is now able to give customers the option of buying equipment from other suppliers, such as Cisco and 3Com.
The new flexibility offers JetStream customers the chance of buying cheaper equipment. Modems from other vendors will range in price to less than $300 to more than $400. Telecom currently sell the Nokia equipment for $370, including GST. It also opens up the possibility of personal computer systems being sold DSL-ready.
Telecom channel manager Phil Turnbull says the advent of standards-compliant modems has also pushed the performance of the JetStream service, with some customers reliably achieving 4Mbit/s transfers.
Telecom Manager Transport Gavin Knight said Telecom now had more than 9000 JetStream customers – the bulk of them with Xtra – and was adding 70 to 90 connections a day.
About 70% of new JetStream customers have been businesses, but the uptake does not appear to have cannibalised Telecom's existing DDS business. Turnbull said this was because most JetStream business customers were new to data services.
Meanwhile the 128Kbit/s "trainer broadband" service being trialled internally at Telecom under the development label "JetStream Lite" may miss its original December 1 rollout date and become available instead in January.