Clear Communications is trialling its own DSL solution and has plans to roll it out to as many businesses as possible as soon as possible.
Clear currently sells a suite of DSL connection packages under its “high speed, always on” brand Tempest, but this is based on Telecom’s DSL technology running on Telecom lines. The new DSL solution will run on Clear’s own local loop.
“Users can’t ring up and ask for a DSL line - we align the product with a customer’s needs - so it could be DSL or spread spectrum or frame or whatever,” says Drew Gilpin, general manager of Clear Net.
Clear’s DSL connection comes in three sizes - 1Gb/month, 2.5Gb/month and flat-rate, with prices respectively $199, $299 and $499 excluding GST - the DSL router is additional (these can cost up to $1000 ex GST). Excess usage is billed at 18 cents/Mb.
“The 1Gb package we find is most suitable for the smaller business, maybe five to eight employees.” Clear Net's broadband offerings are aimed at businesses - and are not available for consumers.
Building its own DSL solution means Clear can take advantage of other DSL “flavours” as well as its own copper.
“We’ve rolled out our own local loop in a significant number of places and we’re always looking for other ways to use that copper. Performance is excellent and our ability to go some distance [from the exchange] is excellent as well.” Gilpin says Clear is testing now and won’t be “tied in” to any particular type of DSL offering. Telecom’s DSL is asymmetrical, meaning the upload speed is much slower than the download. Telecom also has plans to roll out symmetrical DSL at some stage in the future.
“We’re looking at all options, including symmetrical, but we’ve got other options as well, like fibre, which is even better.” If a customer outgrows a DSL line with Clear it can be moved up the technology chain to fibre or leased lines relatively easily.
Gilpin wouldn’t put a launch date on Clear’s DSL service except to say “soon”.