Despite a slow start commercial ADSL will be available in New Zealand within the next couple of weeks.
Telecom has been trialling ADSL technology in Wellington, but has so far kept the number of participants to six. Within the next couple of weeks the trial will be available to 300 people.
Telecom spokesman Quentin Bright says the last obstacle to expanding the numbers is determining an appropriate price.
Alcatel New Zealand marketing manager Gijs Van Kersen is in no doubt that ADSL will be commercially available by the end of the year at the latest. Alcatel currently has more than a third of the ADSL router market.
“ADSL requires substantial investment, which is why we have seen other countries such as Singapore leading the field,” says Van Kersen. “Somebody needs to prime the pump. It is a big investment and companies do need to see that there is a potential for a return on the investment. With very few restrictions in the New Zealand marketplace, ADSL will be commercially available within a year if not sooner.”
ADSL functions over copper cable, which leaves Telecom in a dominant position with its established phone lines.
Van Kersen says he would be surprised if Telecom allows access by carriers that don’t have a copper infrastructure in place, while Bright is unaware of whether Telecom has made any decision on the issue.
It may be a moot point, however. Two weeks ago a US ADSL firm called Aware signed a licences with several major PC manufacturers in a deal that would make ADSL modems an option on new PCs by the end of this year.