Internode and Exetel will test the Basslink cable in the next week with the first customers to jump on by the middle of July.
Internode managing director Simon Hackett posted yesterday that the Adelaide ISP and first customer of the optical fibre link between Victoria and Tasmania was "close to being handed the link".
"We'll most likely want to exercise it internally for a week or so before making it live for customer traffic," Hackett said.
"Once we do, what we'll then be able to do is wind back our Telstra link size and balance usage across both links."
Exetel managing director John Linton said that "all being well" his ISP will start testing on 8 July.
"If that is successful we will move 300 customers from the Telstra backhaul to Basslink in mid-July," Linton said.
Although Basslink management hasn't said when the cable will be lit up another ISP said it was ready. And unconfirmed reports on bulletin boards indicated final tests were done on the weekend.
"We did get an update to say [Basslink] were doing testing at the end of last week and things were going well," said Netspace's regulatory and carrier affairs manager Matthew Phillips.
Phillips said Netspace had fielded "commercial deals" from Basslink for more than a year but wasn't offered a physical trial of the link.
"We're right in the thick of our DSLAM rollout in Tasmania," he said.
"It's taking up a lot of time. The next 30 days are going to be really busy so we're not worrying about the Bass Strait issue until we've got everything up and running."
iiNet chief technology officer Greg Bader said the WA ISP is in discussions with Basslink management but it would "not be lighting up any capacity in the next few weeks".
"The Basslink guys are more than helpful, so I know they are there when we are ready," Bader said.
Basslink introduced competition to the Tasmania-Victoria backhaul route dominated by Telstra. ISPs will scale back capacity on the Telstra route while retaining it for contingencies.
"The net result [of Basslink's launch] will be services to Tasmania that will, finally, not cost Internode more than our total income from that state," Hackett said.
Hackett warned Tasmanian customers they are unlikely to notice when Basslink kicks in: "If you expect your ADSL2+ sync speed go up, you might want to review those expectations".