Netspace enters Tassie ADSL2+ market without Basslink deal

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Netspace enters Tassie ADSL2+ market without Basslink deal

Netspace has indicated that it may wait several months after Basslink launches before inking a capacity deal with them, despite taking the punt early by launching ADSL2+ services in Hobart and Launceston.

The ISP said it had completed an initial 12-month DSLAM rollout in three exchanges in Tasmania, with another nine to come online "in the next couple of months. A further tier group of exchanges are still in "the business case phase" for potential DSLAM rollouts.

The ISP will use fibre backhaul from Aurora to connect to the exchanges.

The ISP's regulatory and carrier affairs manager, Matthew Phillips, said Netspace had "taken the decision to go live with ADSL2+ on the expectation that prices will begin to fall once the Basslink service comes online".

But Phillips quashed speculation the company had pre-signed an agreement with Basslink for wholesale capacity.

"We took the decision over 12 months ago that the time was right to make [DSLAM] investment decisions [in Tasmania]," Phillips said.

"We've been waiting around for the Basslink service to become operational but it seemed to be a never-ending wait. We've taken the decision that we can't hold off any longer."

At the very least, Netspace will likely use Basslink as a diverse route for ADSL2+ traffic between Tasmania and the mainland.

But despite "utmost confidence" that Basslink will provide "a good alternative route" [to Telstra] once it launches, Netspace hasn't formally committed to buy any capacity.

"We're very supportive of what Basslink is doing but we're still in negotiations with them," Phillips said.

"I don't see much advantage in signing up with them prior to the service becoming available.

"There's no early bird discounts and I suspect the first few months could be a rocky road while they bed things down."

Netspace have said the same ADSL2+ plans it offers nationwide are now being offered in Tasmania. In a statement, the ISP said these could be up to $50 cheaper less than competitors.

Phillips also believed Netspace had first-mover advantage over other new entrants because it had already installed its own DSLAMs and secured fibre backhaul.

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