It has been three and half years since I got broadband connection at home. Not much has been changed since. Well, the price is -- I am now paying about half the price for 16 times the download quota (although I rarely go over 3Gb each month), but the thing that actually made broadband broad, i.e. the size of the pipe, remains unchanged at 512 kilo-bits per second. I know I can go one level up to 1.5Mbps offered on Telstra's DSLAM (at the cost of my upload speed which is also currently at 512k). But I am more keen on what is coming out from smaller telecom's -- ADSL2+ on my local exchange. I much prefer that burst of speed than the size of the quota.
Besides, the new modem I got is also ADSL2+ compatible. Looking at some of the providers it seem that an ADSL2+ connection provided by SSS (Spectrum Services Sharing) might even be cheaper than the 512k/512k I got at the moment. Hmmm... Need to check whether my local exchange is supported first.
One website that provides such coverage is DSLAM Watch. According to them, Kensington exchange (if your phone number starts with 02 9662xxxx) has iiNet's Broadband2 installed, and TPG under construction, and People Telecom pending for August this year.
Wow. Choices. Aargh! Choices....
iiNet's Broadband2+ has a nice Ajax number checking tool. Neat :) Even nicer when it tells me that "Initial checks show broadband2+ is available in your area". However, I am not really keen with their plans.
First of all, you are required to have your landline bundled -- at line rental of $33.46 per month. That's even more expensive than what I am paying to Telstra! As I have decided to migrate to VoIP, it is a bit pointless to pay for such high line rental for a service that you won't use. Even its VoIP rate is not the cheapest I can find. Thank you, but no thanks.
Worse still, I need to pay $29.95 a month to get business pack in order to have an static IP address. 20 email addresses, 60Mb of webspace and reverse DNS are useless to me. Sounds like iiNet is not for me.
TPG has targeted to activate its ADSL2+ DSLAM in Kensington in April 2006, yet there is still no pricing on their DSLAM web page. It just seems so hard to find information on their website. Their current residential ADSL has no option to have static IP address, and their business ADSL is way out of my range.
Moreover, my parent's place in Queensland uses TPG ADSL. With the experience I had dealing with them, they are not the kind of service provider that I want to be with...
My ADSL was actually with People Telecom for 8 months in 2004 (when they were known as SwiftTel). Left them because there were better deals, but I don't mind coming back if their ADSL2+ plans are interesting.
Although they don't have Ajax exchange checker like iiNet's, but their exchange list is informative enough to tell me that Kensington exchange will be activated in August. Which August though? :) Pricing looks alright -- ADSL2+ speed with 10Gb quota (more than enough for me) for $60 a month without phone bundling. Moreover, the fine line writes "All plans include a static IP address"!!
Sounds like it is my only viable solution for now. Still 5-6 months to go if the exchange is activated on time, so a lot of things can happen in between. Especially if...
My current ADSL provider, Exetel has recently sent out an email stating their ADSL2+ live test will start in late April in some selected exchanges (mainly CBD, inner-city and North Sydney). 10Gb for $50. No bundling. Static IP. Uncounted off peak download. And their network has been rock solid for the last year and half I have been with them.
Sounds like a "go" to me, only if my local exchange is available.
Btw, I think Kensington exchange is on the Todman Avenue, between Kensington Road and Lenhall Street (very close to where Grimmo lives). That's around 3km from my place, so I probably will not expect 24Mbps :(
Alright. Enough dreaming (especially over things that won't be available in a few months).