Telstra has named the handful of regional cities and towns that will be first to experience a doubling of data speeds over its Next G wireless broadband network flagged at the start of the year.
Back in January the carrier declared that it was turning on the upgrade which could see users experience speeds of 42Mbps.
Telstra CEO David Thodey said this week that the Telstra Ultimate USB modem - needed to support the upgrade - would be made available later this year to customers in some 100 regional towns and cities including Albury, Alice Springs, Orange, Broome, Ballarat, Roxby Downs, Port Lincoln and Newcastle. No exact dates for delivery were given.
Telstra has spent more than $2 billion on its Next G network which the carrier has billed as its most important piece of digital infrastructure.
"The Next G network enables regional businesses to compete on the global stage, regionally-based health care professionals to offer remote diagnosis and monitoring, rural based schools to provide the same opportunities for regional and rural students as those in the city and environmental and farming businesses to improve their productivity," Thodey said.
But it hasn't been without its problems. Telstra was forced to make an embarrassing apology last month after large numbers of Queensland government staff were locked out of the network. Last weekend in Sydney, users were unable to access data services.
With the maximum downstream speeds achievable with ADSL2+ at around 20Mbps, the ability to achieve double that over Next G could be an appealing option, especially for business users, although Telstra is yet to release detailed pricing.
PC Authority has also revealed that iiNet is working on a new Bonded ADSL service that has reached speeds of 40Mbps downstream, and 4.5 Mbps upstream. Melbourne-based Connexus has been offering Bonded ADSL services with similar speeds to its business customers for the past 18 months.