Danny Yee >> Tech notes

Upgrading to ADSL2 in Sydney

If you can get it, ADSL2+ may actually be cheaper than ADSL1, at least for any reasonable plan. All ADSL1 is wholesaled by Telstra at exorbitant rates, while ADSL2+ is offered by other ISPs with their own DSLAMs (either directly or via resellers).
The best deals can only be had by bundling with the phone service and/or the actual phone line.
I really wanted a static IP address, to make it easier to connect to my computer from outside. For most non-technical users this is probably not so critical.
Exetel support is good. It was way less painful communicating with them than disconnecting the old ADSL service from PeopleTelecom, which took me three phone calls and 30 minutes on hold.

But will need to learn how to use their online system and forums to get best results, since their phone support is not so good.

Our 256/64 ADSL connection just wasn't cutting it anymore, especially for ssh sessions when two or three people were using the link. Also, we were starting to go over the 1GB bandwidth limit of our old plan, which was pushing the monthly costs up over $40/month. So I started exploring ADSL2+ options.

Fortunately the Chatswood exchange was well-provided with infrastructure: it has iiNet, TPG, and Internode DSLAMs. But I really wanted a static IP address, while after the last bill from Telstra my girlfriend wanted to migrate our phone service — iiNet offered the phone service but not the static IP address, while TPG had static IP addresses but no phone. The biggest disincentive was the downtime of up to two weeks, which meant we'd have to time the changeover for a holiday.

And then Exetel came out with an ADSL2+ offering (using Optus DSLAMs), with really cheap phone calls (no flag-fall), a static IP address, and good quotas.

We signed up at the beginning of August, but Exetel and Optus took a while getting their systems sorted out and we weren't connected till September 18th. The switchover started just before 9am and went pretty smoothly. Outgoing phone calls worked immediately, and incoming calls were ok the next day. I had to contact Exetel support to get the ADSL account enabled, as the communication from Optus apparently didn't get through, but we had Internet access when we got home.

December 2007: we've moved to Glebe, but we've stayed with Exetel ADSL2+ — after some trauma with Telstra giving us a non-portable number — and are on their INCPHONE A plan, paying $65/month for 8GB peak and 48GB off-peak. Unfortunately the phone calls aren't as great as they used to be (the flag-fall is back).
May 2009: we've shifted to Internode.
Tech notes << Danny Yee