Belmont businesses wait for broadband connection

TELSTRA has committed to resolve problems surrounding the availability of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line broadband in Belmont following persistent lobbying by local businesses affected by lack of access.

However, businesses in the Belmont area remain sceptical the telco will deliver on its promise.

As reported by WA Business News in October, some businesses located in the heart of the Belmont business district were frustrated after Telstra said their distance from the nearest exchange precluded access to ADSL broadband.

Those businesses unable to access ADSL believed other types of broadband were available to them.

But some businesses said the cost of those alternatives had put broad band out of their reach.

Telstra offers broadband in several formats, including by satellite, by microwave, by Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and by ADSL.

Telstra spokesperson Catherine Emory said work was under way to improve broadband infrastructure in Belmont that would provide greater capacity for ADSL.

Ms Emory said that Telstra expected work to be completed by February 2004 and confirmed that she had met with Belmont City Council last week to discuss the resolution.

Ms Emory said Telstra would be contacting individual customers in February, once the work was complete, to inform them that ADSL was available.

“We do have some specific customers where ADSL has not been available,” she said.

“We met with the City of Belmont last week to discuss plans to make ADSL more widely available.”

Belmont City Council business development manager Peter Schifferli said the result was good news for businesses in Belmont that were affected, however securing ADSL access for commercial development along Horrie Miller Drive around the international terminal of Perth International Airport remained an issue.

Mr Schifferli said businesses in Belmont Forum, Belmont Shopping Centre, Belmont Village and Belmont Oasis could not access ADSL broadband.

The problem left businesses in the area frustrated and at a significant competitive disadvantage, he said.

Anderson’s Mitre 10 proprietor Peter Anderson, whose business is located in the Belmont business district, remained sceptical that Telstra would deliver on its promise that ADSL broadband would be available to the remaining Belmont businesses by February.

“I’m not unhappy with the news,” he said.

“But it’s not in writing, so we’ll wait and see.”

Mr Anderson said his previous approaches to Telstra regarding his ADSL broadband application had gone unanswered.

He said Telstra had not yet contacted him with news of a resolution to the problem.

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