SOME business owners in the Belmont area say they are frustrated after being told they cannot get an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) connection because they are too far away from an exchange.
While Telstra has indicated that business in the Belmont area can access other types of broadband should ADSL not be available, those contacted by WA Business News have said that the cost of the alternatives put broadband out of their reach.
Telstra offers broadband in several formats including by satellite, by microwave, by Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and by ADSL.
WA Business News understands that businesses located in the Belmont business district, including Belmont Forum and Belmont Village are unable to get ADSL, but that some businesses along Great Eastern Highway can.
Anderson’s Mitre 10 proprietor Peter Anderson said his queries to Telstra had gone unanswered.
“We have been informed by the technicians at Telstra that [ASDL] broadband is not available to us because we are too far away from the exchange,” he said.
Mr Anderson said the cost of ISDN for his business was about $1,000 a month as opposed to around $60 a month for ASDL.
He said while ISDN held advantages over ADSL for his business, the cost put ISDN out of his reach.
Mr Anderson said he was aware of other businesses in the Belmont area that faced a similar situation.
Belmont Snap Printing proprietor Chris Oddie said Telstra had notified him that his ADSL application had been cancelled.
“Every time we’ve called up about it [ASDL], I’ve been told we’re too far from the exchange,” he said.
“Their [Telstra’s] suggestion last time was that we use ISDN, but the cost factor puts it out of our reach.
“It’s very frustrating.
“We are part of Australia’s largest franchise printing chain that is marketing itself on the electronic transfer of information.
“We are trying to promote our business as being at the forefront of technology, yet we can’t get ADSL.
“As a business development for us, it’s a joke.
Federal member for Swan Kim Wilkie has called upon Telstra to urgently look into its infrastructure for the provision of Internet broad-band services to residents and businesses of inner metropolitan Perth.
“My office has been dealing with a prominent local businessman who was told more than 12 months ago that ADSL broadband was simply not available to his business premises at Belmont Village,” he said.
“Belmont Forum and Belmont Village are about six kilometres from the city centre
“The Telstra buildings on Great Eastern Highway two kilometres to the north, presumably have access to ADSL, and residents and businesses as far away as Kalamunda have access, but Belmont doesn’t.
“To add insult, this businessman was urged to take up the considerably more expensive option of ISDN broadband, which is about five times the cost of ADSL.
“In the last six weeks, this businessman has made several attempts to discuss the matter with Telstra, and has not had a reply.”
A spokesperson at the City of Belmont said the council was frustrated with the lack of ADSL available to some businesses in Belmont area given that the area was experiencing considerable growth.
The spokesperson said council has voiced its ADSL concerns to Telstra.
However, Telstra spokesperson Peter Fairclough said some businesses in the Belmont area could get ADSL as the Ascot Exchange had been enabled for some time.
However, he said, if businesses were not able to access ADSL they could get ISDN.
“If you want high speed broadband Internet in Perth, you can get it. If you can’t get ADSL, you can get ISDN,” he said.
Mr Fairclough said ISDN residential services were competitively priced with ADSL.
He said Telstra was currently developing new technology that would enable the delivery of ADSL although the timeframe for delivery of this technology was not yet determined.
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