New Zealand telecommunications provider TelstraClear

New Zealand telecommunications provider TelstraClear has rolled out xDSL equipment to 21 exchanges across the country and technical trials are moving into live field testing as the company's local loop unbundling roll out progresses.

TestraClear says it has begun customer trials, but will not say where the exchanges are, or when the service will go live - other than that it will be before the end of the year.

The telco has been offering turbocharged VDSL2 service to its business customers since October last year; Telecom plans its own upgrade from ADSL2+ to the faster VDSL2 - the fastest possible copper-delivered broadband - later in the year. VDSL2 offers fibre optic-like speeds - provided you live practically on the doorstep of your local exchange or cabinet. Unlike fibre, bandwidth fades rapidly with distance.

Whisper to a screeching halt
Under the Telecommunications Act’s “local loop unbundling” (LLU) provisions, rivals are allowed to shift their own broadband hardware into Telecom exchanges, allowing them to bypass Telecom Wholesale and be in more control of the speed, and pricing, of their internet service.

Orcon and Vodafone both say they want clarity from the Commerce Commission on “sub-loop unbundling”, or the rental that Telecom Wholesale will charge them to access or install their own gear in its roadside "Whisper" fibre cabinets, currently being rolled out by the telco’s Chorus division.

The commission is due to make its final determination on cabinet pricing this month.

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