Primus blasts broadband speed to 6Mbps

Primus has ended the "World Wide Wait" for broadband users, with a new 6Mbps ADSL service that blitzes the opposition.

The new service boasts download speeds that peak at 6Mbps -- four times faster than most broadband deals, which typically peak at 1.5Mpbs -- and has a minimum speed of 2Mbps, which is still faster than most others' maximum.

"It's a service that can go as fast as it can," said Primus' Campbell Sallabank, general manager Strategy, Products and Development. "It is night and day compared to other ADSL."

Sallabank said the ADSL was priced to be affordable. Primus is offering two plans under the new service; a $29.95 per month plan with 400MB of downloads (15 cents per megabyte thereafter); and a $49.95 plan with 12,000MB of data. Setup costs are the same other existing broadband plans: $99 for a 12-month contract, free for a two-year contract.

Although peaking at 6Mbps, the speed of downloads decreases if a customer lives more than 1.5 kilometres from a Primus-enabled exchange, but Primus is hoping to stretch that out to 3.5 kilometres "shortly".

Sallabank said Primus was able to achieve such speeds because it was enabling exchanges on its own network, and not Telstra's, whose wholesale network was depended upon by many ISPs.

He said Primus had been testing the service for six months, and apart from speed, there was nothing extraordinary about it.

"It is just garden-variety old ADSL, not anything special," he said. "We are letting ADSL do what it is designed to do -- which is to run at 6Mbps."

Sallabank also said the decision to limit current ADSL speeds to 1.5Mbps was more of a commercial decision, rather than technical limitation.

Primus is installing its Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAM) in approximately 200 exchanges located in and around the major capital cities. Sallabank said 40 were currently enabled, with that figure soon going to 70 exchanges.

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