Most people are quite happy with the standard ADSL2+ which is available pretty much everywhere in Sydney metro. However recently we’ve been asked by a few clients to turn the internet up to 11, so here’s a few options that you might not know about. You can read these while waiting for the NBN to be connected…….

Bonded DSL

As the name suggests, this is basically 2x ADSL connections ‘bonded’ together to form one much faster connection. It’s not quite double the speed, but it’s more than double the price. Currently only offered by IINET, costs are as follows

Modem $419 Once only
ADSL setup fee $80 x 2 = $160 Once only
Basic ADSL Service fee $80×2= $160 per month
Bonded DSL fee $99 per month
So minimum monthly fees are around $260 per month and this will get you speeds approximately double what you get now if you have ADSL
Speed: up to 40Mbps down
More details about bonded DSL (This product is no longer available)


Cable Elite and Ultimate

Telstra/ Bigpond currently offer 2 speeds of cable internet- Elite (formerly known as Extreme) and Ultimate. Elite is a 30mbps product (ADSL2+ is billed as 20mbps, but speed varies a lot) but the newly launched Ultimate has download speeds of around 100mbps- that’s screaming! Also I say ‘around’ 100mbps because one customer who has it installed is seeing download speeds of up to 130mbps. Downside of this is that you cannot get a static IP address with cable, meaning you can’t theoretically run any services that require a static IP. In practice, we run our help desk server from a Bigpond cable connection, and it works fine once we got the DNS ninja fu worked out. Only available through Telstra/ Bigpond. Optus have a cable network that uses the same DOCSIS 3.0 speed/ standard however they don’t commit to any sort of download speed on their site…….

Cable modem $299, $0 on 2 year contract, $149 if you already have cable
Plans from $40 per month, usable plans from $60-$90 per month
Speed: up to 100Mbps down, 2Mbps up

More details about Cable here


Metropolitan Ethernet

This refers to internet delivered over a wide area via ethernet technology. The speeds start low at around 1mbps synchronous (same speed for uploading as downloading) but can go very high (I’ve seen some providers advertising 10Gbps). While the speed may not be great compared to ADSL2+ at ~20Mbps, these connections will generally have a much lower contention ratio- this refers to how many other connections share your bandwidth. So if an ADSL provider has a 16:1 contention ratio this means that the 20Mbps service that they have sold you is being shared with another 15 customers…….. more expensive connections tend to have much lower numbers for shared bandwidth. Lots of providers sell this service, one of the most aggressive in terms of price is TPG. They have a 10Mbps connection for $220 per month

Supply your own router
Cost from $220 inc GST per month, 3 year contract
Speed: from 10Mbps usually symmetric, i.e. same speed up and down

More details about Ethernet here



A number of providers have come and gone in this WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) space, with companies such as iBurst (gobbled and shut down by Telstra)and UnWired catering to the smaller or home user market. Big Air has it’s sights on the corporate and difficult access market. They call their offering ‘fixed wireless ethernet’ and it’s a point to point solution delivered in metropolitan areas. There are plenty of places that have difficult to access cabling, or the exchange is full (no more ADSL) or the cabling is simply so old it can’t pass a decent amount of data across. In these circumstances a wireless connection might be appropriate. Currently sold by some smaller providers, as well as Big Air. NBNCo is likely to provide this service too.

Cost- an ADSL equivalent service was about $800 per month when I last looked, I’d encourage you to check!
Speed: Variable up to 1Gbps and symmetric, i.e. same speed up and down

More details about Wireless here

I’ve covered some of the more standard services here, more esoteric methods of connection like ISDN, ATM, Frame Relay, HFC, Optic fibre, Satellite aren’t covered as they’re either too slow, old technology, or covered in a different format……..

If you’d like to find out how fast your current connection is, click here

Adam is a 20+ year veteran of the Apple market. He is one of the most highly qualified Apple technical specialists in Australia. You can read more about him here or check out his Google+ profile- Adam Connor