From ADSL1 to ADSL 2 - What to Expect
Apart from the obvious difference in speed, there are some other significant differences between the ADSL (ADSL1) you are used to and ADSL2. It is important that you understand these differences so that you can be fully informed in your decision to purchase and ADSL2 service from Exetel, or any service provider.
The following five points highlight the major differences you can expect, and what you can expect given the state of ADSL2 deployment in Australia as of November 2006.
With ADSL2 your modem can connect at speeds of up to 24Mbps. However this DOES NOT mean that you can, or are even likely to, download at anywhere near that speed. There are many reasons why that is, but the main one is that just because your home Internet connection has increased by fifteen times, does not mean the whole global Internet has also done the same. It may take many years before the trillions of dollars of infrastructure that is the Global Internet, and the billions of dollars of cable and equipment that are the Australian networks that allow you to connect to the Internet, are built to the level that will enable that sort of download speed for everyone.
24Mbps is the theoretical maximum that you may be able to connect at. Lower speeds are much more normal. It may even be the case that you can only connect at the same rate as your ADSL1 service. You may notice that ADSL2 plans are very close in price to the old ADSL1 1.5Mbps plans - there is a reason for that - it may be the only speed available to you. If that is the case, it is a physical limitation of your line that, short of re-laying all the copper in the ground on your street to the exchange, nothing can be done about.
Most people so far have reported connection and download speeds in the range of 4Mbps to 12Mbps.
ADSL2 May Drop out More
ADSL2 operates at a higher frequency and is more sensitive to interference, line noise and attenuation that ADSL1. You may find that whereas your ADSL1 service was rock solid, your ADSL2 service drops our several times a week or even several times a day.
One of the ways this can be fixed is to change your ADSL2 'profile' at the exchange to a lower speed. We have found in most cases changing a profile from 24Mbps to 8Mbps will fix most frequent drop out problems. In some rare cases, it may even be necessary to change the profile all the way back to ADSL1.
Certainly if you have had drop out problems with your ADSL1 line, you should consider if the extra speed will be worth the extra cost and dropouts you are very likely to get with ADSL2.
ADSL2 Speeds will Fluctuate Much More
Apart from the speed considerations above, if you are used to always getting day 1.2Mbps download speed from Microsoft with ADSL1, you may find that one day you get 6Mbps, another day 4Mbps and another day 1Mbps with ADSL2.
Also, it may be the case than when you first get ADSL2, you are one of only a few with ADSL2 in your area. Over time, as more people connect to the same exchange, the 'share' of bandwidth available to you will decrease. Then, as some point, the carrier (Optus, Telstra or Powertel) will upgrade the circuits and your speed will increase, then slowly decrease again over time as that capacity is used by more people. This also happened with ADSL1, but was far less noticable because of the lower speeds (except in the early days of ADSL1 when the speeds were much faster than the dial-up connectrions most common then).
It does not mean there is anything wrong with your service, nor is there anything you, or Exetel, can do about it. It is just the way the Internet infrastructure is around the world.