Pair Gain Victims

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 @ 4:48PM

Go to for the latest atempt to survey for broadband problems in Gungahlin, ACT.

Sending me an email about your problems provides me with an insight into the level of impairment Telstra’s extensive use of ‘pair gains’ have on blocking broadband or limiting dial-up internet connection speeds.

Thankyou to everyone supporting this campaign.  The support has been inspiring. I am hoping that continuing pressure on Telstra will force them to be honest with their customers about the capacity of their network and the internet connection speeds customers can expect.  The ABC’s current affairs show, ‘7.30 Report’ investigated this issue on May 29, 2002. Click here for the transcript.

Update: Please note the Senator did a Pair Gains 2009 update blog post for more recent information.

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    162 Comments to "Pair Gain Victims" add comment
    Terry Brown
    May 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Hi there Kate, are you still dealling with Telstra pair gain issue?? I got elected to the local council last year and asked telstra for a second line to operate the council computer on ADSL, they installed the line within a few weeks and oh my it was pair gain, when I complained they said no worries they gave me another number and said it would be changed the following week. but the technician told me there were no copper lines left (only pair gainsleft) I had to cancel my isp and change to the council isp on the one copper line that I have had for several years.
    Now I have a friend in the area that wants ADSL but has been told there are no lines available.
    This is several years after your report. Can anything be done???
    Thanks Terry Brown

    Kate Lundy
    May 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Terry
    RE: Pair Gain systems are unfortunately still rife and I still emails every few days or so about them. I am astounded to hear that Telstra recently installed a pair gain to facilitate on your request for another line, particularly if you requested another line for ADSL! Am I interpreting your situation correctly? I would take the issue as high as you can with Telstra locally. Let me know how you go.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Kate, many people I know are only interested in getting a phone line for the express purpose of ADSL. Telstra use to have a code so that a phone line would only be provisioned / charge if ADSL was available. This code was called NPGDSL (Non-Pair Gained DSL).

    Telstra have removed this code. In addition are now charging;
    “..a $100 fee associated with having a “temporary” line”

    So now people can end up paying for a line that is not fit for purpose, ie. Pair gained, pay a connection fee and a “temporary” line fee to remove the line. All because of the removal of this telstra ordering code? This practice seems rather dishonest to me.

    Kate Lundy
    June 1, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Telstra seem to be still generally refusing to install new copper to get around the problem of pair gains. The fact that there are so many pair gain systems in the network still underpins the need for a new FTTP network altogether, hence the nbn. You are fortunate in a way to have a least one copper pair that can carry ADSL. I have had complaints from people that are only serviced by pair gains systems. Can I suggest also that as a council you request from Telstra the following information as you may find it quite insightful for your area: How many services (dial tones) are provided from the local (or any given) enchange? How many ADSL services are provided by Tesltra? How many Telstra ADSL ports are actually available in the exchange right now(possible new services for new Telstra ADSL customers)? How many more are scheduled to be available in the future? When?
    How many ADSL services are provided by other carriers? etc.
    As a council you may be interested to find this out.
    Also ask how many people are on the waiting list for ADSL (if any)
    And finally, how many services (dial-tones) on the exchange are servided via pair gains systems. Aks them to detail the type of pair gain systems for you. Note that some large pair gain systems (RIMS) can support a limited number of ADSL services.
    Good luck and let me know.

    Geoff Sams
    June 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I have recently moved into a new house in a new subdivision. I contacted Telstra about a new phone service and specifically asked if ADSL was available. the response from Telstra” Once the line is activated you can get your ISP to check”.

    Well gues what? No ADSL because of pair gain and further, according to one of the many Telstra consultants ” Telstra aren’t interested in pair gain so you will never get ADSL. You will have to go wireless”
    Unfortuantely wireless does not give me a stable enough connection for working from home.

    here we are in a supposed first world country only to be shacked by a conglomerate like Telstra. So much for privatisation

    Bell Computer Services
    June 26, 2009 at 12:40 am

    If you stipulated that the line was for the purpose of ADSL, you might have a case with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman or even the ACCC & Office of Fair Trading – depending on how much time you’d like to waste chasing a rabbit down a hole.

    I have lived and worked (IT) in many countries around the world and have never come across as many clients with pair gains issues as I have here in Australia. In fact (on a tangent), I am very disgusted in general at the pricing, availability and limitations of internet plans in Australia.

    Anyway, get your ISP to try and request a transposition test from Telstra, as there may be another viable route for you to take in order to get some form of ADSL – I say some form as you will most likely never be guaranteed a 100% working connection.

    Don’t give up and push your ISP or another ISP into trying to find a solution.

    July 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I am having the same issue with Telstra, I want to get ADSL 2 with another provider other than Big pond, I am currently on Bigpond ADSL 2, but when I called up Telstra with regards to this they said I need to contact TPG to get them to fix it, but apprently it is Telstra Lines and Telstra are not fixing the problem, and currently I am on a Pair gain line as well.

    arrrghhh soo F*&( annoying.

    October 7, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    2 words – too bad

    Pia Waugh
    December 8, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Hi Travis, this is a really late reply, but depending on your area there may be things you can do. Check out the ACT Broadband site ( and the ADSL2 Exchanges site ( where you can submit info about your issues and create momentum for change. I know it’s cold comfort, but the NBN rollout will help people in your situation.

    Pia Waugh

    Bell Computer Services
    July 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Travis, out of all of the service providers I have dealt with on this issue, TPG is by far the pick of the bunch. If one of our clients ever has an ADSL2 rejection advice while attempting to connect with another ISP, we will quickly advise them to try TPG, as they’re very proficient and helpful in trying to rectify the problem.

    Ask TPG to remove the pair gains and you might be able to sign up for ADSL 1, which is a little more costly due to its redundancy, but still very fast! Just note that Telstra can take their time in fixing the line – up to 6 weeks in some instances that I’ve seen.

    So stick with TPG until you get the final answer on your ADSL option/s, by then you should be well versed in the plight of Australia’s internet issues.

    Neil Chippendale
    July 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I agree with Bell Computer Services. TPG emailed to say that I can’t get ADSL2 because of pair gain but they will install ADSL and remove the pair gain although it might take up to 8 weeks.

    Vijay Singh
    July 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I have recently moved into a new house in a new subdivision. I contacted Telstra about a new phone service and specifically asked if ADSL was available. the response from Telstra” Once the line is activated you can get your ISP to check”.

    Well guess what? No ADSL because of pair gain and further, according to one of the many Telstra consultants ” Telstra aren’t interested in pair gain so you will never get ADSL.

    I have tried all the avenues to have ADSL2 but to no luck. “world is going with technologies and Australian are going backward.”

    I humbly request your office to take this matter to office concern.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm


    Just wanted to say that although it is too late for me to complain I have to give kudos for Ms Lundy in getting behind us with pair gain issues.

    I purchased a house in a new development in brisbane about 5 years ago and I ended up selling it 2 years later because I just couldnt get any form of broadband to it unless I wanted satellite or wireless, Which was unacceptable to me working in IT and working from home on a regular basis.

    September 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I just got off the phone from TPG who basically told me that they don’t own any lines and it is up to Telstra to fix the pair gain lines that are in your particular area and if they won’t do it for you then they won’t do it for TPG either.

    In the end Telstra is absolutely pathetic. Their staff do not care about anything other than doing the bare minimum on a call and never ever go out of their way to help anyone. I have spoken to 6 different people in 5 days and had not once have I gotten a promised call back and twice I mysteriously got cut off at 6pm just when their call centre closed. Pathetic!

    September 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Hi everyone,

    I’m currently also stuck on this god-forsaken pair gain technology, however I am fortunate enough to get adsl.

    However, the speeds of my adsl are practically dialup at peak times from 5pm-12am every night. I’m not at home during the day to experience any sort of broadband speeds (the one im supposedley paying for)

    I honestly don’t think this problem will ever be resolved.

    Kate Lundy
    October 1, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I am thinking of developing a blog to help chart the prevalence of pair gain broadband blockers in the existing network. I did a lot of research a number of years ago to ascertain their widespread use by telstra. One of the many good things about the NBN policy is that it will resolve the problem by creating a new fibre to the premises network, rendering the pair gain-riddled copper network redundant. Keep an eye on my web page for a new post in this regard.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I moved to Point Cook Melbourne a month ago and as you would imagine the same horror story like everyone else.

    1. You have to sign up with Telstra, as they are the only network provider in that area
    2. You need a valid phone number to check if you can get broadband.
    3. Have number and found out we are on Pair Gain.
    4. Tried with TPG .. rejected because TPG said

    “The situation is that we’ve been advised by the telephone infrastructure provider in your area
    that the phone line you’ve nominated is currently using fibre-optic cables (pair gain), which is incompatible for ADSL.”

    5. Called Telstra, Broadband, passed on to sales team, passed on to VPL (apparently they deal with installation)told me I have to called the estate that sold me the land as they put in the put in the original request for phone line, passed on to Commercial works (they supposedly deal with pair gain removal, FINALLY a kind girl chase the bunny for me… 15 minutes and the answer follows.

    You are on Pair Gain, We can’t remove you from the system but you can get Broadband ADSL from BIGPOND. WHY? because there is a spare ADSL port on your pair gain System ONLY for Telstra Customer.

    Did I get my answer? NO

    There is not 1 believable answer after 45 minutes on the phone, everyone have different story.

    I cannot believe a country which it brand itself at for front telecommunications live on pair gain system and Federal Govt, State Govt and Local council allow this practise to carry on. Our much less advance neighbour NZ do not use this system.

    Utterly embarrassing and disappointing. AND yes NZ telecommunication company TELECOM is privatised as well. we should dig a hole and bury ourself.

    Yet we are planning and budding to build a State of the ART satellite to communicate with OUTER space. Please stop right!.

    I want to know how many ministers have pair gain system on there phone line.


    tina R.
    October 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    all of you are lucky, I cannot have even ADSL 1 or 2 or whatever, nor wireless because of pair gain and black spot. I think is a matter of the governement take away our right to comunicate, since most of the comunication nowday is trough internet, but forgot to comunicate properly with dialup. Can we gather togheter and force the government to do something?

    Pair gain victim

    Bell Computer Services
    October 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Sorry to hear about that Tina, that really is an unfortunate situation and a lot of people in Australia will be able to sympathise with you.

    The Government has started the rectification of these issues and Telstra’s (for example) lack of infrastructure renewal etc. through the funding of the ‘National Broadband Network’. It is going to take some time for the network to be completely implemented, but I’d suggest you take a look at the following link for more details, or simply google ‘National Broadband Network':

    Hope this makes you feel a little bit better :)


    Luke Piper
    October 6, 2009 at 3:07 am

    i just want adsl1 is that so hard,jeez i hate telstra

    October 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    The issue is not about rectifying problem rather BAN and ABOLISH the practise of installing Pair Gain System.

    The government can be spending billions fixing the problem forever if telstra keep on installing the evil technology all over Australia.

    Point Cook in Melbourne is only 5 years old and Why oh Why we allow telstra installed this 5 years ago instead of forcing them to installed proper cooper wire?

    The cost of fixing is astronomical compare to proper installation at the 1st change. PLEASE prevent this technology to be installed on all new residential or we will never going to hear the end of this.


    October 18, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I have been haunted by PGS since moving into a newly developed estate in Castle Hill NSW. When I applied for ADSL in Dec 06, TPG advised that I must apply to Telstra to remove PGS. I requested their help as I am not into Telecomms speak. They obliged and wrote me an email confirming PGS was removed. ADSL service was connected around Jan 07. In early 2008, TPG advertised that ADSL2+ was available in my area. I applied for it because (a) it’s faster, and (b) it’s 50% cheaper.

    The nightmare started immediately after. TPG replied a few days later saying that I have to remove PGS (again !). When confronted with their earlier email confirming PGS removal, the excuse was then changed to “PGS for ADSL2+ is different to that for ADSL”. Three to four escalation calls later, I wrote to TIO for help. The first case officer took side with TPG; insisted that I don’t have a case and I must contact Telstra to remove PGS. I escalated the case and provided TPG’s email to TIO reviewing officer. 2nd case officer took more than 3 months to come back to me. She confirmed what I already knew, viz TPG was not keen to lose revenue. By giving one excuse after another they hope either one will stick or I will give up. TPG’s explanation was that my ADSL worked not because of PGS removal but rather via line transposition. ADSL2+ will require PGS removal. Why can’t TPG get their facts right the first time around?

    Not satisfied I requested TIO to contact Telstra on my behalf as I was told by Telstra CSO that they can provide me ADSL2+ but at 3 times TPG’s price. Received a call from 3rd case officer today informing me that RIM and PGS are totally different technologies! This was shocking to say the least when my research says RIM is a form of PGS.

    My comment:
    1. Down with Telstra’s RIM/PGS. They’re holding back Australia’s ability to participate in global Information Services industry.
    2. Down with TIO. They were paid by tax payer’s money to take side with the ‘enemies’
    3. Where is ACCC is all of these? It is blatantly clear even to a blind man that Telstra’s deliberate behaviour in not wanting to remove RIMS/PGS is preventing its competitors from offering cheaper services to consumer. This is anti-competition anti-competition behaviour at its worst.

    Bring on the NBN !

    May 13, 2010 at 12:53 am

    RIM’s that have ADSL ports may be filled… the RIM enclosure may be too small to provide the required number of ports for the area. You could keep applying for ports.. maybe through bigpond, bigpond might accidentally have a more accurate database of port availability.

    And Point Cook rim’s…. The Point Cook rim’s may be “dry” of spare ADSL ports to force people onto fibre optic.. This appear to be the case for RIM’s that aren’t even in the first fibre optic roll out, and thus peope switching from adsl to fibre optic won’t be freeing up ADSL ports in that RIM any time soon !

    Telstra may be going slow on ADSL ports to ensure there is plenty of demand asking for fibre roll out to go ahead to the other zones… perhaps in the hope the NBN will subsidise it.

    But in the meantime no one is providing broadband to Point Cook.. surely the fibre should be an all or nothing deal for a suburb, because otherwise many of the houses not on fibre don’t get anything ! What if there is one house left off the fibre, and because of the fibre all the DSL ports are never installed.???? Thats the sort of thing that can occur when the broadband is NOT CHARTERED.

    broadband suppliers should be forced to follow RULES.

    1. install broadband to entire suburb – no picking and choosing customers

    2. install broadband to capacity required not picking and choosing ‘safe capacity levels’.


    October 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    StevenT I agree with the fact that the ACCC should be brought into this.

    I am also on a Pair Gain System and am forced to use cable internet. Cable internet is significantly more expensive than ADSL. From my research only two internet providers provide cable internet. Guess which two?? (telstra and optus). By keeping me on pair gain telstra are eliminating the competition. This is ILLEGAL.

    To make things fair shouldn’t the price of a cable plan be the equivalent of an ADSL2 plan of one of their competitors.

    October 29, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Looks like we’ve got the same problem with Telstra and Pair Gains as alot of other people.

    Quite sad really in this day and age that large companies like Telstra are still using 30 year old technology. We’ve recently move to a 6 month old property, with new properties being built around us, upon calling telstra to set up the telephone Line, i informed the young lad we needed the cheapest one as we were getting adsl, he told me we’d have to go on their $50 something plan to be able to get ADSL through another provider. I told him that was ridiculous and i was paying for a phone line to be connected and I should be able to choose whomever we like. He said no, we’d have to find someone who line shares unless we pay more per month. I told him just to connect it and i’d sort it out another time (this was after waiting 2 weeks already for it to be connected). So looks like as put were only getting the cheapest plan they’ve put us on pair gain, however if we wanted to pay more per month i’m sure we wouldn’t be in this situation. TPG have advised they can try and remove the pair gain and give us ADSL 1 if we want. Not sure what to do….

    November 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Me too,
    Does anyone have any experience of applying for the the Broadband guarantee?



    November 11, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I too have RIM exchange on my land line and it really does suck. I’ve been living with it for almost 10 years now. It is hopeless, Telstra sucks bad and so does the government. I can’t even apply for the australian broad band gaurantee, they expect me to go on the wireless package for 4 gigs a month. Seriously WTF? How can I survive with 2 GB a month, I’ll use that up in a day.

    I’m just fed up, i think ill move overseas.

    Stanley Li
    November 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I experienced same problem that my phone line not able to run ADSL2+ .
    TPG replied that my line is ‘pair gain’. I seems the Telstra is doing monopoly business in this country. Nowaday, we need a speedy boardband. when I rang up Telstra, tehy replied that my phone line would not be improved until national Boardband roll out by the government!!

    Marco Altafini
    December 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

    This week I moved to a new house and connected a Telstra line. TPG just informed me that my line is over the ‘Pair Gain’ and I can’t have the Naked DSL2+. I am trying to contact Telstra and check what the have to say. Otherwise I’ll cancel my line.

    This is ridiculous. I’ve already lived in Europe for 2 years and it is unbelievable how crap is the internet service here in Australia. Even in Brazil the internet is ten thousand times better and cheapper.

    Pia Waugh
    December 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Hi Mark, it certainly has been an issue in Australia for some time, and hopefully the NBN rollout will bring us up to speed with the rest of the world. Thanks for your contributions.

    The purpose of this blog originally was to drive a campaign around Pair Gains, however the NBN launched kind of dealt with the issue at a policy level and now is being implemented, so we’ve left the comments open so people can continue to share their stories and support each other. The post is actually quite old and it is quite interesting that people keep coming across it and commenting. Shows how big the problem still is which helps us keep bringing the issue to the attention of relevant offices and departments.

    Pia Waugh
    OFfice of Senator Kate Lundy

    Mark Whiteoak
    December 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I was with Optus Wireless Broadband for a little of 12months, service continued to degrade to a point where I would get sub 60kbps and up to 60 drop outs in a day (I counted)due to “network congestion” they eventually admitted to whilst continuing to sell more contracts. Moved to “3” wireless broadband after assurances from the sales person of full network availability and no complaints – that was two weeks ago and the best I have got running speed tests is 47kbps. Telstra plans are ridiculous so it became clear the only option was to go down the ASDL2 route. Spoke to TPG, sure ADSL2 was available in my area but I needed to get Telstra to activate my phone line (copper was in place but I disconnected a few years ago). Line activated through Telstra with explanation as to what I needed it for… Request submitted to TPG for connection …. guess what… sorry cant do that you are on a Pair Gain???

    OK I WAS no expert so rang Telstra and have just spent 4.5hrs on the phone with Telstra speaking to at least 15 different people.

    Telstra confirmed they could offer me ADSL2 but only if I contracted with them, they would not remove my Pair Gain otherwise. Apparently TPG could however make arrangements on my behalf for this to be done. TPG subsequently informed me whilst they *may* be able to arrange for the Pair Gain to be removed once a line has been subject to a Pair Gain it will never be possible to deliver ASDL2 speeds by anyone other than Telstra so the best they could possibly offer is ADSL given Telstra were the only ones with infrastructure capable of delivering ADSL2 over apreviously pair gained line – TPG can offer no guarantees of even ADSL of course.

    So I ask you, given the infrastructure in my area is only 15yrs old (the suburb is only 15yrs old) and data was a known requirement was not the installation of Pair Gains in fact an illegal process given it restricted future trade by forcing customers to sign with Telstra given their decision prevented any other providers ability to delivery ADSL2 speeds?

    December 4, 2009 at 11:39 am

    My next question is what Ms Kate Lundy going to do about this? We have posted out comments on this website.

    There is no point venting anger, something need to be done. I just don’t see that with NBN the PGS will just magically go away.

    For those looking for broadband:

    (I am not advertising or promoting any ISP company)

    Try Internode, they are not the cheapest around but for $50 a month (40 GB) ADSL1 8mb, I am not complaining. The best part of all it only took them 2 weeks and 1 phone call from me.

    Shahram Honatzad
    December 4, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Dear Kate,

    I am one of the unfortunate pair gain line system.
    I just requested for a phone line so I can have ADSL2 (actually, Naked ADSL). I use Mobile for almost all my voice calls with its unlimited plan to land line and mobiles. Using Naked ADSL I can save 29.95 line rental and also take advantages of some VoIP offers with lesser call rate to international numbers.

    The problem is that its seems only Telstra’s ISP (BigPond) can provide me ADSL2+, but every other ISP I tried informed me Pair Gain system is not compatible with their system.

    This is ok in surface, but BigPond is among the most expensive ISP and only give you service on 12 / 24 months contract.

    Where is the Competition here. It look as if Telstra using a technical issue as a excuse to limit the competitor.

    Also, Pair Gain enables Telstra to provide more than 1 phone lines per copper wire the laid. Then why they charge more than 1 line rental from customer? doesn’t this constitute as double dipping?

    Fare, if they don’t have enough cable and share existing cable, then they should share the rental too, say $15 per phone line and not $29.95.

    We as customer / consumer of services are limited on what we can have and from whom we can have due to lack of proper planing by Telstra, and they charging us extra for that.

    A simple intermediate solution:

    Minimum, Telstra (BigPond) should offer the Pair Gain customer a price / terms match with other competitor.

    If ISP x is offering Naked ADSL2+ PLAN (20gb+40gb) on no contract for $65.00 then BigPond match the offer.

    I can’t see anything wrong with that, my local BigW shop does that.

    December 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Seems like a sensible plan, force Telstra to offer an equivalent market competitive plan for those that they have strangled through Pair Gain. I’ll take 100gb for $49.95 via a Wireless card given ADSL isnt an option. Oh and there are fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    December 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    The last few comments contain reference to Telstra’s claim that they can provide ADSL2+. I was led down this false path as well by the call centre operator and was awoken only when I actually applied for it.

    I took my case to my local MP, who then managed to get a senior Telstra manager to look into my complaint. I was then told the truth – if my line is on pair gain / RIM, then I cannot have ADSL2+ no matter which ISP I choose.

    Talk about false advertisement and misleading conduct….

    Marco Altafini
    December 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Just coming from a 2 hours round of phone calls with Telstra and Big Pond. My impression is that they have absolutely no idea of what a Pair Gain System is. Bunch of idiots. I am losing hope to have naked ADSL2 in my place…

    What is the purpose of this website? Just to complain or will some action be taken against Telstra?

    December 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Lets all remember when this took place – 80’s and 90’s. Who owned Telstra during the 80’s & 90’s? The Government. Government policy in setting the regulation that to meet their customer obligations a line need only delivery 2400bps which is sufficient to carry a voice signal is too blame(yes not Kbps or Mbps or god forbid Gbps which has just launched in Germany but bps). Telstra are 100% protected by the Government based on the regulation and the chances of having anything done about it are as good as zero. You can only hope that Pair Gain use in your general area is limited otherwise like me you can forget about any form of internet as all wireless broadband 3g networks are maxed out as a result unless you live on top of the tower.

    The mystical NBN is apparently the only answer but hey, does anyone really believe this will happen in our lifetime?

    SMART nation? Yeah right.

    Pia Waugh
    December 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Hi Mark,

    It’s already happening. A bunch of regional rollouts have already started ( and although I could be called biased considering I work for Kate, as someone who was in the ICT industry for almost 10 years, I am extremely excited by this initiatve. Surely the splitting of Telstra and the commitment of the NBN to be a wholesale only entity let alone the vision of decent bandwidth for all Australians (min 12Mbs for everyone, with many getting up to 100Mbs) are three good reasons to be optimistic?

    Pia Waugh

    Office of Senator Lundy

    Ganesh S Jaygan
    December 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I moved to Point Cook about a 2 years back and had Pair Gain problems for my ADSL. I applied with IINET – was unsuccesful, I applied with TPG – was unsuccessful. I applied with INTERNODE and I got my ADSL Connections.

    The point I am making is not for everyone to apply with Internode, but try different service providers. I heeard from a few sources that every time an ISP gets an application for ADSL for a pair gain POTS, the ISP then forwards a request to Telstra to remove the pair gain. Then Telstra makes a decision to remove it or not. I also have heard that for every 7 requests Telstra approves 1 pair gain removal. So, keep trying with different providers you might be lucky.

    Ganesh S Jaygan
    December 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Just to add to my comment I strongly believe if you apply for BigPOnd broadband you will have your Pair gain removed. No prices for guessing why. I did not want to apply to Bigpond because of their ridiculously high prices.

    December 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    And what speed are you getting? And what are you paying? ADSL perhaps, certainly not ADSL2+ and you will need to maintain a phone line also rather than going to Naked ADSL2+… oh and have they told you once you have been subject to Pair Gain you will never fully have it removed (as confirmed by Telstra and the reason why at best other ISP’s will be able to deliver ADSL only) and will still share the line with up to 4 users if others also apply for ADSL as opposed to sharing with up to 16 under full pair gain?

    Ganesh S Jaygan
    February 5, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Is it possible that I am still under pair gain? Geez that is unnerving.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Signing up with Telstra over a 24month contract, does not get you off pairgain.

    I have adsl access, but the adsl connection speeds are pathetic once 5pm kicks in.No matter with what ISP i am with)

    This because of congestion @ my pair gain/RIM.
    My adsl service becomes dialup every night.

    Australia internet sucks.

    Pia Waugh
    December 8, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for the input Khoi. I know this is cold comfort at the moment, but hopefully things will rapidly get better over the coming years with the implementation of the NBN. Submit your speeds to to help build heat maps of capacity around the country.

    Pia Waugh
    Office of Senator Lundy

    December 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks Pia for the Harsh Truth.

    What makes me so angry is that for one of the most established countries in this world, how can Australia lag so badly behind the rest of the world in regards to Internet services?

    Something should be done to prevent ISP’s signing up customers when they KNOW congestion will be an issue.
    Fix the issue of congestion.

    I seriously would be content with a solid ADSL1 connection.
    That would be nice.

    I guess in time, we’ll see what Senator Lundy can do.

    Pia Waugh
    December 9, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I have felt similarly angry over the years considering I’ve spent the last 10 years (before coming to work for Senator Lundy) in the ICT industry and seeing good Aussie ICT companies continually go overseas due to the costs and slow infrastructure here in Australia. We are both genuinely excited about the NBN and the potential for business, government and the broader society.

    You could choose to get involved in a local campaign (such as the ACT Broadband group if you are in Canberra, I linked earlier to another comment) to help ensure some fairness is pursued with what is currently available.

    Thanks for the comments, we appreciate the information and it helps us keep our colleagues aware of the problem as it is still a major issue for many Australians.


    Office of Senator Kate Lundy

    Adrian Tse
    December 22, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Dear Kate,

    Unfortunate to found that my phone line that was recently connected was on pair gain line system with a new house in Allawah. Checked adslexchange website and confirmed local exchange is ADSL2+ enabled. After hours on the phone with my ISP and Telstra it pretty much came to conclusion ADSL2 will not be available unless I can get off pair gain.

    Telstra offered that I can try ordering a new line, but not 100% But its pretty much putting $300 on casino table.

    They also offered ADSL2 but I am hesitant to sign up.

    January 11, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hi Kate,

    I find it strange that an inferior product like ADSL should be more expensive than ADSL2+!!!

    And I’m on a new development area, and my ISP told me that I’m on a pair gain and can’t get ADSL2+, so I have to pay $20/month more for less downloads and turtle speed!

    I used to live in an older suburb, and could get ADSL2+, in today’s technology, why would you put in a line that does not allow you to connect to ADSL2+?

    Is there anything we can do about this? Or we just have to bite the nail?


    Michael Torrisi
    January 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hi Kate,

    I am so frustrated with this issue. I am also on a pair gain thus I cannot get ADSL. I also cannot get wireless because of terrain/ vegetation or whatever the issue as it is as slow as dial up from yesteryear.

    My only option is Telstra Cable which means that I am locked in to the company that created the issue in the first place. How is this allowing me to excercise my rights to seek competition if I am locked in to one supplier?

    What can I do?

    January 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Dear Kate,

    I have recently applied with Dodo to have my ADSL2 service connected, but after 1 month of trying all possibilities, Dodo have come back and said that it is not possible for them as a reseller to connect me to ADSL2. They say that this is due to the technology used in our premises, which i know is an Integrated RIM, upgraded with a MiniCMUX, after talking with the Telstra rep when he attended.

    Now although Dodo cannot provide ADSL2, Telstra have advised that they are more than happy and able to provide ADSL2 through Bigpond, but at an extortionate rate 4 times as much as Dodo, with less download allowance…

    My question is that considering Telstra are renting the exchanges and lines to companies such as Dodo etc, is it not illegal for them to be withholding from these resellers the technology that allows Telstra to provide the ADSL2 service. From what im told by techs in the industries an Integrated RIM with a MiniCMUX is more than capable of providing ADSL2 with a spare port.

    It is disgraceful that Telstra is allowed to get away with such monopolisation of an industry. If it were any other industry, there would be swift retribution from the ACCC im sure.

    Thanks for any replies and answers that you or anyone else may provide. Appreciated.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    When asked why TPG and the likes can offer cheaper ADSL2+, a friendly Telstra guy said that’s because the government ‘forced’ Telstra to sell their infrastructure/services at below cost to these ISP retailers. What a lot of BS…. Fair pricing was determined was set by ACCC which was trying to enforce a level playing field. One would have thought with the departure of the 3 Amigos that Telstra will become more Aussie friendly again..

    Marco Altafini
    January 20, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Dear Kate,

    My “pair gain saga” is finally over. I gave up.

    It started in December 2009, when I moved to my new address and asked for a Telstra connection.

    First, TPG told me that it was not possible to have Naked ADSL2+, then I couldn’t even have ADSL since I am on a RIM as well. Even BigPond couldn’t give me ADSL since there are no free spots in my exchange. Btw, they offered my dial-up! What a joke…

    Yesterday I called Telstra to make a complain and the person who answered treated me so badly that it was hard to not lose my temper.

    To finish my saga, if I want to disconect my home phone, I’ll have to pay $100 to Telstra because I am disconecting it before 3 months.

    Now Kate, should we have hope of any improvement or should we just give up?



    January 20, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Hi Marco,
    When you setup the phone line with Telstra did you inform them why you were setting it up i.e to use for ADSL2+? If you did and they did not perform the check to determine if the line was subject to pair gain and therefore capable of being used for the purpose it was setup then this is their problem not yours. Apparently they only do the check if you inform them you are signing up for Big Pond – a stupid policy that is nothing but a complete waste of their time and yours.

    I went through the same issue with Telstra and upon threatening to take them to the telecommunications ombudsman they waived the disconnect fee.

    Good luck.

    Marco Altafini
    January 20, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Hi Mark,

    When I asked for this connection I told the person in Telstra that I wanted the line for naked ADSL2+ but this was verbal, there is nothing officially written.

    I’ll go to a Telstra shop tomorrow to try to wave the disconnection fee and if Telstra do not wave it I’ll take it to the telecommunications ombudsman.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Best regards,


    January 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm


    Have been told today by TPG that I am not only on Pair Gain but also on RIM. So no ADSL at all.

    What a Joke. In this century we have to struggle to get even internet at a reasonable speed.


    January 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm


    (NB: Very long story, cut short)

    I have found the issue with Pair Gain Systems (PGS) to be a nightmare. When I first tried to obtain Naked ADSL (ADSL2+) with one of the major ISP’s they told me that initial checks failed as I was either on a PGS or a RIM and couldn’t get Naked DSL and that I need to request a line transposition from Telstra. I phoned Telstra and the first time I phoned them I was told off by the representative at the time because I used the term “Naked” and it means that Telstra would carry out the work and the customer would leave Telstra and they would lose revenue and refused to do it. After speaking with a family member who knows a significant amount of internet technology and telecommunications (as he works for a telco) he informed me that what I should do is contact Telstra and ask for the line to be made ULL compatible. I then phoned Telstra again and actually got someone who was really helpful, she did read between the lines but she provided me with some valuable information. She advised that in order for a line transposition to occur as she did an SQ check and found that an alternate path was found, she advised that the ISP needs to lodge the request with Telstra Wholesale as Telstra won’t do it at the request of the customer. As the ISP at the time continuously advised that the customer has to approach Telstra and Telstra wouldn’t do it, I then tried the approach of getting a new line installed “on the condition that it is ULL compliant” as I don’t want to get ADSL2+ at this time (to avoid having to sign up with BigPond) and will do so at a later stage. The order went through for the new line to be installed (subject to the condition) for the $299 fee…. the new line was installed and the tech advised me that as I already have an existing line (he ran a new wire 50% of the way to the premise and connected the existing cable to the new one as there was no requirement for 2 lines) to contact Telstra and disconnect the old line. This was a nightmare…. I phoned Telstra, to disconnect the old line and retain the old telephone number and put it on the new line (didn’t want to change phone numbers) and so the new line was disconnected and the old line was still connected (had no telephone), contacted the faults department on the weekend who reinstated the old telephone line. I phoned Telstra to find out what happened and upgraded my telephone plan to reduce the telephone bill (which resulted in the telephone being disconnected and not upgraded). I spent an entire day on the phone and bounced around Telstra and even sent to BigPond which was a joke. I only found out that the existing line was being disconnected because I phoned Telstra back to double check that it has been sorted and that’s how I found out. When I spoke to the customer representative who rectified the line cancellation and the refund of the new line costs as it turned out the new line wouldn’t have been ULL compliant, he told me that ADSL is not possible on my telephone line due to incompatible infrastructure and can only get wireless internet with BigPond (after being told that the only way to get ADSL2 is to sign up with BigPond) which wasn’t accurate as I had carried out an SQ test via AAPT’s website which said I can get ADSL1. I advised Telstra that wireless is not an option and far too expensive…. The following day I had ADSL1 with TPG.

    What is very frustrating is that there are now a number of ISP’s that are offering ADSL2+ with the telephone exchange that I’m serviced by and it is impossible to get ADSL2+ not to mention that I’m currently paying $50 a month for 1.5MB connection with a 25GB data quota for ADSL1 (plus Telstra line rental) when I could be paying $50 a month for a 20MB connection (subject to distance) and a 120GB data quota (plus Telstra line rental) or go Naked for $60 a month with 20MB and 120GB data quota and no Telstra line rental. In all honesty, it is a joke to have to pay more for less.

    I’m grateful that I’m using a VoIP service with the ADSL1 bundle because it means that the only money I’m paying to Telstra now is the line rental fee and maybe 1 telephone call (if lucky) because the number wouldn’t work on the VoIP service (mainly call systems that require you to Press 1 for Sales).

    What I would like to know is what can be done as I’m advised by a TPG rep that Telstra won’t really accept transpositions for ADSL2+ connections.

    Marco Altafini
    January 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Hey Steven,

    I went through the same nightmare as you, the only difference is that no one in Telstra knew what a RIM or Pair Gain System was. Just one guy at the Telstra shop knew it and he told me that he has never saw Telstra fix the Pair Gain for any customer, so no hope for me.

    At the end I couldn’t even the ADSL1 since my exchange has no free available ports and I ended up with a Mobile Broadband. Now I am fighting to have my disconection fee waved. Isn’t that great?

    Telstra sucks and I see no one in the government taking any action. That’s sad for the country…

    January 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I’d suggest to jump on TPG, iiNet or Internode’s website and see if you can get ADSL through them. ADSL1 is a leased product through Telstra to the ISP’s and whilst Telstra/BigPond(heavily overpriced any) may have no ports available, there is the possibility that there is one available with one of the big ISP’s.

    I believe that the Rudd Government is trying to do something about this with the introduction of the National Broadband Network (NBN) but that’s going to be a number of years before I can get it in Perth. The NBN is up and running in Tasmania.

    January 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Whilst I am CERTAINLY not a fan of Telstra we need to all remember who the real guilty party is – The Australian Government for it is them that owned Telstra when all these issues around RIM and Pair Gain were being rolled out and it is also the Government that regulated that in order to fulfill their obligation to us as customers all Telstra needed was deliver a line to our premises capable of line speeds of 2800bps (yes bps, not Kbps, Mbs or Gbs)….

    Legally Telstra are fully protected and without fault given our stone age government policies.

    Australia will continue to lag behind the rest of the world for many, many years to come. NBN rollout sounds like the answer sure but the real question is why doesnt the Government step in to fix their stuff ups in years gone by and regulate this is rolled out on a prority basis to those areas strangled by Pair Gain and then come back to those areas that can already access ADSL2+ speeds?

    January 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I agree, the Govt should set in now to do something as there are many people who are (as we can see here) being stuffed around by Helstra trying to plug their own products and giving customers a hard time.

    I’m no expert, but if you’re on a PGS and can not get ADSL1 (1.5M speeds) then there is something seriously wrong.

    I know that if you’re on a PGS then there is no chance to get ADSL2 and its a major setback.

    I’m looking at buying a house some time this year and one of the conditions of sale is going to be “subject to availability of ADSL2+”

    January 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Recently I applied for a phone line and specifically told the person that I want it for ADSL. He assured me that I can get ADSL on the line. Few days later I got my line and I applied for ADSL via Netspace. Later I find out that my application was rejected and was told that my line is a Pair Gain!

    I immediately called Tel$tra to ask why I given a pair gain line when I specifically asked that I need to have ADSL on it. The guy pretty much said that it was done to save money when they lay the cables around my area. Anyway I manage to get a refund of the phone connection cost etc without much of a hassle. No I am not sure if I should continue apply for a new line and keep applying for ADSL?

    Richard Robinson
    February 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I have just put a order throughto TPG and they have advised that I have Pair Gain and want to have the benefits of Naked DSL and not have to pay for my line rental anf go totally VOIP enabled.

    TPG have advised me that I can ring Telstra and to Request a Transitioning port or something to put me onto a single port.

    See how I go hopefully.

    February 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Please provide an update and see how you go. When I was told this, I ended up being a dodge ball and bounced between the ISP and Telstra.

    Richard Robinson
    February 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    In the end, I gave up, I spoke with Telstra and then told me that all the houses in my street are using Pair Gain. I was told they could put a Transposition order through, and it MAY get through but I would never have Adsl 2, so really whats the point of getting it changed if I am only really going to be degrading my connection speed.

    I got really annoyed with the girl at Telstra and hung up. I dont have time to be stuffed around. So told TPG to caqncel their order and advisd them I will never be getting adsl 2 so its no point getting their service.

    I have even hear of friends of mine who have had new houses only 3 years old and still on pair. SO I am not a happy camper as they say NOT HAPPY JAN.

    Richard Robinson
    February 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    My other solution I have worked out is to go wireless and pay for a Skype Online number which works out cheaper than a telstra phone line so that maybe the way to go. The more providers like Skype that provide this service the better I say.

    February 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    What Telstra is doing is with new estates they are installing PGS (Pair Gain Systems) which will allow 16 phones lines to share 1 piece of copper wire. Telstra claims that they only have to provide a simple telephone service to the premise and that’s what they do. A working telephone line irrespective of whether the client wants ADSL2+ or not.

    However, whilst you may still be on a PGS you might still be able to get ADSL1 with TPG as wireless internet is overpriced when you look at the amount of data you download. My sister has a wireless internet connection and it only gives a 2GB limit, they use it up in a few days.

    I ended up going with TPG (as Telstra claimed that I couldn’t get ADSL and had to go wireless) and went with the Ultimate 1500/25GB with VoIP plan and I’m getting the full speed and have reduced the Telstra bill by $100 a month. I need to reduce the Telstra phone plan to the lowest I can possibly go as the Telstra phone line is only used to receive calls and maybe only ever make 1 call a month using the Telstra line (if lucky).

    Patrick Filipiak
    February 16, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    3 years ago I built a new home in Kurunjang Victoria and payed my fees to have my brand new phone line connected to my house. At the time only ADSL was available, and I decided to go with AAPT as my provider. After about a year ADSL2+ became available in my area and I signed up, only to be told there wasn’t any ports available by Telstra. So I rang a few other companies and I was told there was a pair gain on my line. I tried to find out what this was and Telstra made out like I was making it all up and assured me it was due to no ports available. I left it for 2 years and reapplied as there is more providers and more ports available, but I still get the same answer. Pair Gains. Well I spoke to more people and indeed I do have pair gains on my line and cannot get ADSL2+ even though people in my street, even next door have it. I was the first house built in the street and I cant get it. To me that isn’t fair. I am being forced to pay inflated costs for an inferior product when there is a better product available in my area, but I can not get it because Telstra are too tight to spend the cash and upgrade our DSLAM. Melton is growing at an extremely fast rate and we have this phone exchange that predates the invention of the wheel.

    This really needs to be rectified, we are being screwed in this country for communications. Its over priced, crap service, crap infrastructure and crap usage amounts.

    Patrick Filipiak
    February 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I had a nice talk with a young chap from another provider today and he informed me that Im not on PGS as I have been told in the past, but am actually on a Rim. This is why I am able to get ADSL and not ADSL2+

    There is no way around this for me, and I have to wait for Telstra to spend money in my area on infrastructure, which I think I have more chance of having Dinner with Jimi Hendrix this weekend.

    Scott Quinn
    February 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    We’ve just moved house within our estate north of Brisbane only to find ourselves in ADSL hell – “No Ports”. It’s a very large, fairly new estate but there’s no alternatives like cable or fibre.

    When I applied for the new phone line with Telstra we were given the line “ADSL is available in your area, you’ll have to apply for it once the phone is connected”. Of course it wasn’t available and what gets my goat is that Telstra either knew it wouldn’t be… or at least should have known.

    I work from home and I need broadband to do my job (and quite a large data allowance) and the best Telstra are now offering me is Wireless Broadband which is A. Fairly low bandwidth with high latency, B. Very expensive (about 4 x the cost of an equivalent ADSL service) and C. It doesn’t give me half the data I need with their highest plan topping out at only 10GB of data a month. As an extra sting you MUST buy and use THEIR modem (still $200 after a so called “rebate”) and you’re stuck with a 24 month plan, so if by some miracle I do get an ADSL line in the near future I still have to pay out the Wireless Broadband contract which is around $3000 (they won’t let you transfer or cancel the contract – I asked several times).

    So whatever happens, Telsta win and I lose.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Have you tried seeing if companies like TPG or Internode can give you at least an ADSL1 service? I had Helstra try to tell me that I couldn’t get ADSL1 or ADSL2 yet I knew that I could get at least ADSL1. In essence, they were only trying to flog their own product (Bigpond Wireless)

    Scott Quinn
    March 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    No Steve, Helstra “own” our estate – the developer signed an exclusivity deal with them to lock out ALL competitors. Other providers like TPG can supply but only by purchasing a wholesale ADSL line from Heltra.

    I’m stunned this is even possible myself – you’d think the Competition Watchdog would be all over something like this ?? Seems Helstra are some sort of sacred cow…

    After many, many hours on the phone and talking to a few mates who contract to Helstra I’ve discovered:

    – For the most part, people (esp the engineers) in Helstra are nice people who genuinely want to help but the company is run by accountants who don’t give a rats about you the customer. Here’s the clincher, they KNOW they have and will continue to piss people off but they rely on the fact that people can’t stay angry forever i.e. they know no matter how much angst they give you, sooner or later you’ll go back to them.

    – That the mux (i.e. the street circuit) that services my house, while listed as having “no ADSL ports” available, actually has about 1/2 dozen ADSL ports unused in a state they call “Deferred Deletion”. This is the state Helstra puts ADSL ports into when people disconnect their ADSL – and they stay in that state for 6 months!! It means those ports are not being used but Helstra are holding them in case the people who disconnected them might reconnect (huh???). Of course this is highly improbably as the people have more than likely moved house. The sad fact is it costs Helstra a few hundred dollars to reassign a port (and if you do reconnect an ADSL port is cost them $0). So why would they bother rushing to free up the ports when they know you’ll have to wait anyway (you can’t get ADSL in our estate from anyone else) and while you’re waiting you must use their very expen$ive 3G service. That’s “accountant” logic for you. While it doesn’t hurt anyone for Helstra to have deferred deletion ports on a fairly empty mux, on a full one Helstra should be legally obliged to make the ports available as soon as possible.

    As I work from home and need at least 30GB of data, not having ADSL and being forced to use 3G is costing me a few hundred dollars a month. So at the next election (all other issues are secondary for me and) I’d vote for the party that would force Telstra into line.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Hi everyone…..

    If you want to get some background information on PGS (Pair Gain Systems) and RIMS (Remote Integrated Multiplexer) the Whirlpool site (link provided) is full of information. Hope it provides of some assistance….

    S Shrestha
    March 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I am also a pair gain victim. It came to my notice recently as I applied for ADSL2+ from TPG. I was shocked that Australia’s telecommunications is still on this scrapped technology. Shame on you political and telcom corporate leaders who always talk about high speed internet and state of art telcom technology. Just bull shit. I came from one of the least developed countries. However, we don’t have PGS. We can have have ADSL2+ and tv from the same telephone line which was installed some 25 years ago.

    I have spoken some many times to telestra customer consultants. It seems only their job positions are customer service reps., they don’t understand what is customer service is all about. All they know is just to spell the CUSTOMER SERVICE. And most of all it is the management. It seems they are just ripping the every Australians who are compelled to go with their scrapped and absolete technolies. Otherwise would not hear PSG in Australia.

    March 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Hello kate,
    I am yet another pair gain victim and I was told by Telstra that they had no plans of fixing the problem. I live in Caroline Springs, and for the past few years have been calling Telstra up to see if any change has been made… sadly but not suprisingly, none. I am sick of using wireless internet as I drop in and out once peak hour starts. I have read in many forums that an attempt to fix pair gain has been around since 2003. It is now 2010, what is Telstra doing besides doing their job to fix the problem…
    don’t they think it’s a ‘little’ unfair so many people suffer because they are too slack.

    March 20, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Yet another victim of pair gain. My family and I moved into a housing estate that was barely 4 years old. We had been living in an adjoining suburb and had ben advised by Telstra prior to our move that we we able to transfer our ADSL line from one home to another without issues. As it turns out oafter 3 months of heartache that piece of information was not true. The truth is that our line has pair gain on it, Telstra have no plans to upgrade and that we are caught in the middle of ther wireless network in our area, so the drop out rate is high. My wife is attempting to run a business from home and we have been loyal Telstra customers for years – but that just doesn’t make a difference. I do feel sorry for the people we have talked to who are employed by Telstra to “deal” with us – they are sympathetic to our cause yet the policy makers appear to be ignorant of the plight most Australians. Our area is booming and I suspect they (Telstra) have been caught out and not upgraded their infra structure to accommodate the expansion. It’s just bad planning. I appreciate they are only required to put in a line that provides phone call access but do they understand how much revenue they are missing out on by not investing in infra-structure. We are attempting to get Optus wireless now as there is a tower within half a kilometer of our house – but that is wireless and will never be as good as a hard wired system. It’s a tragedy that various governements have not attended to the problem. It’s the simple things like this that influence the voters.

    April 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Kate

    Another victim here. It is really frustrating in 21 century I still need to deal with this old technology, especially I work in ICT industry. Australia gov seems ignore all this complains and “hope” NBN will fix all problems, however, Tel$tra is the core issue but there’s no other competitor within this market. As an immigrant, sometimes I feel I choose the wrong place to live.

    April 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Kate,

    yeap Another victim of PGS here. I am shocked that eventhough i am not too far from city (Meadowbank NSW 2114) near TAFE, i been put on PGS. I think it is time telstra invest some $$$ in upgrading their Infrastructure. Looks like i will have to move house to get decent ADSL service.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Another victim here (and thanks for putting this blog up, Kate),

    Apparently my line is not only on a pair gain line but also on a sub exchange which means I cannot get ADSL or ADSL2 (according to Telstra). My property is only about 5 years old and up to 2 years ago, I had ADSL installed without a problem. I disconnected back then because I relocated temporarily to Sydney (where by the way, I was able to get ADSL2+ while living about an hour out of CBD). I even received the same landline number when I moved back to Melbourne but to my dismay, I can’t get landline broadband. It took me 5 hours to get a proper technical answer after the standard responses were: “call Telstra”, “no ports”, “pair gain”, or “call your preferred ISP to lodge an issue with Telstra”. Funny side note, when setting up the landline in Melbourne, I was told I was on a “special” package that would let me connect to any ISP for broadband. Telstra sales people say the darnest things, don’t they?

    Since moving back, I’ve had the luxury of trying to get a straight answer on why I cannot get any form of ADSL from Telstra. “That’s just the way it is” I was told. Telstra won’t fix my issue because under legal obligation, Telstra only needs to provide a working voice line and that’s all. TIO’s answer is that I am able to get wireless broadband (which is pathetic value for the IT support role I do for work).

    This NBN thing seems like another project that’ll drag on in concept till people forget about it.

    Telstra is just about the shareholders and paying their executives exorbitant salaries because they know they control the entire Australian telecommunications backbone. What type of company builds an infrastructure that doesn’t scale? I was told today by a Bigpond salesperson that only half the ports on an exchange are ADSL enabled?!?

    Sad but true.

    April 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    As I’ve said previously I have problem getting ADSL at my establishment and was told I was on pair gain. Well after 10 applications with Internode, I finally have ADSL. I just kept reapplying everytime my application got rejected. Internode has a resubmit button which makes it handy to keep trying without retyping and you don’t need to pay until you get connected. It is pretty much port lottery.

    April 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I use to live in Griffith in NSW 7 hours from CBD Sydney. Griffith is capable of ADSL2+. I live at Caboolture in QLD 30 minutes from CBD Brisbane in a new estate that is only 2 years old and I am unable to receive ADSL2+. This problem isn’t as bad as people not being able to get adsl at all, though Telstra have known about the problems with PAIR GAIN SYSTEMS and yet one was still used in my estate.

    Pia Waugh
    April 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

    For all those interested, the Senator did a few more recent articles and videos on this topic:

    Video about the issues facing the Gungahlin area in Canberra:

    2009 Pair Gains update:

    Pia Waugh
    ICT Policy Advisor to Senator Lundy

    April 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Ive been living in Bruce for the past 5 years and I have unsuccessfully never been able to get off this evil pair gain system that Telstra has setup. I was just on a call with my ISP, TPG and they cant get me off a Pair Gain system becuase they said they dont do Transpositions. They said call Telstra to get the Transposition done. I called Telstra and they said they will only do it if I sign up to bigpond.
    Telstra said to contact my ISP to get it done. So this is just a loop of never ending BS and Im stuck in the middle. So the moral of the story…Pair Gains are evil, Telstra are evil and there is no concern for the many Australians out there that are in this exact situation.
    Sorry for the rant Kate, but im completely over it. I might as well move to the Finland where ADSL internet is a human right.

    May 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I am currently in an ongoing battle with Telstra over a pair gain service. The house I have moved into is approx 6 months old and in a brand new estate. The house across the raod from me in the same estate has ADSL2+ and yet according to Telstra and other ISPs I can’t even get ADSL!

    I have posted an email to Kate outlining this (I hope it wasn’t too much of a rant!) and I have recently placed an order with Internode who were willing to attempt a transposition for me. Currenly this has been moved to a held status so I am not feeling particularly confident. Telstra’s only solution was to offer me a wireless option – 10GB at $119 per month for the first 12 months they would take $20 a month off as I was a phone and mobile customer as well. But they wanted to charge me $299 for the modem to service my household. As an IT manager I require remote access etc and this is terrible over 3G wireless. Even better, they sent me the gear without proper authorisation and then kicked up a fuss when I told them I didnt want it. Now I wait and see.

    May 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Just letting you know I put in a complaint to Telstra. They got back to me and then informed me I did not have pair gain! I thought great I can get adsl but ……. NO! The problem in my notes was listed as pg but was actually “No Pathway available to my premises and this apparently means there are no ports available at the exchange. With 2 new estates and a massive mining community you have to wonder. So I have progressed a little and I have been placed inthe queue for available ports! I would like to thank Beagle ISP for helping me out with cost effective wireless on no contract in the meantime. There is hope yet!

    May 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Dear Senator Lundy,

    Good luck in getting the PGS fixed. I am in the city of Brisbane and can not get ADSL2+ because I am on a PGS. Asked for transpositioning through my ISP (TPG), but have been told that as I am on a PGS nothing can be done. Friends from the UK visited recently and laughed out loud when they saw the problems we have. One commented “so this is the clever country”? Not a wonderful advert.

    Keep up the pressure.


    May 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Grant,

    TPG do not actively hunt line transpositions from Helstra (Telstra) as they too have had many troubles trying to obtain them for their clients. To the best of my knowledge the only ISP that actively submits requests for line transpositions is Internode and even then you have to be fortunate enough to be able to get it then.

    May 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks Steven. I eventually followed-up with Telstra myself providing a written request to the complaints division. I received a phone call back 2 days later and the operator said (and I quote) “You’re not our customer as you have another ISP, so we’re not looking at this any further”. I said that I was a Telstra customer as I pay line rental and she said (again, a quote) “I’m marking this off, goodbye” and hung-up. I hadn’t raised my voice, I hadn’t been rude. I phoned back asking to speak to a supervisor and they said that one would return my call. No reply after a week. So that’s really that.

    I suppose it is what one would expect from a monopoly which has been privatised.

    May 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    We are in a new house in a new housing estate in tarneit victoria. I have had the same issue also trying to get adsl2+. We can get adsl and adls fast for a more expensive price. ie $50 for 50gig comapred to adsl2+ roghly $50 for 140gig.

    after doing my own research and contacting telstra, isp, council and delevoper this is what i found.

    Telstra, they tell me they installed the hardware that the developer asks for. ie i dont know if they advise said developer the restrictions to broadband

    Developer, they tell me they just take the most cost effective and what telstra recommend or is considersed standard . they were not aware that the hardware limitations to broadband.

    Council, they tell me theres someone in the council who approves all plans set before them from telstra and the developer, no one advises anyone of anything and this is the line i got” because there is no legistlaion on broadband rollout” so some imbocile who is completely unaware of the hardware limtations on boadband for all new houses and new estates in tarneit area are screwing us because they just are clueless and dont care. If they do know this info then they are just aholes that are unwilling to do the right thing, for whatever reason maybe they too dont care about internet, by simply not approving the use of pair gains at all. and stipulating that adsl2+ compatible hardware went in.

    im tired of dealing with complete morons that know nothing of what i ring them about or the little knowledge they have at all about the internet, broadband and the cabling infastructe.

    please help. so tired of this, ive been doing this for a year and only just found this website.

    May 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I don’t see why these ISP’s can’t offer you a better price on a service you have no choice in. Like TPG ADSL2+ is $10-$20 cheaper than its ADSL. There is no comparison ADSL is crap compared to ADSL2+. Though they will happily take the extra money.
    When I look up my line on TPG ADSL is unavailable and ADSL2+ is. I sign up for ADSL2+ then get told you can’t have it but you can choose and option that is slower, less downloads and more expensive.
    How do we know these companies that say they will try get you line transpostioned (or what ever) don’t just so they can keep getting the extra money out of you.

    Its like being sold a brand new Ferrari for $50K and told no you have to buy the Falcon for $300K

    May 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    If you currently have a pair gain system, does it mean you will have it for all? Its ridiculus that you cannt move with the efficient and cheap technology. Why the slower technology is expensive than the faster technology? My personal experience is whererever I have pair gain I have a slower wireless internet braodband.

    May 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, After reading this it’s nice to know I am not alone in my 2 year struggle with Broadband. I am in the suburb of Loganholme QLD and not only can I not get adsl+2 I cannot get adsl or cable either! My only option is Telstra wireless which is hugely overpriced, I have even tried competitors wireless but it is simply a black spot area. It has been an absolute struggle and I love the home I built and feel I should not have to move to another address just to have something so basic as broadband. I am pleased to hear the NBN is on it’s way but years from reaching me. I am all out of options but just posting up my 2 cents as I have given up all hope of having broadband for years to come.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Hi looks like im in the same boat as most people. just moved to a new estate ropes crossing sydney and can’t get any form of broadband and telstra wont help . What really annoys me is 3 of my neighbours i have spoken to have adsl so i dont understand why they cant connect me , telstras solution is to move house haha really mature of them
    Can anyone explain to me why i cant get adsl because of pgs yet my neighbours can ?

    June 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I live 5min from Adelaide and really close to Anzac Highway, yet cant get an adsl2 or adsl speed. Already talked to Bigpond, Adam, Internode, and TPG no luck.Please help.

    John L
    June 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    As per the above post.

    I have recently built a new house in Plympton SA, just off Anzac Highway, I changed within the same exchange area. I had ADSL2 but now I am unable to get it. I have been unable to get ANY answers out of Tesltra at all! – happy NOT!!!

    June 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    OMG, i have had the same troubles, we have just built a new house in a fairly new estate to be told after being charged $300 for a telstra line that we cannot get any broadband due to PGS unless we stay with telstra??? when complaining i was then told oh no u just cant have it at all even with us??? what willing to take it off if i stay with them and pay more money but not if i go to another company…. but then i speak up and get it all taken off me. There suggestion was that we move house, yeah right!!! Can anything be done (or am i pushing shit up a hill) or do i have to pay for expensive unrealiable wireless? I was told i would have a superviser call me back before close of bussiness today?? again another load of crap….what are our rights?? Anything i can do?

    June 12, 2010 at 12:13 am

    It seems like we are the only country where one goes technologically backwards when moving house to a newly developed areas. I compared this to say Singapore and South Korea where newly developed areas have better and cheapre internet infrastructure such as 100mbps optic fibre connection.

    I suffer the same indignant when I moved to my new house 3 years ago. Where I previously had 11 Mbps otpic fibre connection from Optus – phone, cable TV and internet access – now I only have ADSL with a max speed of 3.8 Mbps but often at half the speed. Wireless broadband is conceptually good – however it is very pricey and not as reliable. Just today, I was unable to connect to Telstra 3G while working at a client site.

    Bring on the NBN !!!

    sohaib al masri
    June 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I live 5 min from Adelaide and iam in plympton , close to Anzac Highway, and i cannt get adsl or adsl2 cause i am in pair gain i talked to tpg , optus ,dodo and telstra
    and then they told me to disconect my phone and order a new line and i paid the cost i did and after 3 weeks my new line is connected but the problem is still live pair gain
    plaese help what can i do
    they rep me off i paid disconnection fees and new line fees and still pair gain

    June 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Sohaib al masri,

    Did you advise Telstra that the intention of disconnecting the line and having a new line installed is on the condition that it will be ADSL or ULL compatible? If so, then you’ll be eligible for a refund if you’ve paid the $299 new line installation fee. When I tried arranging for a new line to be installed so I can attempt to get ADSL2+ I told Telstra that I only want to install the telephone line knowing that it is ULL (ADSL2+) compliant and worry about the internet connection later on. This way I didn’t have to sign up to BigPond in order to ADSL2+. However, I had problems as they disconnected the wrong line and ended up having a fault with the line and the old line was reinstated. Telstra did try and invoice me but it did say in the notes that Telstra should only proceed if it is ULL compliant otherwise don’t. Thus, Telstra had to cover the costs.

    Going back to your query, who advised you to disconnect the phone and order a new line? Was this Telstra? Did Telstra check if an alternate path was found? Did Telstra carry out a SQ test on the line to determine whether ADSL will work. ADSL1 does work on Pair Gain lines as Telstra tried to tell me that it was incompatible and can only get wireless, yet the entire strata had internet and I was the only place that didn’t. Thus, I put an order in to TPG and the following day I had at least ADSL1.

    In your situation, it might be prudent to contact the Telecommunications Ombudsman which can be contacted on the following website.

    It sounds very strange.

    sohaib al masri
    June 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    thank you steven for yor help

    (Did you advise Telstra that the intention of disconnecting the line and having a new line installed is on the condition that it will be ADSL or ULL compatible) ?

    yes idid that

    who advised you to disconnect the phone and order a new line?
    Optus and i get call of telstra to confirm the odrer i talled them i need it for adsl

    June 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I knew that I could get ADSL1 and I was able to do an SQ test with AAPT’s website at the time (no longer available) which stated that the maximum speed I could obtain was 8Mbs (ADSL1) so when I phoned Telstra I said that I wanted a new line installed and the existing line removed, I specifically said to them that the new line has to be ULL compliant. The person I spoke to was helpful and she arranged for everything to happen and put on the file that the technician should not continue if there would be an issue with ULL compliance.

    I did say at the time that I’ve been bounced around ISP’s and Telstra and having all these difficulties and that I didn’t want to sign up to BigPond yet or any other ISP as I just wanted to make sure that the line was ULL compliant prior to even going down the avenue of getting the internet.

    In my case, I had the new line connected prior to disconnecting the old line. I also wanted to transpose the old telephone number to the new line.

    Out of curiosity, when Telstra connected the new line, did a technician come and visit your premises by any chance?

    As you’ve disconnected the telephone line that was on a PGS (Pair Gain System) and the new line is also connected to a PGS and you’ve been told that that you are unable to obtain either ADSL1 and ADSL2 then you need to contact Telstra and speak to a manager, quote the reference/job number that you were provided with at the time of organising it and advise Telstra that you stated at the time that the new line had to be ULL (ADSL2) or ADSL compliant and that if it weren’t possible that they shouldn’t have gone ahead with the job and incurred their client (you) any additional expenses.

    If you have no success with Telstra then I’d suggest to contact the TIO for further assistance/advice.

    Also, note that there is a big difference between ADSL1 & ADSL2 (ULL)… Telstra own the ADSL1 equipment and lease that equipment to the ISP’s. In essence, even if you don’t sign up with BigPond, you’re still paying Telstra for the use of ADSL1 and you have to have an active telephone line (paying Telstra for line rental again). Whereas with ADSL2, the ISP owns the equipment and there is no line rental to Telstra and if you can get ADSL2 you can then do the “Naked” ADSL2 deals and have no line rental to Telstra at all and as usual, Telstra will not do anything to help for a customer to get ADSL2 unless they sign up to a 2 year contract with BigPond or they plug their wireless service.

    June 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    ok lets go back a few steps shall we. after all the information gathered from here and other sources it is apparant to me that

    telstra are purposelfully installing pair gains to all new estates to ensure that more people use adsl1 because telstra own all hardware and lease it to all ISPs making a huge forutne, which is why adls1 is much more expensive. all ADSL2 hardware is owned and installed into exchanges by the ISP’s . ill say that again, ALL ADSL2 HARDWARE IS OWNED AND INSTALLED BY THE ISPs….. this way telstra can stop ISPs being competitve and stops them from getting any new customers in all new housing estates…

    This is obviuos if you gather all information. Kate can you please contact me ASAP regarding this, surely you know this and surely they telstra are breaching something at all, so they can be dealt with once and for all

    they are KNOWINGLY doing this to do one thing and one thing only MAKE MONEY they care nothing for what they are doing to people by denying them adsl2 speeds.

    seriously WTF!!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    lets go thru this again..

    Most new housing estates are being installed with pair gains or other non compliant ADSL2 hardware, this stops other ISPs who own all their own ADLS2 hardware, to install ADSL2 into exchanges but the lines to the homes are not ADSL2 compatible.

    Telstra were made to enable exchanges to ADSL2, they did not like that. Now they are stopping ADSL2 thru the new lines.

    Telstra own all ADSL1 hardware, they LEASE it to the ISPs in Australia. ADSL1 is much more expensive, double cost and usualy for far less download limit.

    Telstra then makes more money off its ADSl1 hardware and stops ADSL2 hardware being put it, of which they make no money at all.

    This is how they stop ISPs giving people ADSl2.

    Even if you get net from a ISP other than telstra, it doesnt matter cos telstra make most money off it and the ISP makes hardly any.

    ISPs make more money off their ADSL2 cos its their own hardware they dont pay telstra for a monthly lease

    now with this new information at hand, will anybody at all do anything, does anyone care…. i think this webpage is dead and not one person in the governemt gives a shit

    Pia Waugh
    June 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Jon,

    You’re right that at a technical level there’s little that can be done with existing RIM/Pair Gain systems, which is why Senator Lundy is now focusing on trying to encourage early NBN rollout in Gungahlin and other areas plagued by RIMs and Pair Gains systems as a way to finally fix the issue properly for people suffering. This blog post is from 2006, but Senator Lundy has and continues to advocate on this issue since she started in political office. She is working with ACT Broadband on a submission to NBN Co along these lines.

    More information at &

    Hope that helps,

    ICT Policy Advisor,
    Office of Senator Kate Lundy

    June 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    From this website and comments posted here, it looks like to me that Telstra is a King and no one (even the government) can ask Telstra for a fair play. It is good for Telstra/Telstra share holders in ripping off people but it is very bad for others who want to march along with new technologies. One question – if Telstra does not install ADSL2 compatible hardware now, then when do we expect them to install …looks like never? I have heard in underdeveloped countries that similar things happen for an interest of certain people.

    Rest of the western countries are going for faster technologies probably Telstra wants Australia to go in reverse direction?????
    Very frustrating!!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    If ADSL2+ hardware is installed and maintianed by the ISP themselves (which yes I ahve heard this before) , my exchange has ADSL2+ and is enabled (TPG) thats all good and all….Its the lines that go to and from the exchange to your property

    June 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I am amazed that in a developed country, I cannot get broadband living 24 kms from Melbourne CBD. Particularly surprising is that Govt. talks about $42 billion NBN plan for the entire country, when in 2010 it has miserably failed to provide internet in suburbs surrounding Melbourne CBD.

    Basic internet that we are discussing here for years is readily available in third world countries and we are still at the mercy of the almighty Telstra and government that can only deliver words not services. Pathetic!

    June 20, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Kate,
    Frankly I am disgusted. Many of the responses on your website have touted the NBN as being the only answer to the plight of the Pair Gain Victim (and it seems there are many of us). Having seen tonight’s news I saw how proud the Government were to announce they had just done a deal with the Devil itself (Helstra) to use the their existing infrastructure to deliver the NBN. What???

    Kate – I ask you, given the “existing infrastructure” is what is strangling us (the victims) and will ultimately lead to us being left well behind in the digital revolution, would it now be fair to say that this deal has sold us out?

    Why should us victims be financially disadvantaged (Pay more for far, far less) simply through poor Government / Telstra planning decisions? The Government need to step up, accept responsibility and fix this – this should be number 1 priority prior to any national broadband network…surely out plight cannot be ignored. The Aust Government owned Telstra when most of this took place, the Aust Government set the regulations that all Telstra needed to do was deliver a line capable of carrying voice to fulfil their obligations… I hold the Aust Government 100% accountable for this situation.

    I read once that up to 1 million households may be impacted by Pair Gains…..I am sure I would not be alone in saying whichever party campaigns to fix this issue (whilst not restriction my freedom of information) gets my vote…

    Oh and for the record it has taken me 45mins to establish and maintain a connection long enough to post this comment using my 3g wireless connection (all that I can get despite being in a new suburb but through bandwidth competition often cant connect even though I am less than 1k from the tower).

    I would sincerely appreciate a response to this extremely important issue. This needs to be raised in Parliament now before any contracts become final.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    actually my understanding of the network infastructure, of which i have studied, yes telstra does have the right existing hardware inground in most places where it will deliver fiber to your home. the problem exists only with the adsl and adsl2 require copper cable from home to exchange, it is not compatible with fibre because the rims and even pairgains cannot convert fibre to copper. since alot of new housing estates etc are really set up for fibre, it seems telstra have played their trump card at the right time. i am sure this is exactly what they have planned all along. since there is so much fibre in place now, its going to be easy for the NBN to roll out.

    cant wait. at least there is at last resouliton i am happy with and the government have set up a new company to be the wholesale for the fibre and not telstra, im happy with that too.

    now we just have to wait for the area roll out times :)

    June 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    and guys before posting. please please please do your own research on the subject and i mean all aspects of the subject… rims, technology etc before blindly mouting off…….

    Pia Waugh
    June 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Hi all,

    Update: Please note the Senator did a Pair Gains 2009 update blog post for more recent information.

    ICT Policy Advisor
    Office Senator Kate Lundy

    July 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Kate, I have followed your career in detail since about 2002 when you started making some wave regarding the sub-standard infrastructure (read as Pair-Gain / RIM’s) that telstra continued to role out that was incompatible with ADSL technology.

    With this and also more recently highlighting the folly regarding the ISP based mandatory filter I’d like to say well done.

    These days Kate your one of the few politicians that I feel is in the right job. I look forward to you getting the top job in communications one day. (I wish G booted Conroy and put you their but it was not to be).

    Oh, and I have a request. If Labor loses the next election (which I see as 50/50 atm) can you please offer to brief the new communications minister. If they are going to through bundles of money it would be nice if they addressed the right things.

    Keep up the good work Kate,


    July 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    The Chronicle recently (July10) stated that it would take 7 years for the NBN to reach areas affect by pair gain systems. Of course, that’s if Abbott doesn’t get elected.

    I’d love to be corrected, so please do if you have more up to date information.

    Pia Waugh
    July 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Nick,

    Well, Gungahlin is one of the first mainland sites for NBN rollout, and Gungahlin is one of the worst affected RIM/Pair Gains sites in Australia, so I think I can safely say it isn’t going to take 7 years for all pair gains sites :) The project is an 8 year project, started a year ago, so there will be places that may take a few years to get upgraded, but such a large project will take time.

    I suggest you (and others affected here) write to NBN Co to put forward the case for your area to be prioritised given your relative circumstances. Also, we heard a very good panel earlier this month in Gungahlin where people were asking whether Telstra would continue upgrades to old infrastructure particularly in areas where the NBN wouldn’t be deployed in the short term, and Telstra said they were doing and continuing upgrades, so there is also some opportunity for improvements there, I refer you to the video content here:

    Hope that helps clear it up a bit, and I suggest you direct questions to NBN Co for specific implementation timelines and questions.

    ICT Policy Advisor
    Office of Senator Lundy

    August 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Same problem as everyone else..
    anyone can answer this..
    Where can i complain on removing the pair gain?
    To Telstra or my ISP?
    On my findings, Telstra wouldnt even bother looking in the problem.
    To complain to telstra face to face.
    Where can i go?

    Paul Hollis
    August 23, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    All the Telstra staff member wanted to do was sell me their expensive wireless as this was my only option, so they said. After many enquiries I have given up and now have slow 3G wireless. Pair gain and ADSL ‘not compatible’ and they will not upgrade my area for I quote ;a long time’. I live in outer suburb in Brissie and cant even get dial up cause the line is so bad. Telstra couldn’t care less!!

    Lyle Bassett
    August 24, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Like others I too am connected to a Pair Gain system. Luckily I have access to the overpriced & slower ADSL1 service. I found I was unfortunate to have been connected to a “pair gain” system when trying to upgrade my service. Whilst my exchange is ADSL2+ equipped I too received the standard response from TPG while trying to upgrade from ADSL to ADSL2+.
    As previously mentioned if the copper network is the problem and Telstra CAN provide ADSL2+ through the RIM, why can’t Telstra be forced to match prices of the competitors to those connected to these competition restricting devices?
    Seems only fair to me, I mean it is only for the short term till the NBN is rolled out, isn’t that right!!!!!

    August 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    We moved to our new unit 2 months ago and went thru exactly what everyone else went thru. It is so frustrating. We are heavy internet users but we dont use it for work purposes. Imagin someone has to work from home has no option but to use wireless?? This would just turn people’s life upside down. I have talked to TIO, they must have heard lot of similar cases but there is nothing they can do either as Telstra not obligated to provide anyone ADSL, they have met their minimal requirment to provide a phoneline. Someone should work on changing this minimal requirment. Some Asian countries have got fibre many years ago and we cannot even get basic ADSL1?

    August 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Can someone correct me if I’m wrong…. but isn’t it part of Telstra’s Line Transposition Policy that if a premise is unable to get any form of ADSL (1 or 2) or the premise has never had ADSL that they’re required to perform a Line Transposition to an ULL compatible line if requested?

    I’ve been trying to find a copy of the Telstra Line Transposition Policy and have only ever found reference to it in Hansard’s but nothing more.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I’m staggered to discover at my brand new home that it’s pair gain. This is the year 2010, or haven’t they noticed? How can I not suspect that it’s minimal commitments given the move towards the NBN. In the meantime it’s farcical that they’d install a non ADSL2+ compatible line to a brand new home, but still try and push the sales of Bigpond and Wireless so hard. The wireless is no use either as a friend in this area has it from Telstra – woeful coverage, speed and excessive pricing/contracts.

    Having just been in Canada with 29MB speeds and unlimited downloads for next to nothing, this is even more galling.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    As a new arrival to Australia and wanting “unavailable” basic internet service in a modern city suburb I find the situation laughable. Years behind most other developed countries and it ain’t gunna get fixed any time soon. The rot is at the top and your pollies are too lily-livered to confront Telstra. Instead they give billion dollar lollipops to them to build a key part of the country’s infrastructure. We will get screwed again and again until this country gets a government unafraid of tackle the monolith. It has happened in other countries – it needs to happen here.

    September 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    DSLAM, RIM, CMUX, Pair Gains…etc
    Thank you so much. Telstra.
    I was forced to learn a lot about technology for last couple of weeks just for trying to get a decent broadband here.

    December 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Kate,

    First of all, thanks for buiding up this site
    Like all the “Pair Gain Victims” here, I recently bought a new house in Calamvale, QLD, looking forward to moving in and enjoying the new life. But I was so disappointed since I was told that I could not get ADSL2 for my house due to the PGS. I could not be happy without internet and I am think the internet(especially a fast internet connection) is a “must-have” facility for modern families in Australia. I can’t believe as a government backgroud company, Telstra did this to Australian people.

    Hope everyone in here including me could get the problem solved ASAP!

    December 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

    What exchange are you connected through? I am in Parkinson and got the same response from Telstra. It took a few weeks but I now have ADSL via a third party provider over the same copper that Telstra said I would NEVER get. Happy to share the experience if it will help.

    December 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your replay. I think the exchange is in the Acacia Ridge.

    Btw, did you get an ADSL2 or ADSL1 connection? and which ISP did you choose? Currently, I am applying for an ADSL from TPG

    Thanks again Bill.

    December 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Okay, same exchange! There was a lot of drama around my original application with Telstra including email confirmation of the service being available and then being denied. Hopeless, frankly. One particular CS lady did try her best over a period of time, but in vain. I gave up after over a month of frustration. At no time did Telstra explain to me why I could not get connected. They waltzed their way around and finally said – “sorry, there are no ports available at that exchange. We cannot help you”. Hello? That’s it? Well, no. I contacted Internode (on a recommendation)and they told me within 20 minutes what Telstra should have told me from the outset. Yep, pair gain. They were helpful and informative. They have their own gear in the Acacia exchange – but it still have to come into the house via the Telstra copper. On their advice I applied for a basic ADSL connection to test the process with Telstra (as the wholesaler of the service). Internode’s system automatically updates you on the progress, the declines but!(from Telstra). But their system also allows you to repeatedly reapply straight away with a simple click of the application button! Kept trying, then one day after a couple of weeks – bingo! So much for Telstra telling me to get lost. I’m happy with the service I have now – getting around 6-8mbs which is workable for my needs. Next step might be to change my plan to Naked or whatever higher speed etc if available via Internode. While all this was going on I was forced to use expensive mobile broadband. Which is what Telstra tried to sell me at the end of their drama, at twice the price of their competitors. Go figure. Go to the Internode website and dig around – they have the goods there on the Acacia Ridge exchange. Good luck.

    December 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Bill,

    Snap! I had the same isue. Tel$tra tried to flog me wireless broadband for $250 per month. TPG got me onto ADSL (where I still am and at this speed). I phoned Tel$tra tosee if the could put me on a lst for no pair gain line and they said “you’re not our customer” and hng up. Seriously. I wrote to the complaints dept and never had a reply (all outined above). This is our national carrier with a monopoly on copper?

    Hanging out for NBN, but doubt it will service this area now Tel$tra are involved.


    December 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I am glad to see you having ADSL finally, Bill.
    It is actually becoming interesting that TPG told me due to the “Pair gain”, my house is not eligiable to get ADSL2 (I checked with TPG three times) but Telstra told me that they are 100% sure that there is no problem for me to get a ADSL2 connection even if I let them know the “Pair gain” issus.
    I just hate the fact that Telstra tells me A and it turns out the result is B after few weeks working around.
    Don’t know what to do at moment. I have emailed Telstra again just for a double check.

    Anyway, thanks for you help Bill.

    John L
    December 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I have to echo Bill’s comments. I am in South Australia and a the same experience with Telsta. It was a very frustrating time.

    I was previously with TPG and had been for years. I was happy with them and wanted to stay with them when I moved into my new house. I put in the request with them and they just came back with a ‘No’ answer.

    I also tried a company down here that does a fixed wireless service but they couldn’t get a consistent signal lock. I refused to go down the very expensive mobile broadband route that Telstra tried to flog me (and why wouldn’t they be unhelpful and not try to sort out the PGS issue when a lot of people would just take the appaullingly inadequate and inflated mobile broadband out of sheer frustration!)

    I saw a post on Whirlpool that Internode had been sucessful in getting around (or just pushing through) this issue. So I thought I may as well give them a try. They also suggested to me to try ADSL1 first which I did. But wthin the first month I requested the upgrade to ADSL2 and it was done!

    I have been COMPLETELY happy with the Internode broadband. In fact I have to say that the latency (speed in bringing pages down and refreshing) is amazingly fast amd much superior to what I had with TPG.

    Good luck I hope this helps a little.

    Sam Werner
    January 10, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Hi Kate,

    I’ve recently moved into a house in the Parkville Gardens area in Melbourne (Commonwealth Games Village). Being a new development on the CBD fringe I automatically assumed that ADSL services were available, alas they aren’t for my residence. I have a phoneline connected solely for the purpose of using ADSL, and now am stuck paying the line rental for no reason. Telstra (through TPG) tried to remove the PGS, however were unsuccessful. Since then I’ve been jumping through hoops with Telstra to get something done, but to absolutely no avail. I’m a University student living with other students, so a decent internet connection is imperitive for our studies. Living on a student budget means that other internet connections are simply out of our budget. The situation is getting ridiculous, and it seems that I’m fighting a losing battle. Telstra need to pull their head in!

    June 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Sam, I am a neighbour of yours in Parkville Gardens (Sauvage St) and we’re having the same problem! So far we’ve asked SpinTel to put in a private line for us for $299 so we can get ADSL 1. We’ll see how it goes, but we haven’t got our hope up. We’ve been trying since March.

    Have you made any progress at your house?

    January 13, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Im confused, I am about to change providers from Chariot to TPG as Chariot has been taken over by TPG. I have just recieved a email from TPG saying my line is “Pair Gained” and not suitable for ADSL…
    I already have 512kbps ADSL running with Chariot, so I am a bit confused as to why it is not compatable with TPG..

    I have given permission for TPG to have the Pair Gain removed via Telstra. Now if for some reason this cant be done Im going to be in trouble as I have cancelled my Chariot account..EeeeeK!

    I really am suprised that a country like ours is so far behind in telecommunications that we have problems like this..Im all for the new National Broadband the quicker the better. How are we ever going to compete with the rest of the world if this is the best we can offer…

    January 18, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Hi Mark,

    It should be good. I’m with TPG and have a PGS and can get the ADSL 1500 speed (actually a lot less in reality – but more than Tel$tra could give me: “buy our wireless / satellite system for only $299.95 per month” ). If TPG are buying Chariot they will be buying their Dslams and hardware I’d imagine. If you’re lucky your speed may even increase. As for TPG asking Tel$tra to get you off the PGS – that’s another story. Last time I spoke to TPG they had given up as Tel$tra just don’t play ball. I think, however, there are different kinds of PGSs in place, so maybe you’ll be lucky.

    Good luck.


    January 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Since having trouble getting connected with TPG, I’ve been able to connect with Telstra ADSL. It took them no time to remove the PGS and hook me up. So they seem pretty happy to remove it when THEY’RE the client. Very sus.

    January 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Grant,

    Im on the outskirts of a rural S.A town about 4ks (Via road) from my exchange which was put in place about 1955 I think lol..I was on a 512kbps 40 gig plan but these days its to slow even for youtube ect.
    The best performance I could ever get was 400kbps on a good day but most of the time it sat around 320kbps and on some nights down to 98kbps..When I saw that TPG could offer me 8000kbps/Unlimited download for only $4.00 more a month than my 512 service “I wanted in”…Anyway yesterday I changed over to TPG and thought I would run a few speed test through the day/night to see how much difference there was…I knew I would never get the full 8000 due to distance and the old exchange but anything was better than what I had..
    “WOW” lunch time I was hitting 4000kbps, then it had a drop for a while down to 3100kps then about 8pm it hit a low of 1500kps but a hour later back up to 4000kps…Heck i was stoked at the 1500 let alone the 4000..I dont care about not having the full 8000 as it is only costing me the extra $4.00 I was paying before..

    And I must add that TPG kept me up to date via email from the day I rang to change to their service to the day I was connected so I am quite happy…as for Telstra I have to agree that some areas are being ignored/neglected by them..


    February 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I am with Netsapce and run a line through Telstra and i cannot get adsl2+


    Marco Altafini
    February 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Just received two answers regarding my application to ADSL. Both Optus and iiNet informed that my place has optical fibre and ADSL does not support it.

    What a joke. The whole country is waiting to have fibre laid out for the NBN and I can’t have internet because I have fibre!

    March 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I just moved from an old neighbourhood to a new housing estate – we checked on the TPG website that we were in the coverage zone before we moved, and we seemed to be in a good coverage area for ADSL2+ so we thought all was well. Until we moved here, and were told by just about every single provider that ADSL2 would not be possible. Optus couldn’t even give us ADSL1, iiNet gave us ADSL1 after a LOT of hassle (not their fault, it was in the system that we couldn’t get any ADSL), something that should have been connected in a few days took almost two weeks to get done. Even now we’re getting less than ADSL1 speeds – more like dialup speeds. So thanks, Telstra, for your awesome infrastructure. Glad I never have and never will do any business with you, I feel less cheated that way.

    So frustrated to the point of tears
    May 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Here’s my story,

    I lived in Hoppers Crossing in Victoria where I got awesome broadband speeds. i now live 1.3km away as i moved from a unit into a brand new house in Tarneit (VIC).
    – First i call Primus and sign up to their broadband plan and get told that they can do ADSL2+ in my area, beautiful. I sign up, pay the money, dont heear form them in 2 weeks. SO I call them back and find out that they cant do it, and just didnt bother getting back to me.
    – I contact DODO, same story, get a yes, take my money, then have to ring up 2 weeks later to find out that my internet isnt available
    – i try TPG, they told me straight away that i couldnt get internet, but this time told me that it was because of Pair Gains and that they were going to contact Telstra to see if they could remove me off pair gains. They then email me later say Telstra are refusing to remove me off pair gains because of ‘incompatible infrastructure’.
    I cant get over that my family in a remote country town in Sicily can get Broadband speeds faster than our fastest internet in Australia, and here I am 25km from the Melbourne CBD and cant get internet full stop…. What a joke this telecommunications industry is

    May 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    So frustrated to the point of tears.
    Don’t cry. It won’t get you the internet any quicker! Get a little angry instead. Assertive, not agressive but. Have you tried Internode?
    If not then do so. I, like many here was told by Telstra (and others), “don’t call us, we’ll (never) call you.” Same issue – Pair Gain. No waiting lists exist, they couldn’t care less. I contacted Internode – very freindly and helpful – they have a great system where you are advised regularly of the status of your application – even via SMS. Have a friend apply for you on line. That way, each time you are declined you can reinstate your application with the click of a button. You will need to persevere – keep the application alive. It only took me a few weeks and I now have acceptable affordable broadband for my purposes – 5-6mbps – understand your sentiments about other places. We are so behind the times.

    May 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Thought, may be useful to others.

    I live within 20km radius in a newer suburb. Last June, I was trying to get ADSL in my home. I contacted almost every available ISPs. They said they can not do anything as I have pair gain system. But one of the providers said they can definitely provide me ADSL. I singed the contract but after some weeks they told me, like othere they can not connect – but they were so quick to deduct the money from my credit card eventhough they did not connect. Any ways, finally I contacted Telstra. Telstra told me that they can not connect ADSL in my house because I have pair gain system. They said only available option is “wireless” dongle, which is not to mention very expensive. I believed them and signed two years contract.

    But recently, when I called Telstra and just enquired about ADSL, they said oh it is/was available. Now I am in a 24 months contract with them for wireless. They suggest to cancel (with exit fee) or continue this existing contract and suggest to sign the new contract with ADSL. Now I dont understand if it was available at that time whey did not they connect me to ADSL and why suggested me to contract wireless, which is very expensive.

    Now my questions are, is it their policy “to trap” the customer in one contract and suggest to get another contract after some time, is it a coincident or something else.


    May 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Its no wonder we as a country can not compete with other countries when we are still streching a bit of string between two cans..sigh!

    So frustrated to the point of tears
    May 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hi guys, I’m not sure if its a way around it, but I may have found a way, I have a friend through Primus, who are selling what they call ‘DSL Essential’ Lines, which basically means that they will install a brand new line into your home, OFF pair gains, which means that you can get broadband. IF they are unable to do so, they withdraw the order and you dont pay anything. The only catch is if they can install your line off pair gains, and then you cant get internet because of a lack of ports, you will stil have to pay the fee because the reason you cant get intern has nothing to do with the pair gains. but hey, if that means I have a phone line off pair gains that means I can get Foxtel, and eventually broadband. Will keep you all posted

    May 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Interesting – Primus “selling” DSL Essential. DSL Essential Line is a Telstra service, if I am not mistaken. It basically means they provision a line to your house that is DSL capable? Telstra have already told you they cannot give you that (DSL) on your pair gain connection. Your description of it being “a brand new line into your home, OFF pair gains” is curious stuff. Do you already have a Telstra line and phone number? Why run another cable? They won’t. They will use the same cable you a have now – it just won’t be shared with your neighbours.
    Why didn’t Primus tell you all that at the outset? Another thing… you handed over money to an ISP to provide a service BEFORE they could deliver? Never!
    InterNode does not bill you anything until they can provide the service. No service, no payment. In my case they handled Telstra. Another issue you raise is availability of ports. Port availability comes and goes but it is not managed at all well. They won’t provide any waiting list. I was told that when someone not on pair gain at your exchange cancels their broadband connection Telstra hold that port open for 6 months “just in case the customer changes their mind”. Sounds implausible, but with Telstra anything is possible. At the exchange the availability of a port for your broadband will depend on the work order the technician is holding in his hand on the day he attends the exchange, also probably the weather, and the mood he left home in that morning.
    I may sound like an advertisement for InterNode but frankly they were the only ISP who seemed keen to help. It was from them I learned about my pair gain line, not Telstra. Hell, they even called me to advise me how best to use their application system to get the best outcome, and followed up. It worked for me.

    So frustrated to the point of tears
    May 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    thats great that Internode are your be all and end all, its great that they helped you… but the fact is $80/month for 250GB is a rip off when TPG and Primus and Dodo and Westnet and most other companies are charging $30 for UNLIMITED!!!

    So frustrated to the point of tears
    May 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    and by the way I checked with internode and they are asking for an upfront payment for connection, modem and ADSL line…

    May 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Kate,
    Until recently, I had never heard of pair gaining. I signed up for ADSL2 with Telstra about 3 weeks ago after connecting my home line and being guaranteed an adsl2 connection. After waiting for 2 weeks for my bigpond modem to be delivered, I had to contact telstra only to find out they couldn’t provide me adsl. Nor could any ISP. Telstra had sent a technician to my house over a week earlier, and upon discovering it was a pair gain line, cancelled our adsl application without contacting us. Since then, we have simply been told that nothing can be done and they refuse to help us. I cannot believe that I live in Wollongong in 2011 and my only options are wireless Internet or satelite.

    Thanks for your work.

    ADSL reservoir
    June 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Kate,

    I have just been informed I am on a pair gains system and unable to get adsl. I live in Reservoir Victoria and am only 13km from the cbd and 1 km from the exchange so I was very surprised this was the case.

    Who at Telsta can I call to complain so they will do something about my situation?

    June 15, 2011 at 10:55 am

    In our experience, calling to Telstra will not produce results. Many of the consultants on the phone there do not know what pair gain is, or how to fix it. Furthermore, even if they can fix it, they seem to have no incentive to, and reserve the right to give you a flat out “no.”

    Do not call the Telecommunications and Internet Ombudsman, you will get passed in a circle around no fewer than four departments, all of whom will advise that it is not their area.

    I recommend going to a competitor (e.g. TPG, SpinTel, iiNet) and asking for a private line to be installed. It will cost on the order of about $300+GST, but it should give you a fighting chance at securing an ADSL port.