05 Sep 2012
By Mike Wright

Telstra turns on 1000th Top Hat

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In October 2011, I wrote about a bright idea from one of our NAT engineers, Darryl Dux, to place boxes on top of our street side cabinets which would allow us to provide fixed broadband services to more people.

This simple idea sparked our ‘Top Hat’ program, bringing additional ADSL2+ fixed broadband services to hundreds of thousands homes and businesses across Australia.

Darryl’s brainwave – dubbed as a Top Hat – has since developed into more than 1000 Top Hat installations and so far we’ve invested around $80 million to make ADSL2+ broadband services available to more than 200,000 homes and businesses.

Around 100,000 of these customers have been upgraded from an ADSL service to ADSL2+, while the remaining 100,000 services provide the opportunity for new customers to access fast fixed broadband for the first time.

Today we switched on our 1000th Top Hat in Moruya, NSW, bringing us beyond the half-way point of the project. By the end of the year, we’ll have upgraded around 1850 street side cabinets and more than 350,000 fixed broadband services through the project.

It’s amazing to think one little idea could turn in to something so big. Thanks to an innovative idea, and the hard work of countless others from across the business, we’ve been able to bring video streaming, digital business and connected home services to more people across every state and territory who previously couldn’t access these things.

With less than 1000 Top Hats left to install before the end of the year, you can see if your area is scheduled for an upgrade in the next few months by visiting Telstra Wholesale.


Posts: 31


  1. Daniel says:

    Well Done Telstra on bringing ADSL1/ADSL2+ to many new areas and upgrading the aging hardware in the RIM/CMUXs.

    For a start i dont know why Moruya / MOGO RIMs was upgraded? But 20 mintues away in Surf Beach / Denhams beach you cannot get even 3.5Mbps due to MPI and congestion WHY wasn’t these RIM’s/CMUXs been upgraded ?

    WHY Telstra?

  2. Michael says:

    Still no listing on the TW website regarding the potential upgrade of my RIM, despite waiting over 2 months to get a crappy adsl1 connection in March. More disappointing when every single RIM area that borders ours is upgraded except yours. I’m happy for the others who get upgraded, but what about those left behind? Makes me think about moving 500m down the road.

    • Bruce says:

      I feel the same way, really a shame my area didnt get a tophat upgrade… i guess i gotta wait till the NBN..

  3. David Sutton (Employee) says:

    An excellent outcome thanks to a dedicated group of professional working to resolve a maze of issues

  4. Zed says:

    Great to see that Tophat will provide ADSL2+ services to many homes. I would be happy to be able to get any ADSL service where I live on the NSW Central Coast. Many blackspots on the Coast and we look forward to the NBN.

  5. Stuart says:

    The cabinet down the road from me is having it’s top hat commissioned this week. Unfortunately my home phone line runs past it and almost 6 km to the exchange. I believe the line can be tapped into the top hat to get me ADSL 2+ speeds but none of the sales people I talk to understand what I am talking about. How do I work with Telstra to get this to happen?

  6. Kev says:

    I believe that this is an excellent inititive from telstra but falls very short. What about the cabinets that have been dropped off the list reportably from rumours of a budget blowout. this should be a number 1 priority for telstra. There are still plenty of other cabinets that have not been upgraded and will not be upgraded in this current project. All well and good for the customers on one of these tophats but what about everyone else that has been forgotten?!?

    • Hi Kev. Thanks again getting in touch. The Top-Hat program is extending ADSL to many of our customers who previously have not been able to access the service. I’m told it is not commercially viable to extend the program to all cabinets and all potential ADSL customers, but where we are unable to extend ADSL availability at this time we do as an alternative offer Bigpond Wireless Broadband services on our Next G® network and the vast majority of prospective customers will have access to this service. Brendan

  7. Michael says:

    Hi Brendan,

    Does Telstra offer a 200GB plan on NextG? What about any plan over 15GB? What about NextG network congestion in our area during the 5pm-11pm peak time?

    Palming off broadband customers to NextG is a lame excuse. It’s 2012 and the only reason I can’t get decent Internet at my 10 year old home is because Telstra failed to plan properly when the estate was first developed in 2000. After all, no-one really needed the Internet in 2000. Telstra has got half the nation’s CCIEs and they still can’t get it right. I can’t wait until the NBN comes to my area so I can be free of Telstra fixed line crapola forever.


  8. Phil from Kholo says:

    Well done Telstra. Its amazing that $80 mill can affect so many consumers in a positive way , and so quickly to.

    • Phil from kholo says:

      The praise was premature. My copper adsl failed for the umpteenth time and i could not see the point paying for something that was not there , so i disconnected my landline after 30 years . No copper , no top hat , no more.

  9. Chris says:

    After watching the tophat list for nearly a year, seeing your DA removed with no hope of ADSL2 anytime soon… You will have to forgive me if I lack enthusiasm .

  10. Rick says:

    Has the top hat project lost any resources (or funding) to the Warrnambool fire? Or is December’s schedule on track?

  11. Paul says:


    According to your update list, my exchange has a tophat but according to your availability check on your site, I can’t get adsl2+ at North Haven THROUGH this exchange. I don’t understand???

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for posting this. We have dedicated customer support team who will be able to chat to you about the Top Hat and ADSL2+ availability in North Haven . The best way to access that support in an efficient manner is to use the links above and connect with us on Facebook or CrowdSupport. You can also contact our support team 24×7 on Twitter @Telstra.

  12. Neil says:

    I have been living in Grays Point for the last 7 years in a home I built. Prior to completing the construction of our home I inquired with Telstra about the availability of ADSL in our area to find that it was not available at the time. However the Telstra Customer Support Officer did advise that Telstra were upgrading exchanges and the Miranda Exchange would likely be upgraded in the following two years. Well 7 years down the track and I live in the middle of suburbia and am held to ransom by Telstra’s procrastination. I have no other option but mobile broadband and because of our location Telstra are the only service provider that can provide adequate coverage. But it comes at a huge cost! I pay twice as much per month for 10% of the download which is affected by peak usage, where if I had ADSL I would not have to deal with any of these problems.

    When are Telstra completing the top hat upgrade at the Miranda exchange so the majority of my suburb can have a choice in the type of internet service they want?

  13. Rick says:

    The estate across the road from us in Wyndham Vale now has the NBN. Everyone around has been tophatted. But some boffin at Telstra made the choice last August not to tophat the one box on the corner of our subdivision.

    EVERYONE else in town has been upgraded, except the one box on our subdivision. And we’re left looking at the NBN across the road (which is physically routed through the same box on the corner!)

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the post, I can appreciate why this is so frustrating. Unfortunately Telstra has no control over the NBN rollout as it is a government project. As for the Top Hats, I recommend you check-in regularly at this site to view our roll-out plan:

    • Rick says:

      Hi Gigi,

      Interestingly that link now says it’s available. I’ve put my request through, but your spreadsheet says it was removed from the upgrade plan. And there’s certainly no tophat on the box.

  14. Robert says:

    I’m in Yatala QLD 4207 and I see there is NO prospect for a Top Hat looking at the spreadsheets. I have ADSL1 but it’s performance is very poor.
    The NBN is 5 years away I’m advised just today.
    Some other cabinets have been upgraded in surrounding suburbs.
    If NBN is 5 years away, I have difficulty seeing why we get left out. You have 5 years to get some return on investment on a Top Hat here. That should be plenty to pay for it?
    I’m in Alto Terrace QLD 4207

    • Gigi [Telstra Staff] says:

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the feedback on a Top Hat in Yatala. Unfortunately the Top Hat program has been completed.

  15. Rick says:

    What rubbish. So it’s all over. You changed your mind about my cabinet in Wyndham Vale at the last minute and I’m stuck on a crap ADSL 1 plan that costs more than the NBN enabled street two blocks over. Ridiculous.

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