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.