New exchanges will be enabled for Telstra's own customers and its resellers through the addition of "top hats" to ADSL infrastructure -- but not where there's an NBN rollout imminent. It's long been the case that just because you were serviced for telephony by Telstra that you weren't necessarily guaranteed to be able to get ADSL broadband services from them automatically; depending on the wiring between your place and the exchange you may be limited to dialup only, if that. Telstra's just announced that it's putting a rollout in place that will adapt existing non-ADSL-capable street cabinets to be ADSL2+ capable; known as "top hats" because rather than fit an additional cabinet besides the existing one, they sit on top of them instead. This is quicker to install and requires much less planning permission, according to Telstra. Telstra's statement says that approximately 2,000 top hats will be installed across the nation; the locations of the first 900 are still being finalised, but Telstra states that the new exchanges will be open to both Telstra customers and those using Telstra ports through resellers.
If you're left wondering why Telstra would be commissioning an 18 month project with the NBN looming and Telstra due to dump its copper network entirely, it's worth noting that the top hat rollout only applies in areas that either don't have an NBN rollout or where one isn't imminent; if you're in one of those areas you'll just have to wait for the NBN itself. [Telstra]