Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Who is adsl2exchanges.com.au?

When I'm checking for exchange details for myself and friends here in Australia to see which companies have DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Modules - the exchange side of ADSL) and on which DSLAMs ports are available, I use a website called adsl2exchanges. It's got some good tools by hooking into Telstra Wholesale etc. What isn't exactly clear, however, is who's behind the site.

When one does a whois on the domain, you're presented with something that looks like this:
Domain Name adsl2exchanges.com.au
Last Modified 03-Jun-2010 22:51:20 UTC
Registrar ID Enetica
Registrar Name Enetica
Status ok
Registrant Carvilla Pty Ltd
Registrant ID ABN 122132316
Eligibility Type Registered Business
Registrant Contact ID HH2123648
Registrant Contact Name Hostsite Hostmaster
Tech Contact ID HH2123650
Tech Contact Name Hostsite Hostmaster
Name Server ns1.hostsite.com.au
Name Server IP 203.29.124.130
Name Server ns2.hostsite.com.au
Name Server IP 203.23.236.66

I've omitted the email address - if you really want it, you can consult the ausregistry whois tool. A government ABN lookup at the Australian Business Register public search site isn't very revealing - besides saying that the company's based in NSW.
ABN: 95 122 132 316
Last modified: 16 Nov 2009
ABN status: Active from 09 Oct 2009
Entity name: CARVILLA PTY LTD
Entity type: Australian Private Company
GST registration status: Effective from 09 Oct 2009
Main business location
State: NSW
Postcode: 2044
ACN or ARBN: 122132316

An ASIC search gives pretty much the same detail. The IP range the site is hosted on is registered and traces through to Comcen.. of course this doesn't mean they're not just hosting with Comcen.

Why is this important you ask? Besides offering what I'd consider very handy tools for looking up ADSL exchange information, the site also runs advertising and news articles written by "staff writers". Now, with a news paper, you can say "Oh, that's run by Fairfax" or "That's run by News Ltd" etc.. but when you have a site with no "About Us" page and minimal if no attributions on staff stories one has to wonder what, if any, bias is being applied. I don't know, call me a cynic, but I like to know the perspective from which someone comes in their presentation of matters.

Google the business name? Whaddya know, the answer's on whirlpool (and the banner ads on adsl2exchanges would seem to confirm this), Spin are Carvilla Pty Ltd, and Spin's website IP matches Comcen's website IP. I'll still use them for exchange information lookup (they have the most info on DSLAM etc. availability so far), however anything I read on adsl2exchanges I can assess as having Spin spin :D... Explains how they get access to Telstra Wholesale + TPG information...

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