Telstra has upgraded its wireless broadband gateway offering, but its increased Wi-Fi speed is only available if you sign up for a contract on the service.
The NetComm-designed and built BigPond Elite router offers 802.11n connectivity as well as four Ethernet ports. The target market is people who want to be able to share a Next G connection in areas where ADSL isn't available.
However, its attractiveness is reduced somewhat by the fact (confirmed by Telstra staffers at today's launch) that it won't work out of the box with prepaid Next G plans. That means if you want it as a failover option, you'll also have to sign up for a Next G contract, which remains a pricey way to get broadband.
The gateway sells for $399, though Telstra is offering a $200 rebate to customers who sign up for a 24-month plan (which, as usual, we don't recommend). A final note: the device does work with Windows 7, though you wouldn't know it from reading the packaging. (A Snow Leopard-friendly upgrade is due on December 1).