Are you a Choice member currently on cable broadband waiting on HFC, someone who now has the NBN over HFC, or one of the many still in limbo waiting for the NBN to deliver the promised HFC to your home?
This may be a good place to share your experiences and advice on the NBN and the HFC service you have, or are waiting on.
With a small townhouse in the city of Brisbane as a second home we have been patiently waiting on the NBN Co to deliver. Firstly for Q3 2017, Then Q1 2018, Now Q1 2019, with another source saying Q2 2019.
The NBN Co has run a single CX50 spec coax ‘cable’ into our property, one of five, all to share the single connection through an unpowered signal splitter. The work was completed in Q1 2018. No progress since!
What ever the maximum data capacity of a normal HFC service is we will always be reduced to one fifth of the maximum capacity of a single cable over our distance from the fibre connection node. That Telstra is not offering HFC customers up front faster than 50Mbps because there is an uncertainty about the speed of each individual service is not reassuring?
Amazingly the five properties have never had a cable service. The NBN Co is providing a ‘new technology’ connection point for the cable (fibre to ‘cable’) aka node just down the street. It is most puzzling as to why this was not a fibre connection from the node as a FTTB, or FTTC or even five full fibre connections. I’ve left out the technical discussion at this point to keep this short. Political discussions excluded, someone might like to offer some wisdom on any technical reasoning.
One of the solutions of the revised MTM strategy for the NBN provided for the recycling of the previously constructed cable networks. The NBN Co did a deal to take over the networks developed by Telstra and Optus. The solution uses fibre to distribute the NBN around each customer area in a similar way to the FTTN solution. It uses a different technology in the node to convert the digital optical data on the fibre network to a modulated signal on the coax ‘cable’ for the final connection up to each premise.
The result was a solution labeled HFC (Hybrid Fibre Copper).
There are remaining approx 2 million premises outside of the RFS (ready for service) footprint of the NBN,
and a further approx 1.4 million in the RFS areas that are not yet ready to Connect.
The NBN Co is not providing updates in it’s monthly and weekly reports that separate out HFC service numbers or status from the other fixed line options. It is an educated guess from looking across the rollout maps that large portions of the near inner city areas in the capitals (IE those previously with cable access from Optus and Telstra), make up a large portion of the still to be serviced premises.
The NBN Co put the hand brake on HFC at the end of 2017. It has changed both the footprint and some technical aspects of the design/scope. Many areas have now been delayed more than a year due to the changes. Others have been transitioned to FTTN. There is not a lot of feedback on the HFC solution or progress.
There are numerous complaints elsewhere about previous cable customers who have switched over to HFC being worse off for speed and cost. Also issues re the connection points and internal cabling in properties with previous Foxtel, Telstra or Optus connections.