CHOICE membership

NBN HFC Service Connection Delays and Performance



I would hope for the NBN Co it is in honest jest. I do wonder?
I expect we are now able to connect our Brisbane property to the NBN HFC service.

Aussie Broadband has already letter box dropped us a week earlier. Surprise no1.

On contacting our ISP IiNet they also provided an affirmative. I had pre-registered for notification last year. There has never been any notice though from iiNet. Surprise no 2.

The NBN Co rollout map was showing “under construction” at the time I contacted iiNet. Hence there remained some sceptism as to dodgy marketing tactics? Not surprised!

The NBN map has now subsequentlly updated to “service available”. Really really surprised!

Our Body Corporate knows nothing. The manager suggested not until middle of the year. Totally predictable!

Still to choose a plan and possibly change provider. We don’t need a large data plan. The online plans and the Choice guide are skewed towards 50Mbps or faster speed plans.

We have managed ok on ADSL2+ at 12-14Mbps for so long, including streaming to one only TV. There appears to be lots of ‘added value’ with some of the 50Mbps tier plans, assuming you accept a 2 year contract and RSP router for VOIP. Typically $80pm.

The options to spend less drop speed, data, free router, free Fetch, and included phone calls!

$60 pm with iiNet offers 12Mbps and 500GB. Nothing extra! You are tied to their technicolor router if you take the direct path to phone service porting. More cost! What odds a miserly 12Mbps speed plan is not slowed in the peak evening period? Unfortunately there is no data in the Choice review as a guide for the slower speeds!

Aussie BB for $55 M2M offers 25Mbps and just 100GB of data. You can BYO a router and they will port your phone no. Their online call staff offered to assist with your phone set up too!

Still looking! 17 months and 29days left to decide, once the still missing RFS advice arrives?


If you use VOIP on that iPrimus service best you read if you have not already


There’s movement:


I’ve used a “Gold” (50|20 Mbps) NBN HFC service since January 2017; with observed upload and download speeds usually close to nominal (within 10%). My ISP is Internode, and the only equipment they could interface to at the time was through an Arris CM820 cable modem to a Huawei HG659 Router. The service has been adequate, though the router is particularly brain-dead, especially compared with the Fritz!Box router I used when connected to ADSL.

In November 2018 NBN wrote to me about “Your nbn™ supplied equipment upgrade”, which after some research I found to be the replacement of the cable modem with an Arris CM8200 modem. Faster, and more importantly, DOCSYS 3.1 compliant.

I arranged an installation date in January using the nominated 1800 687 626 (option 5) number.
Since then NBN has arranged to change the installation date three times, the last time (February) just a phone message to “call us in a few months to arrange a time”. Which I did, today.

Since I started calling in December I’ve noticed the voice quality over the 1800 number has become almost unfit for purpose. The recorded message on connection is almost unintelligible, as is the voice quality of the human I’ve spoken to once the connection has been established.

I’m left with two questions.

  1. How can an organisation be so wrong in its assessment of its own workload to have to reschedule meetings from one month out, three times, to now seven months out? and

  2. Is the voice quality of the 1800 line being used in a deliberate attempt to try to get frustrated users to give up?

Has anyone succeeded in accepting this “equipment upgrade” from nbn™? Can anyone understand the voice messages on the 1800 phone line?


Our NBN connection is so slow that often when you try to connect to a site it times out and fails. We have to have a wireless connection and we are only about 500 metres from the tower in direct line of sight. A fibre optic cable runs through our property about 30 metres from our house but we are not allowed to be connected to that. Another LNP “service”.


(an update, Thursday 6th June).
NBN arranged to visit my premises to upgrade my cable modem on 4th June, “8—12 noon”. I made sure I was back in Adelaide for this visit. Nobody arrived. I followed up today by re-calling the 1800 687 626 number (option 5), only to learn (after selecting option 5) that “there is an emergency, we are unable to respond to your call. Meanwhile you might like to visit our website …”

I do agree with Todd Sampson’s statement some months ago on one of the Gruen programs — “NBN doesn’t have customers. NBN has prisoners.”

Does anyone else have experience of the NBN HFC cable modem (Arris 820 to Arris 8200) upgrade program?


I have not been blessed with an 820 but our original install was the 8200 with the router behind it being a BYO D-Link Talkbox 2800. The VOIP quality has been excellent and internet performance has been as expected from comparisons of NBN 50/20 HFC from all sources. (AussieBB)


Can you get your provider to ship the modem to you? This may be the faster option. There isn’t much to do other than remove the older modem and plug the new one in. If you ask your provider they should be also able to supply you with the details and steps (if needed) to add your login details to the new modem. It is however more likely they will have done this before shipping the modem to you.

Nothing technical is really required to swap out a modem.


We were provided with the Arris 8200B from scratch in February. The NBN person who installed it found that the actual HFC signal was below acceptable standards so we were unable to connect to the Internet via HFC on the day. Not an issue for us because the ADSL service was still running. NBN arrived in the street within 2 weeks and must have repaired or re-done the connection on the overhead cable (our cables are strung on the electricity poles here). The service has been excellent since then - we’re a small business and use the 100/40 plan. Also with Internode. I agree with @grahroll in that it should be possible to get the Arris unit just delivered to you, but I’m pretty sure it would come from the NBN directly and not your provider. You can now use certain Fritzbox models like the 7490 for HFC too (with Internode at least). They supplied a TP-Link vr1600v router but we don’t use it - we use a Cisco router for various reasons. I realise this isn’t an exact answer to your question but still might be useful. I’d talk to your provider as well.


Our home uses a 7490 with HFC (through AussieBroadband).


Thank you, Scott. I hadn’t realised Internode had added “HFC” to the NBN varieties the 7490 could handle. I now have the 7490 happily providing better service on my line, though still no success getting the Arris 820 cable modem swapped. Internode were unable to provide the 8200. Will plug away, slowly, in the background … :expressionless: