NBN slowed by HFC re-jig
The Federal Government and Telstra have defended new delays in the rollout of NBN services.
NBN Co has halted the rollout of the HFC network (where internet is delivered through pay TV cables) for about 250,000 households that would have received the NBN over the next six months.
The company says it suspended the rollout of the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network to “improve customer service”, because “too many were not having the experience they deserve when connected”.
All new orders for NBN over the HFC network will be paused too, giving time for field work to improve the service for current users.
The delay is expected to cost close to $700 million.
Federal communications minister, Mitch Fifield, said it was a “teething problem”, but that the problems were “very fixable”.
Mr Fifield said issues were caused by interference on the spectrum shared by Telstra and Foxtel, but claimed NBN has a fix for it.
Telstra chief Andrew Penn says its HFC cables worked fine until NBN Co made “technology changes”.
Mr Penn says he supports NBN Co's decision to delay the HFC rollout, but emphasised that the stated problems were not inherent in the cable, much of which was installed by Telstra.
“That is the same cable that currently provides internet services for Telstra's customers and also for Foxtel pay TV services and for those services it is absolutely fine and delivering a great experience,” he said.
“It's in the process of NBN taking it and making whatever technology changes they are making to it where they have some issues.”
The communications minister said people affected by the delay could still get non-NBN broadband through HFC cables.
Those previously scheduled to receive HFC NBN will now have to wait until NBN Co updates its map.