Nbn Lights Broadband Service on Former Telstra HFC Network

Australia’s government-backed provider of open access wholesale services touts progress
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The Australian government-backed National Broadband Network (nbn) said it has launched commercial broadband services on Telstra’s former hybrid fiber/coax network in Ocean Reef, Western Austria.

The launch, which offers services of up to 100 Mbps down by 40 Mbps upstream from what it calls “Retail Service Providers” follows nbn’s first commercial HFC services launch in Redcliffe, Queensland, on June 30 on the former Optus network.

nbn said Optus, TPG and Exetel are offering HFC services at launch, with Telstra likely to be joining that group of sellers soon. 

In addition to 100/40, other speed tiers offered on the nbn HFC network are 50/20, 25/5 and 12/1, an nbn official noted, adding that “most” of the RSPs implement data caps that vary by provider, with many set at either 250 gigabytes, 500 GB or 1 terabyte.

“It is worth remembering that we will actually be one of the first operators in the world to deliver open access wholesale services over an HFC network so we have broken a lot of new ground in these last couple of years and now that hard work will pay off for our customers and end-users,” John Simon, chief customer officer at nbn, said in a statement.

Nbn’s near-term plan is to have about 200,000 HFC “end-user premises” activated by June 2017 as it works on a rollout that will eventually cover a footprint of more than 3 million premises.

Nbn, which isn’t without its critics, expects to launch DOCSIS 3.1 services and target gigabit speeds in the second half of 2017.

The group’s broader plan is to deliver broadband to 12 million premises in Australia via FTTP, FTTN, HFC, fixed wireless and satellite by 2020.

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