Tony Brown

By: Tony Brown

Tony Brown is Public Affairs Manager at nbn.

nbn has concluded its HFC pilot in Redcliffe, QLD, with Retail Service Providers delivering end-users speeds of up to 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload – our sights are now set on launching commercial HFC services in June.

nbn has taken another important step towards launching commercial services on our Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) network with the successful conclusion of our HFC pilot service in Redcliffe, QLD and we are now fully focused on launching our commercial HFC services which is expected to occur in June this year.

We launched our HFC Pilot on the former Optus HFC network back in November – with our pilot being one of the few times that a HFC network had been used to offer wholesale open access broadband services either in Australia or in the global broadband market.

nbn had three RSPs participating in the HFC Pilot - Telstra, iiNet and Exetel - with the idea being that both nbn and our RSP partners could use the pilot to develop key learnings on delivering services on the HFC network before we launch commercial services – also in the Redcliffe area.

Great speeds achieved*

nbn is delighted to announce that our HFC pilot has achieved fantastic results. In a test period between December 1 and January 20, the HFC pilot end-users averaged speeds of 84/33Mbps from their RSPs Layer-3 networks over that period.

As with all our network technologies, nbn delivered wholesale HFC speeds to RSPs, and the speeds experienced by HFC Pilot end-users on those Layer-3 networks can be affected by a range of factors.

Independent telecoms research firm Ovum has verified the results of the HFC Pilot in a report which can be downloaded here.

The HFC pilot results are very encouraging as we look to ensure that our HFC end-users are able to access the same speed tiers from their RSPs as our Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) end-users, with wholesale speed offerings up to 100Mbps downstream and 40Mbps upstream.

Indeed, our achievement in offering wholesale upload speeds of 40Mbps is particularly impressive as very few HFC operators around the world offer upload speeds as fast as this.

Only ComHem in Sweden and UPC in Switzerland are delivering upload speeds faster than the 40Mbps wholesale speeds we achieved on the HFC Pilot.

More speeds ahead   

Whilst we are delighted with the speeds we have achieved on the pilot, we should note that this is really only just the beginning of what we are able to achieve on our nbn HFC network.

On our HFC pilot, we were using the current generation DOCSIS 3.0 technology, but from mid-2017 we plan to deploy next-generation DOCSIS 3.1 technology which is capable of wholesale downstream speeds of 10Gbps and wholesale upload speeds of 1Gbps.

So whilst the pilot demonstrates that we are able to deliver great wholesale speeds of 100Mbps downstream and 40Mbps*, the great news is that the rapid improvements taking place with DOCSIS technology means that we could be able to generate much higher speeds going forward - speeds that will be right up there with what we can achieve on our FTTP network.

In addition, our HFC Pilot demonstrates once more that existing network assets, whether they be HFC or copper networks, are capable of delivering great speeds to end-users with new technological advances promising even greater speeds ahead.

*nbn provides services to its wholesale customers, telephone and internet service providers, and does not provide services directly to end users. These speeds and speeds achieved by nbn in a trial (including trials at a test facility) are not necessarily reflective of the speeds that will be experienced by end users.  End user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end user’s service provider designs its network.

Tony Brown

By: Tony Brown

Tony Brown is Public Affairs Manager at nbn.
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