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nbn® Hybrid Fibre Coaxial explained (HFC)

nbn HFC made easy

All types of nbn network connections that utilise a physical line running to the premises are considered Fixed Line connections.

An nbn Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection is used in circumstances where the existing ‘pay TV’ or cable network can be used to make the final part of the nbn network connection. In this circumstance an HFC line will be run from the nearest available fibre node, to your premises.

HFC connections require an nbn network device to be installed at the point where the line enters your home. This device requires power to operate.

nbn HFC installation

There are two ways nbn HFC can be installed at your premises – through an nbn approved installer or if eligible, through self-installation.

When you contact your phone and internet provider to connect to the nbn network, they will confirm which installation process applies to your premises. 

Installation with an nbn approved installer

Your phone and internet provider should arrange for an nbn approved installer to call you and organise a visit to your premises to connect you.

Watch our video or download our guide to prepare for installation day.

nbn HFC Preparing guide

Download (PDF - 2 MB)

Self-installation for eligible premises

Watch our video to install your nbn supplied equipment.

Due to the maturity of the HFC roll-out and changes in the delivery of Pay TV services, nbn has determined that the splitter and additional cable are no longer required. Hence, there will only be a self-installation video without Pay TV.

How to help optimise your nbn HFC connection at home
Make the most of your experience with the nbn broadband access network thanks to these handy tips.

Have questions?

After your phone and internet provider confirms your order, an appointment window will be scheduled and confirmed by us via SMS, please reply to this message with your preference. You will receive a call a few days before your installation appointment to confirm that all the requirements are ready – and to make sure that there will not be any access restrictions at the site on the day.

Note: You will need to call your provider if you wish to make an appointment outside of the appointment window or reschedule an existing appointment.

On the day of installation an nbn technician will visit your premises to complete the following tasks:

  1. Determine and discuss with you the location(s) to mount/install nbn supplied equipment.
  2. If necessary, install a lead-in cable from the street to your property.
  3. Install, activate and test the installed nbn supplied equipment.
  4. Clean up after they have finished the installation.

The installation may include ducting and drilling works. If your premises has a communications cabinet, access will need to be arranged with your building or property manager before your appointment. If you know of any nbn supplied equipment currently on site, be sure to let your provider know before the day.

A standard installation may take two to four hours. If there are complexities or if the coaxial cable is not connected to the nbn utility box (also referred to as a ‘PCD’), the installation may take longer – sometimes up to eight hours.
Yes. Someone over the age of 18 must be present at the premises for the entire duration of the installation.

Yes. If you wish to reschedule an installation, you will need to call your provider at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment to avoid any applicable charges.

Please note that you cannot reschedule an appointment via SMS.

Technicians aim to have all the required work completed in a single visit. Due to the complex and limiting nature of connecting some types of premises, there is the possibility that your technician may have to schedule an additional visit on another day to complete the installation.

Before your technician arrives, it is important to consider the possible internal (and external) mount and install locations of the nbn supplied equipment (nbn connection box and Power Supply Unit) – your technician will help advise where they can be installed. Be sure to discuss the location with your technician before they begin.

Things to consider when choosing the location of your nbn supplied equipment:

  • No more than 80cm away from a power point – the equipment will need to stay plugged in.
  • A cool, dry, ventilated area (not a damp or wet area such as a kitchen, bathroom, laundry or under a window that opens).
  • Away from busy areas where it could be knocked or damaged.
  • Somewhere easy for you to access and check the indicator lights.
  • In the same building as the main electric meter box or distribution board (i.e. not in a detached garage).

If available, you may request to move the location of your main wall outlet free of charge as part of the installation process – you will then have two functioning wall outlets. The nbn connection box will be connected and activated on the new outlet, and the existing (old) outlet will continue to work if needed in the future.

You will be required to approve all aspects of the installation before the technician starts, so take the time to think about the install location(s). If you are not happy with all of the proposed locations or need further assistance, advise your technician that you do not want to progress with the installation and then contact your provider to discuss your options.

No, this step usually involves a simple self-installation – your provider will supply you with the instructions to complete this step. You will need to connect the provider-supplied modem to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn connection box. Contact your provider if you need any help completing this step.

If you’re renting, you need to make your landlord aware that you want to install the required equipment, to ensure they do not object. If you’re not in direct contact with your landlord, contact your property manager or real estate agent. 

To help you prepare for the switch to the nbn broadband access network, here is a guide on what you need to consider.

When your technician has finished the installation, you should be able to self-install the provider-supplied modem and access your service – connecting the modem they have supplied you to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn connection box.

The service activation process:

  1. We will notify your provider that your installation has been initiated.
  2. Your provider will then provision your service.
  3. Your technician finishes your installation – testing and activating your service.
  4. You can then self-install the provider-supplied modem – connecting the modem to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn connection box.
  5. After a few minutes, the lights on your modem should light up and your service should be active.

If you encounter any issues activating your service, you will need to contact your provider for assistance. If you are switching providers, please allow two to three business days for us to liaise with your provider to activate your service.

nbn technicians do their best to keep every appointment and notify customers if they can no longer make the agreed time. On the rare occasion that a technician is delayed due to the complexities of another installation and misses your appointment, you will need to contact your provider to reschedule your appointment.

If you have a complaint regarding your installation experience, please refer to the Contact us section of our site.

If the requirements of the installation are ‘non-standard’, your technician will refer you to contact your provider to discuss options and/or potential charges that may be involved. There are some cases where you may be required to organise and pay for digging a trench to prepare your premises to connect to the nbn infrastructure.
Guidelines on the removal or relocation of nbn supplied equipment can vary depending on the situation. If you’re planning on removing or relocating your equipment due to renovation or demolition, before you do, please visit our relocation/removal page for more information.

If you're moving, you should leave the nbn supplied equipment at your old premises.

Any nbn supplied equipment, including the nbn connection box (also known as the Network Termination Device (NTD)), should stay at the current address – please do not take it with you. The nbn equipment is registered to the specific address, therefore will not work or be compatible with your new premises. You won’t be able to use it at your new address, and it cannot be re-sold as it is property of nbn.

Additionally, by removing the nbn supplied equipment, you may make it harder for the new owner or occupant of the premises you’re moving from to connect to the nbn network.

If you have mistakenly removed nbn equipment from another premise you can return it to us at no cost to you. We have partnered with Australia Post allowing for devices to be sent back to us with a label you can access online. Simply follow the link below to print a return label and read the instructions on how to return the equipment, postage paid and at your convenience.

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Although most existing services will be replaced by the nbn access network, there are some services that should not be impacted. These include those services provided over non-nbn fibre networks, some services in some apartment complexes, and some business and Special Services. nbn strongly recommends you contact your current phone and internet provider as soon as possible to find out if your services are impacted. You can also find out more at