NBN Co Will Start Offering Cable Broadband In 2016

NBN Co Will Start Offering Cable Broadband In 2016

A key element of the multi-technology mix (MTM) approach to the National Broadband Network is making use of the existing pay TV cable (HFC) network. With the agreements to acquire those networks from Telstra and Optus finalised earlier this week, NBN Co has now set a somewhat firmer timetable for when it will start offering services on that network.

According to its just-updated product roadmap, NBN Co will begin a pilot for HFC customers in Q4 2015. That will be followed by a product launch in Q1 2016. We’re unlikely to know until closer to the time how widespread that launch will be, but if past NBN history is any guide, it won’t hit the entire HFC network at once.

For anyone already living in an area with pay TV cabling, this should be good news — currently there’s no real competition to buy on those networks. That said, some deals are now relatively cheap, such as Optus’ $90 a month unlimited plan. However, the introduction of competition from multiple NBN retailers (NBN Co only sells wholesale access) could lead to cheaper and more flexible plans.


  • in other words, unless you live in either sydney or melbourne, you can get cable, the rest of us can go jump then

  • Headline from earlier this week: “Federal Government agrees to purchases copper network from Telstra for $11b to provide internet to consumers” So we just spent $11b to purchase … exactly what we already have… -.- This government.

  • Q1 2016, not long before the next federal election where, the way things are currently going the Liberal party will be thrown out on their idiotic asses.

    Hopefully the network can still be salvaged by then

  • from wiki:

    DOCSIS 3.1
    Released October 2013, plans support capacities of at least 10 Gbit/s downstream and 1 Gbit/s upstream using 4096 QAM. The new specs will do away with 6 MHz and 8 MHz wide channel spacing and instead use smaller (20 kHz to 50 kHz wide) orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) subcarriers; these can be bonded inside a block spectrum that could end up being about 200 MHz wide.[5]
    Cross-version compatibility has been maintained across all versions of DOCSIS, with the devices falling back to the highest supported version in common between both endpoints: cable modem and cable modem termination system (CMTS). For example, if one has a cable modem that only supports DOCSIS 1.0, and the system is running 2.0, the connection will be established at DOCSIS 1.0 bandwidths.

    As of the end of 2011, the fastest deployments in North America are expected to be Shaw Cable’s announced 250 Mbit/s download / 15 Mbit/s upload, which will be implemented in phases, and Videotron’s 200 Mbit/s download / 30 Mbit/s upload service in Quebec City,[6] followed by existing 110 Mbit/s deployments in the USA. In 2010, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urged U.S. providers to make 100 Mbit/s a standard bandwidth available to 100 million households before 2020.[7]

    In the UK, broadband provider Virgin Media announced on 20 April 2011 an intention to start trials with download bandwidth of 1.5 Gbit/s and upload of 150 Mbit/s based on DOCSIS 3.0.

    • The already said at the senate estimates quote (verbatim):

      “There seems to be no commercial demand to upgrade to DOCSIS3.1”

  • I have HFC right now with Telstra, great download speeds (~45mbits) , uploads for me is meh.
    What will this offer me in a selfish sorta way?

    • You will be upgraded to the latest DOCSIS 2.0 standard, supporting faster uploads for a fast.

      Eventually it will be updated to DOCSIS 3.1 (faster than 3.0 which you see in the video below) which supports 10 gigabits per second download and 1 gigabit per second upload.

      See this youtube video for a real life speedtest comparison between DOCSIS 2.0 AND 3.0:
      (note that this test was done in the US, where the amount of people on cable in a given neighbourhood would be a lot higher)

      I’m no expert on the different standards though, someone with more knowledge might comment.

      • Telstra already have DOCSIS 3.0 (for customers using their CG3100D modem … like us). This means most customers on HFC can achieve ~40Mbits/s with some getting ~100Mbits/s (depending on area and subscription).

        With the NBN not planning to offer much faster, there is probably little rationale for NBN to upgrade the existing hardware.

        • They’ll need to do something if they expect to greatly increase the number of people using the network. When the government first announced this plan, they said they’d be filling in the black spots of the cable rollout (so if Telstra decided not to wire your street, you won’t be left out), and to split the existing segments to reduce congestion.

          At this point, I’d take any plans that haven’t actually commenced work with a grain of salt though, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

        • I already get that speed 40mbit, but they asked if I wanted to upgrade for $10 month more for 100mbit. Not worth it for me. But I must have the 3.0 modem if the offer is there plus my speeds are already high

    • Nothing except potentially slower speeds as people are forced into using HFC since it looks as if all they’re doing is rebranding the service.

  • Here’s the big question. What’s the speeds like with HFC. I;ve never used it (only used ADSL2+).

    AT the moment, I’m living in germany (and will be for a few years). The ADSL2+ speed in my 40 year old apartment (with the cable socket loose from the walls) is faster than my ADSL2+ speed in my 5 year old Melbourne CBD apartment last year. That to take into account my current ADSL speed is the 2nd lowest speed the company offers….

  • And what about those people who can’t get ADSL or Cable in a major city because Telstra never wanted up upgrade the shitty copper lines in certain streets?
    The Street behind us has cable, the street off ours has ADSL2+, but our street doesn’t support either as the copper is too degraded/unshielded…

  • Couldn’t agree with you more, i’m glad to see its not just our street that has that problem.

  • I’ve got DOCSIS3.0 @ 100MBit with Telstra as “Naked Cable*” right now. It’s $79/month for 80gig. (From what I can tell it’s supposed to be $89/month too, and my info sheet says that, but I’m not planning on letting them know their mistake…)

    With the NBN taking ownership of these lines, I’ll be able to a) get exactly the same service, but with the ability to pay someone who isn’t Telstra, b) probably get a larger quota than Telstra offers for their naked cable service.

    * Telstra deliberately hides the naked cable plans from their webpage, and when you do find them, bumps the cost of access up by precisely the same amount you’d pay for line rental. They then limit the maximum quota to a paltry 80gig when the same service combined with line rental will offer you up to 1TB. I assume they do this to discourage Naked Cable services, but as for why they do that, I can only assume it’s to artificially boost the number of premises that still have a phone line, possibly so census statistics still make it appear that Telstra is relevant in the modern age.

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