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.