NBN just announced a whole bunch of new initiatives it hopes will "raise the standard of service quality" to the Hybrid Coaxial-Fibre part of the network. To do so, new connections have been halted, effective immediately.
If you are in an area set to get HFC, and haven't already - this means you're going to be waiting at least six months longer for your NBN.
Almost three million premises will end up with a HFC NBN connection, with almost a third "ready to connect". 370,000 have actually connected.
NBN is doing a bit of work to the HFC network - performing advanced network testing, remediation where needed, wholesale connector replacements, signal amplification calibration, and lead-in work.
"With the incremental work now required before a home is declared ready to connect, we are focused on providing a better service to our customers (the internet service providers) and thereby improving the experience for the end user," NBN CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement.
But don't hold your breath. As Morrow says himself (emphasis ours):
"While the good news is that we are working on a better experience for the internet providers and end users, the improvement efforts will take additional time and therefore a delay of schedule will occur for most of the remaining HFC premises that have yet to switch to services on the NBN access network."
NBN is temporarily pausing all new orders over the HFC access network. NBN says this will be in effect "until incremental field work is undertaken" to raise the quality of service for end users.
If you're expecting HFC in your area, but aren't ready to connect yet - expect a delay, NBN says. But of course, NBN reckons even with these changes the rollout "remains on target to connect eight million active end users and deliver a fully connected continent by the year 2020".
ISPs are being told of the changes and the NBN website is being updated "in the weeks ahead" so you can check your address and (hopefully) get information about your connection date.
"NBN is working with the existing infrastructure owners of both the ADSL and HFC networks to be sure those who may wait a bit longer to switch to services on the NBN access network will still have access to the same services that they have today," NBN said in a statement.
"This means existing (non-nbn) ADSL and HFC customers should continue to access their current (non-nbn) service while these changes are made."
Morrow said there are "so many elements of this industry transformation" that NBN cannot control.
"But we are serious about improving that which we can. This is a deliberate change to demonstrate NBN's focus on putting the customer experience as a priority over all else."