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Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

NBN to Be World Leader in Next Generation HFC Technology

13 March 2015

More than 3 million homes around Australia will have access to the next generation of technology available on Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), or Pay Television networks, from 2017.

The NBN Co has announced it will be one of the first telecoms companies in the world to deploy the technology, known as DOCSIS 3.1.

Just as 4G revolutionised the services available over mobile phones, the new generation of DOCSIS will dramatically improve the services available over the fixed-line HFC networks.

It means that end users will be able to access speeds of 1 gigabit per second download and 100 megabits per second upload, if their retail service provider offers those speeds.

Around the world, HFC networks are among the most commonly used means of delivering superfast broadband.

Under Labor, the Commonwealth had agreed to pay billions of dollars to decommission the HFC networks, under commercial agreements with Telstra and Optus.

The Government and the NBN Co renegotiated the agreements in December to allow the NBN Co to take ownership of the networks at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

This follows a Strategic Review conducted by the NBN Co in December 2013, which found that by deploying a multi-technology mix – including the use of HFC networks – could save the company four years to complete the project and around $30 billion in costs.

The upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1 will be in addition to more immediate upgrades to the HFC networks which will be undertaken to increase capacity and relieve congestion ahead of the NBN selling products over the networks in 2016.

The NBN Co has also increased the reach of its fixed line network from 197,000 premises serviceable as of the election, to 622,000 premises now serviceable.

There are now 296,000 end users receiving NBN services on its fixed line networks, up from 49,000 at the election.

Media contact:
David Bold: Office of Malcolm Turnbull MP, 0427 784 451

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