back to article nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has started to talk up the scalability of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it will use to provide services to many Australians. The company commissioned analyst firm Ovum to research the role of HFC in broadband around the world. In what …

  1. Shane 4


    Looks like it's official then, We have a bunch of corporate idiots running the show that don't have a clue about tech.

    If they build FTTP we don't need to upgrade the network which will save money and wasting time re doing it, By the time NBN is done it will already be time to dig it up and re do the copper because it can't handle future bandwidth needs.

    Secondly why are they praising gigabit speeds on old HFC, Why don't they also tell the truth and say that those gigabit speeds are SHARED by all in the street, So you will be lucky to get any where near gigabit speeds especially during peak hour you may not even get 100mbit. They will be making you pay for the "gigabit speed" though regardless.

  2. Magani
    Thumb Down

    "nbn™ believes that gigabit services just aren't needed in the foreseeable future. "

    From the same thought processes that gave us "640k ought to be enough for anybody".

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      They better hope that gigabit services aren't needed in the foreseeable future. Given fibre and wireless competition targeting the high density sites, the higher opex costs of the Malcolm Turnbull Mess, the poor performance experienced by those at the wrong end of the cvc debacle leading to the wide adoption of lower tier / lower revenue plans and the inflexibility of the whole sorry mess to ramp-up ramp-down on demand. nbn co will struggle to realise any sort of commercial return. There won't be any money to upgrade to the glorious multi gigabit future that they are spruiking. This albatross is not resting on its perch it is already dead.

  3. andro

    I run a (very) small business, and wish to be able to host services from my home. I also work full time, and the limited upstream from home severely limits the work on my own venture I can do in my lunch break (the day job is a large organisation on fibre who are aware of my business and it is not considered a conflict of interest and they have plenty of bandwidth at that end). Sure if I had more money I could host a large enough dedicated server, but at this stage I can not. So it looks like my business never really gets off the starting block. CPU is cheap but I'd love to be able to do more with terabytes of consumer grade storage at home. Oh well, the liberal government dont seriously want to help small Australian tech start ups literally in their lounge room trying to take on the world do they?

    As for HFC being upgradable? Yeah no sh!t! But since we had the HFC before we started, exactly what did we need the NBN for? Im certain we would have gotten docsis 3.1 HFC anyway by putting the network back in the hands of the public and opening it up as wholesale, which would have made it cheap enough to gather enough customers that the update would have been viable as part of regular business.

    Such a pitty how libs have found a way to spending pretty much the same amount of money to implement the easy update to an existing network and call it "as much of the same thing as you needed, really.... and the rest of you, too bad..."

    1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Why do it at home? It will almost certainly be cheaper and more reliable to use a cloud. And then your home broadband connection won't be an issue. Genuinely curious about your choice.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        >Why do it at home? It will almost certainly be cheaper and more reliable to use a cloud. And then your home broadband connection won't be an issue.

        How about the principle of "my data, my control."

        I run a vpn on my home system because its quite convenient to to have access to all my stuff from wherever I am. I could punt my desktops into the cloud, but I'd rather have it at home and just use VNC or RDP or SFTP when I need it.

        One of the problems with cloud is that it isn't just a facility, its a particular application. Cloud storage isn't like a big remote SATA drive, it is a proprietary application. The onedrive doesn't work with linux (it barely works with windows), dropbox requires a particular proprietary client that only one vendor makes. It is like going back to the 80's where you had proprietary hardware that only worked with one vendor's system. In short, it isn't commodity because it can't be easily exchanged.

        What if facebook is the victim of massive fraud and goes under? How many people use it as their only photo album storage. Even if they have their photo's stored elsewhere, how many people only manage their photo collections in facebook and wouldn't know (without the data in facebook) when and where most of those photos were taken or who was in them? How would you get all that data out of facebook, as it sinks under financial collapse. How much of the photo-management market has facebook destroyed... but despite appearances, it doesn't allow you to manage your photos, it allows you to manage the photos you have given to facebook.

        How rubbish is the consumer IT compared to the enterprise? I'm not talking about scaling, that's easy, I'm talking about the poor quality of the facilities. Unless we encourage the lower end of the market to do IT, everything will be dumped on the the ever-more consolidated, ever more proprietary, ever more locked-in, ever-more data-abusing cloud. PC's are ever more powerful, but the PC software industry appears to be decline and as the alternatives disappear, the T's&C's and taking not just of operations, but data-slurping gets worse.

  4. Adam 1 Silver badge


    > nbn™ has also blogged that it's already considering future upgrades to Full Duplex DOCSIS

    Does one perform this upgrade by starting up some new SDN appliance at the exchange or have we got some poor sod driving a Hiace and opening a cabinet every 200m?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check the report author

    If you check the report author, you will also notice that until recently they were an employee of nbn(TM).

  6. JJKing

    "nbn™ believes that gigabit services just aren't needed in the foreseeable future. "

    I had 47 customers who could have been using Gigabit connections for the last 9 or 10 years yet the nbn twats don't think it is needed in the foreseeable future. There are non so blind as those who cannot see into the foreseeable future.

    I bet the foreseeable phrase was also mentioned about:




    jet engines.

    space travel

    Damn, wasn't it that 6 computers were all that was going to be ever needed.

  7. A J

    I think by now this govt. must be able to see that they are wrong. Their nbn mtm plan is a dead horse. They simply don't want to admit it, because then they would be admitting that Labor was right all along. So we get saddled with an enormously wasteful public debt just so that Malcolm and Tony can try to save face.

  8. Colin Tree

    big man


    Will you be a big enough man to admit you are wrong.

  9. Medixstiff

    You missed a word:

    "As nbn™ has been directed to use HFC by Australia's COALITION government, we are left to conclude by implication that the government's policy is prescient."

    Also I bet if they had given us an extra slip of paper asking to tick the technologies as a taxpayer that we wanted installed by NBN Co. at the recent Federal election, I expect the Lib's. would get an unwelcome response considering the cost of FTTP versus FTTN, FTTB or even FTTdp in which the user pays the power bill too.

  10. Daniel Voyce

    NBN Timing is a joke

    We are literally having to move offices because we cant even get a reasonably priced stable internet of a high enough speed to perform a 720p webinar, the only option we have is a microwave connection link that will cost 1000's to install and a bucket a month! NBN isn't due in near the office area for another 2 years (Zone 1 of Melbourne Metro).

    Installing an already obsolete technology isn't big and it isn't clever.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are considering making it faster?

    That's about as useful as telling the waiter at the restaurant I'm thinking about having the fish or the steak.

    NBN - tell us what we're going to get and when we're going to get it. Everything else is marketing smoke and dreams.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019