Insight: HFC is the gap in all of Labor’s FTTP NBN promises


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  1. “or that Labor is planning to” reveal this once the election is called. You see, there IS a third option ;)

    Because you can be sure that turnbull is trying to work out how to fix his mess, especially once Labor start reminding punters who killed the NBN in the first place. Why would they give him any ideas?

  2. HFC is still a hole in the government’s policy, too. If it works enough, then Scenario 4 isn’t too bad.


    • Trouble is, pre NBN world, those with HFC had better connections than those without, so it does make sense to use it while rolling out FttX to everyone else THEN worrying about HFC.

      If someone is 10% of the way to a target, and someone is 40%, you should prioritise helping the 10% first. Thats pretty much all that needs to happen with HFC – use it until theres time to replace it, because in the short term they start off from a better position.

      Having said that, there are always disclaimers and times where it doesnt meet expectations. But thats a support and maintenance issue, not a technology issue. HFC is fine for the next few years, after that, we just dont know.

    • But it can be reliable and relatively fast. Personally, I don’t know a single person with stability / drop-out issues on cable. That’s not to say they don’t exist, but considering I have two immediate family members and several close friends who have had serious ADSL drop-out issues, I can say in my experience HFC is much better than ADSL.

      I think using it as an interim solution isn’t the worst idea in the world. At least you’re not spending $30billion on a whole new network that can’t easily be upgraded to meet future needs. Plus it’ll bring in some revenue for the NBN, to help offset the capital costs.

      And when you’ve finished rolling out fibre to those parts of the country that don’t have HFC, well, then you’ll have some highly trained and experienced FttP installers looking for work to do, and will have figured out the cheapest way to deploy FttP…

      • But they’re talking about expanding it from the current 1 million to 3.5 million premises. That’s effectively building a whole new HFC network. It’s hard to see how that can make sense.

        • No it’s connecting it to the two thirds of dwellings it passes who never got foxtel…

      • And by the way I have a Optus HFC connection which is very reliable, although not particularly fast.

  4. I personally think that Labor is ignoring the HFC because at this stage it’s 99% vaporware!

    • its also what those folks will be stuck with for the next 10 years due to the Foxtel agreements in the contracts.

  5. I expect the ALP policy will actually be pretty moderate.

    They’ll mostly stick to the MtM model, and maybe adjust the FttN numbers down a bit (except for FttB/dp stuff which they’d stick with I think), and bump the FttP up a bit (“where it makes sense to do so”). HFC will probably stay “as is” in the current MtM plan.

    That way they still stick to Bills promise of “more” fibre, and politically it’s “safe, steady hands”, as it’d be pretty hard for Mitch/Malcolm to attack, as it’s basically their own policy.

    • They’ll attack whatever the ALP does.
      It’s a serious failing in the way the system currently works. The opposition are supposed to be holding the government to account. But that doesn’t happen when the government knows they will be attacked regardless of what they do.

    • If they will attack over <$200m of coffee machines and then proceed to overspend by $26b, they can and will attack literally any nonsense.

      • If they will attack over <$200m of coffee machines and then proceed to overspend by $26b, they can and will attack literally any nonsense.

        $200m?? Thats a lot of coffee machines!! :o)

        Sure you didn’t mean $170,000?

  6. I think it’s also worth mentioning that it would be hard for Labor to start making policy given the secrecy around nbn since 2013. It’s a bit hard to decide what to do with the thing if they don’t even know the breakdown between HFC/FTTN/FTTB connections currently serviceable/contracted.

  7. Given that Labor will not be privy to the details of the contracts that have been signed for the short/medium term they can only really play the HFC issue with a straight bat.

    Where I think Labor could really distinguish themselves in regards to sentiment in the electorate is in establishing the rules by which NBN becomes a stable provider of infrastructure in the long term. I think most people are aware of the shortcomings of various efforts at privatisation and a better model is required for efficient provision of infrastructure. We don’t need a bloated GBE with poor service to customers (even if they are wholesale only) and we also don’t need an effective tax in private profits on what should be the key growth generator of our income in the decades ahead.

    Issues like the number of POIs forced by the ACCC should be reviewed. That decision was sheer lunacy – they asked they large players what they would like and then gave it to them. In addition the whole funding model should be reviewed. There is no reason to stick to $30B of government funding or whatever the number is. If it is cheaper to use government issued bonds for the whole project, then do that. If it is cheaper to use a mix of private funding and government bonds then do that. Whatever the case is the focus should be on the best infrastructure at the lowest price with a focus on the long term.

    Stick to that and I think Labor will run circles around the LNP on this issue. We already know how Malcolm takes care of his mates. Telstra has benefited massively courtesy of its connections to the LNP silver spoon network. Privatisation of the NBN is the next round in that gravy train and it definitely doesn’t have the Australian peoples interests as the highest priority.

  8. All Telstra 3 Shares Share Float Shares sold / dumped were and are officially rescinded on and since the 29 February 2016.

    The Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Bligh Turnbull MP was officially served the ‘Creditor’s Irrevocable Certificate of Rescindment’ as is jurisdictionally duly seal and is also duly sealed by the Commonwealth as being Public document No. MFAF-JM-23056.

    But contrary to legal obligations on the Hon. Prime Minister he and the Coalition Government have not yet notified the MARKETS or INVESTORS that the Commonwealth must now immediately fully buy-back all Telstra 3 Shares as the unsigned off purported Telstra 3 Prospectus has also been rescinded as it additionally is false, misleading and or deceptive as it fails to disclose that the T3 Shares were and are encumbered from prior to the Future Fund being formed in April 2006.

    See: for more information.

  9. Thanks Rizz,

    The answer is yes it is indeed credible, and the jurisdictionally duly sealed commercial instruments do constitutionally and validly speak for themselves. But to find and or to get any credible officers of the Commonwealth to do their jobs is where credibility is lacking.

    So the real questions ought to be why have we not yet had any honourable, honest and or any credible Government’s of the day for some decades now and why do they aid and abet each other when in power contrary to their talk when in opposition to each other?

    Because both Labour and Coalition Governments when in power have each kept throwing many millions up many millions of wasted tax payer’s funds to keep avoiding and concealing the truth.

    Furthermore what is ready to explode in the media in due course is why did the Howard Coalition Government strategically misuse their paid share float competing and conflicting loyalty legal advisory firm’s people to wilfully stack them into strategic positions to misrun the ASX, ASIC & of the ACCC to keep-on tactically concealing from the VOTERS, the MARKETS & FROM INVESTORS how and why the Howard Coalition Government as trusted officers of the Commonwealth did collusively, wilfully and scandalously engage in Serious White-Collar-Crimes of Insider Trading and Market Manipulations Frauds during their Telstra one, two and three Share Sale Price Fixing Frauds?

  10. The unfortunate thing in all of this is that because Turnbull has locked in all his contracts there is probably not a lot Labour are going to be able to change initially without massive compensation costs and waste of taxpayer dollars. Add to that they have zero information on any financials that have all been clouded in secrecy under the LNP. You can bet too when the ALP get the paperwork on the state of the budget prior to the election there will still be zero information on the NBN.

  11. Can they upgrade backhaul to HFC in a fashion that will benefit the future FTTP in those areas ? If so they could do this as a first step to FTTP but in the meantime actually offer 100mbps plans that sustain those speeds at all times of day. Really, with this stuff being acquired by the coalition Labor should be given some slack, in their absence from.government the comms of the day have nabbed old technology in astounding proportion. Other in comments cited HFC drop outs , can anyone comment about whether regular upkeep of conduits would address this ?

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