NBN staff nickname for HFC upgrade is “Operation Clusterfuck”, says Conroy


blog There are many of us who have our doubts about using the HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus as part of the National Broadband Network. Not only are they likely to suffer long-term capacity issues that will force them to be upgraded further, but it is well-known that Optus especially has failed to invest in its HFC network over the past decade to keep it functional. The NBN company has nothing short of an absolute job of work to get the networks up to scratch.

According to Labor Senator Stephen Conroy, even the NBN company’s own staff have their doubts about the upgrade project. In the NBN Senate Select Committee yesterday, Conroy told NBN chief executive Bill Morrow that he was aware NBN staff had given the HFC project a rather unsavoury nickname. The Sydney Morning Herald and other outlets (we recommend you click here for the SMH article) have reported Conroy said:

“I know the internal nickname you’ve got for the HFC rollout, and it’s not fit to actually describe on the public record: Operation Cluster … something.”

Personally I find this entirely unsurprising. This is precisely the kind of label which engineers of any kind like to apply to projects which have issues. It is the want of an engineer to call a spade a spade … or, when it comes to the HFC cable upgrade project, a dog a dog. These networks haven’t seen significant investment for some years.

It’s no surprise that there will be many gremlins in the back of the closet … and with all the work that the NBN company is putting into the FTTx component of its network, it’s also no surprise that the company is struggling with a completely different set of networks in terms of the HFC.


    • MtM really is Operation Charlie Foxtrot as it’s a complete disaster on every meaningful level!

    • That is what I do already. NBN Co = Quigley era and MTM = Malcom Turnbulls Mess aka NBN™ or whatever it was changed too.

  1. because the buyback was uncosted and tacked onto their plan to defend Foxtel. HFC is a faulty abomination that just goes down for days randomly when it pleases. Telstra do not even have to notify you of problems or when it will be back up. A disgrace and abomination that should have all gone to the recycling.

  2. Scarey thing is thanks to MT we’re stuck with it for 10 years. It’ll be really sad if it ends up being cheaper to overbuild and just leave in maintenance mode for Foxtel :(

    • That is what I recommend depending on what the maintenance requirement for Foxtel is it might very well be cheaper to overbuild.

      • I admit I have no idea how much it costs to maintain, but you’d think if they were going to overbuild they might be better off making an offer to get Foxtel off HFC altogether.

        There seems to be an assumption that the Telstra-Foxtel deal is sacred, but it’s all about the $$$. Pay them enough (or give them enough multicast bandwidth) that Foxtel isn’t any worse off and they won’t care a bit. It’s all just digital video anyway.

    • Well Simon could be longer as NBN has to keep it running as long as Foxtel wants it.

  3. ..let us all heil the baby-boomers who’s parents actually died and were maimed for this country !!

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