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.