iiNet’s NBN HFC trials will soon kick off in Queensland


news iiNet has announced that it will soon be starting trials of HFC cable as part of the NBN rollout, adding that they will “bring faster, more reliable Internet to Australians faster”.

Australia’s HFC (hybrid fibre-coaxial) network was previously used by telecommunications companies, such as Telstra and Optus, largely to provide pay TV and cable Internet services.

However, it has since been bought by the NBN as part of its mix of technologies being rolled out to avoid the expense of a full fibre network. The NBN Co plans to upgrade the infrastructure allowing it service more premises in the existing area.

Adding HFC cable to the NBN rollout also means more Retail Service Providers (RSPs) are now able to access the network, which was previously only available to “select retailers”, iiNet said.

Now iiNet is preparing to trial the HFC product in “some select homes”.

“Our aim is to test out the product and its performance and get a feel for the customer experience before bringing out our range of Cable products,” the firm said in a blog post.

iiNet’s HFC trial will kick off in Redcliffe, Queensland, where the telco has the capacity to trial 8 homes falling within the footprint of the former Optus cable network.

The second area, where iiNet will trial 12 homes, is Ocean Reef in Western Australia, using cable previously owned by Telstra.

iiNet said one of its main goals for the trials is to test “various forms of connection”.

Only some of the trial homes will have HFC infrastructure already installed, it said, and not every home that will be receiving NBN cable was previously eligible for Optus or Telstra cable, despite being within the network footprint.

“We want to make sure we have the best possible understanding and know-how to get these premises connected swiftly. We also want to test the compatibility of our products and hardware with the Cable service to ensure they are ready to handle the ultrafast connection speeds,” iiNet said.

The speed of the connections with be another consideration.

“Anything we feel isn’t up to standard can then be modified or changed completely to make sure we’re delivering the top notch service we pride ourselves on,” explained the firm.

iiNet aims to start offering commercial NBN HFC cable plans soon after the trials, and expressed confidence that “everyone in a Cable footprint will want to connect”.

“Cable can support our suite of speed offerings of up to 100/40Mbps and for some premises, most of the equipment will already be installed,” the firm added.

According to, the NBN Co completed its HFC trials in February 2016 (also in Redcliffe) and plans that its network will cover around 3.6 million premises.

The site added that the NBN is also expected to operate the upgraded HFC cable services based on the DOCSIS3.1 during 2017, which will be capable of delivering data at 1Gb/s.

Image credit: CeBIT Australia, Creative Commons


  1. Anyone know whats actually entailed in cutting over cable from Telstra/Optus to the NBN? You’d think it would be fairly simple, but going by the roll out plans/dates there seems to be a fair bit to it?

    • The NBN will be run over the same physical cable as the existing Telstra/Optus internet service. While Telstra/Optus coexists providing internet over the cable (purportedly for around 18 months after NBN HFC launches) NBN is being allocated only small portion of the spectrum. Downstream its 128MHz on Telstra (813Mbps) and 64MHz on Optus (406Mbps); upstream both get around 20MHz (82Mbps). The majority of the spectrum remains allocated for Pay TV and related services; the internet/data allocations only increase to 192MHz & 45MHz after the coexistence period ends.

      In case it wasn’t clear, these numbers represent the entire bandwidth available to NBN HFC customers sharing a node in the post-launch coexistence period; during this period NBNCo is targeting 900 users per node :( Huge congestion / oversubscription issues for the foreseeable future unfortunately…

  2. DOCSIS 3.1 and 1Gbit a second!

    But, we don’t need those speeds, right? That is what we keep getting told as a reason why we don’t need FTTP because we don’t need the speeds it provides?

    • But, we don’t need those speeds, right? That is what we keep getting told as a reason why we don’t need FTTP because we don’t need the speeds it provides?

      Indeed. 25mbps is more than enough they told us.

      • Every time I poke Richard about it, after he inevitably posts a link to websites spruiking speed increases over HFC, he inevitably dodges the question about why he has claimed we don’t need the speeds FTTP provides, and yet happily quotes about those same speeds being delivered over HFC.

  3. I am on optus cable in this area, wondering if i could be become a trail home. There plans would be certainly cheaper than m2m optus.

    Can you have 2 hfc connections with 2 different RSP? It would be good to see them running side by side.

  4. hang on. They are overbuilding FTTN in Geelong to dismantle theirs which is far superior to Telstra’s network. So more mixed technology rubbish ?

    Still people at the back can only get 30mbps I bet.

    1gbps is a load of shit. Not on cable and step back a bit, it would depend where you are positioned. IT would be on demand and not consistent , only one person could get it and no doubt heavy congestion still involved. They don’t have Foxtel taking up their copper though it seems.

  5. It’s going to be interesting to see how well HFC handles congestion with more users on the network. That aside, I’m looking forward to better than 2MBit upload… one day. After H2 2018 when my cable area is scheduled to be commenced… maybe.

  6. Wait a sec, nbn is due to launch commercial HFC services in Redcliffe in 6 days, and iiNet is only now preparing to do a trial? So Redcliffe HFC customers will not be able to sign up to iiNet when nbn do their launch? Could this MTM approach be any slower/less coordinated in its implementation?

  7. Wow… 8 homes in Redcliffe… that’s really going to test the reliability and performance of the HFC isn’t it :|

    12 homes in Ocean Reef… 50% more… guess that one is really gonna give the performance aspect of HFC a thrashing!

  8. Anyone know what actually entail in cutting over from Telestra / Optus to NBN you think il would BE
    FAIRLY SIMPLE, BUT GOING BY ROLLOUT PLANS / dates there seems to bead air bit to it.
    Maybe NBNCO do a hybrid fibre coaxial cable rollout for test run in the city of Bayswater
    In a local retirement Village so some of us, senior’s can get use to the 21st century technology
    So come on Bayswater city council.

  9. Sweet, once they start rolling it for real I’ll be able to get a 30ms ping in Quakeworld!

Comments are closed.