When the government announced its highly expensive revised NBN plan, there was a huge question mark over the use of HFC networks. Some of those questions have now been answered, at least in part.
Image: G Meyer
Simon Hackett — ex-Internode/iiNet, now on the NBN board, yadda yadda, has written an interesting explanation of the plans for the HFC network and where it sits in the broader new NBN plan.
I’m pleased to note that even he states that
“I haven’t written this because I’ve stopped believing that the best ultimate answer wherever possible is Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) – because it still is.”
And I’m still uneasy given that there’s an explicit understanding in the new NBN/MTM framework that speeds aren’t guaranteed for any end user, so any discussion of speeds is still open, but it’s an interesting counterpoint to some of my concerns.
I’d still much prefer a full FTTP rollout, especially given the statement that the existing plan is only expected to be upgrade-proof for up to “five years” according to interim CEO Ziggy Switkowksi, but this at least shows that there’s someone on the NBN board who’s considering the end-user issues. I’m still no clearer on issues of competition, or if we’ll be paying for HFC upgrades just so Optus and Telstra can monopolise those bits of the HFC NBN, for example.
It will — as it has been for a number of years now — be fascinating to see how this all works out.
So go and read it now!
And a tip of the hat to Craig for pointing out Simon’s post to me.