Australia - National Broadband Network - HFC Networks


The HFC networks of Telstra and Optus’s are being deployed as part of the NBN, so reducing the overall cost of the project’s rollout. However, nbn’s Corporate Plan for 2017 envisages greater use of FTTN in HFC areas, given the mounting cost of connecting premises with HFC.

NBN expects to be one of first operators outside of the US to commercially launch DOCSIS 3.1 technology as an upgrade path for the HFC network.

The DOCSIS 3.1 standard, could vastly increase the speed of that HFC network footprint and at a much lower capital cost than deploying FTTP.

Nbn is expected to operate services based on the DOCSIS3.1 at the end of 2018, capable of delivering data at 1Gb/s. It is also actively looking at other cable networking advances such as full-duplex DOCSIS technology, which is capable of 10Gbps symmetrical speeds.

The nbn has confirmed Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point (FTTdp), also known as Fibre-to-the-curb, would be deployed to a potential footprint of up to 700,000 premises across the country. The nbn is abandoning plans to reuse existing Optus HFC assets, with the exception of the already launched network in Redcliffe, Queensland.

The expanded FTTC footprint fills the void left by NBN’s decision not to use the Optus cable assets, although it will still be using Telstra’s more extensive HFC network as planned. NBN is however still aiming for an HFC footprint of between 2.5 and 3.2 million premises by 2020, using the Telstra assets.

This report provides an overview of HFC networks, including the status of network upgrades as well as data on subscribers and market statistics.

Key developments:

FTTN, HFC; CableLabs DOCSIS3.1, Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point (FTTdp), Optus HFC network, NBN transition developments, fibre broadband subscriber base

Companies mentioned in this report:

AUSTAR, Optus, Foxtel, Telstra, Neighbourhood Cable, TransACT.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market Overview
  • 3. Technology
    • 3.1 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC)
    • 3.2 The DOCSIS standard
    • 3.3 The next development for DOCSIS
    • 3.4 Can Cable Networks Deliver a Gigabit?
    • 3.5 HFC DOCSIS vs. fibre
  • 4. NBN - HFC Program
    • 4.1 Statistical overview
    • 4.2 Overall plan
    • 4.3 FTTN and FTTB as infills for HFC
    • 4.4 FTTdp to be used instead of Optus HFC network
    • 4.5 Arris appointed supplier of the network
    • 4.6 Roll out plan
    • 4.7 HFC pilot in Queensland
  • 5. Market statistics and estimates
  • 6. Telstra
    • 6.1 Background information
    • 6.2 Network upgrades
  • 7. Optus
    • 7.1 Overview
  • 8. IiNet/TransACT
  • 9. BES/e-wire
  • 10. HFC Network Darwin
  • 11. Industry analysis
    • 11.1 DOCSIS3.0 -v- DOCSIS3.1
    • 11.2 Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS)
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – HFC Roll out plan 2016 - 2018
  • Table 2 – HFC Current Roll out status – 2016 - 2017
  • Table 3 - Weighted average cost per HFC premise (rounded nearest $100)
  • Table 4 – NBN capital expenditure – FY2015 - 2017
  • Table 5 – HFC- Market Share - by Provider – June 2017
  • Table 6 – Cable broadband subscribers by major operator and annual change – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 7 – Optus on-net broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2017

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Number of pages 13

Status Current

Last updated 25 Aug 2017
Update History

Analyst: Phil Harpur

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