HFC NBN customers won’t find out their fate until next year

Alex Kidman 11 December 2017 NEWS

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If you've been left in the lurch due to the cable NBN pause, you're going to have to wait even longer simply to find out when work will recommence.

NBN recently announced that it would "temporarily pause" new HFC activations following a raft of customer issues, with NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow stating that the expectation was that it would introduce no overall delay to the 2020 timeframe for completion of the NBN project.

That still left any consumer within the HFC build footprint somewhat in the dark when it came to likely new install or build dates.

At the time, NBN Co only stated that it would update customers "in the coming weeks" as to their likely new update details. Until that time, if you were in an HFC area, the old build dates were still present on the NBN website, even though they were no longer accurate.

I happen to be in an HFC build area, and checking over the weekend showed the same April–May 2018 build date that had been in place prior to the HFC pause, which meant that I knew it wasn't accurate anymore.

The good news here is that NBN Co has updated its HFC rollout information this morning, at least for my address, but most likely for all affected addresses under the HFC footprint. The bad news is that it doesn't tell consumers all that much more except that they'll have to wait. When I checked this morning, the NBN website informed me that:

"Network upgrades to improve your customer experience will add an average of 6–9 months to your HFC connection. Please check back for an update in February 2018."

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The old dates are entirely gone, so all I know is that I may know something new about my HFC connection at some point in 2018.

This isn't going to be a small problem for NBN, either, with the eventual build plan calling for 3 million premises in Australia to connect to the network via HFC.

Prior to the pause, NBN estimated it had marked 1 million of those premises as ready to connect, although only around 370,000 had done so. That leaves at least 2 million premises and end-users in the dark until at least early next year.

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