NBN starts HFC pilot in Queensland

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NBN starts HFC pilot in Queensland

300 homes, four service providers test the experience.

NBN has started piloting hybrid fibre-coaxial technology with end users under a 300-premise program in Queensland.

The commencement of the pilot follows NBN's detailed breakdown of the areas designated to receive HFC in its new three-year plan, released last month.

Today NBN said 300 homes and four service providers in Redcliffe, Queensland would test the HFC connection process and customer experience.

Around four million homes and businesses - around one third of the national rollout - are planned to receive HFC.

NBN is expected to release HFC as a commercial product to wholesale partners early next year.

The network builder signed new definitive agreements with Optus and Telstra for HFC last December.

In February this year it inked a $400 million deal with Arris Group to upgrade Telstra and Optus' HFC networks for use in the NBN.

Arris was directed to install new cable modem termination systems (CMTS) and replace retransmission gear in 230 exchanges over the next three years, and provide a roadmap for future migration to Docsis 3.1.

The announcement of the HFC pilot was made as part of NBN's first quarter results briefing today.

The network builder brought in revenue of $73 million for the three months ended September 30, compared to $29 million in the same period last year. 

Total operating expenses jumped to $409 million, compared to $281 million in Q1 last year, as the rollout picked up pace.

Capital expenditure was $1 billion, up significantly from $677 million in the comparative period as it invested more into the HFC and fibre-to-the-node aspects of the rollout.

The network builder's total loss for the period came in at $587 million, as opposed to $414 million in Q1 last year.

NBN CFO Stephen Rue said the organisation's biggest costs related to the disconnection and migration of users from Telstra and Optus' networks.

NBN's average revenue per user is currently $43, an 11 percent increase on the same period last year.

At September 30, it had 610,712 activated premises on the network, the majority of which were on fibre-to-the-premise. Most active end users have taken up to 25/5 Mbps speed tier.

NBN currently has 1.38 million premises ready for service.

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