NBN Co plans four-month HFC blitz

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NBN Co plans four-month HFC blitz

Releasing up to 200,000 premises a month to sale.

NBN Co is planning to release just shy of 200,000 HFC premises a month from April to June this year, purging a great deal of the footprint that is currently listed as unserviceable.

The company raised the prospect of a “significant release” of optimised premises over the first half of this calendar year in a financial briefing on Monday.

However, CEO Stephen Rue put some numbers around the planned release schedule during a senate estimates hearing on Tuesday night.

“I think we will see around about 800,000 HFC premises being released from February to June,” Rue said.

“We haven’t done too much this month so it will be 800,000 less what we’ve done, so maybe 750,000 from now.

“I expect that the months of April, May and June will be higher so they will be not quite 200,000 a month but just under that number for those months.”

The network builder has been battling to clear a backlog of HFC connections caused by a near nine-month sales freeze that started in December 2017.

The freeze was called to give NBN Co time to improve the performance of already-sold connections. The company also continued building out more of the HFC network during this time.

Since last April, NBN Co has gradually released the frozen HFC premises back to retail service providers for sale.

Since July 2018, it says it has hit a rate of 100,000 premises being re-released, and it now says that all premises caught up in the initial freeze will be saleable by the end of this month.

However, its insistence on continuing the HFC build over this time means the number of HFC premises deemed unserviceable remains high.

With the planned push through to the end of this financial year, that number should finally back off, however.

“Some [HFC premises] will come in [to the unserviceable premises number] but more will come out,” Rue said.

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