NBN has revealed the 17 suburbs where Optus and Telstra have begun hybrid fibre-coaxial construction trials, ahead of a March product release.
The construction trials are separate from the 300-premise pilot program currently underway on the Optus HFC network in Redcliffe and Scarborough in Queensland.
The trials are designed to allow Optus and Telstra to test the construction processes for lead-ins to premises passed by their HFC networks where a customer doesn’t currently have a connection to the network.
There are also some network upgrades underway in the construction trial areas, in the expectation that this will help accelerate the rollout of the NBN following the launch of HFC services.
An NBN spokesperson told iTnews that unlike the pilot program, premises connected on the construction trial cannot buy NBN services at this stage.
“The HFC construction trials taking place are giving NBN and our partners important experience in developing the construction techniques we will be using to connect end-users to the NBN HFC network, most particularly in areas like multi-dwelling units,” the spokesperson said.
The trials are currently underway in parts of Arncliffe, Bexley North, Rockdale, Kingsgrove, Carramar, Panania, Padstow and Emu Plains in NSW.
In Victoria, there are trials involving select residents in the Melbourne suburbs of Coburg North, Preston, Essendon, Newport and Wheelers Hill.
In Queensland, in addition to the pilot program areas, construction is underway in Slacks Creek in Brisbane and Merrimac on the Gold Coast, along with Ipswich and Leichardt.
HFC sandpit trials for RSPs
NBN has also begun sandpit trials of HFC services for retail service providers.
The sandpit trials allow RSPs to test connecting their networks and equipment to NBN’s HFC network.
“NBN is delivering one of the first open access wholesale HFC networks in the global market so is keen to work closely with all of our partners to help deliver the best possible end-user experience,” a spokesperson said.
In August last year, the competition regulator gave the green light to Optus to transfer its HFC cable network to NBN, two months after similar approval was handed to Telstra for its copper and HFC networks.