Tiny model house next to telecommunications cablenbn announced today that it will 'pause' the rollout of NBN HFC connections. This is because nbn has identified issues in the HFC rollout that need remediation, and will be taking a more careful approach that should result in improved customer experience. ACCAN welcomes this approach.

Consumers in HFC areas may be wondering how this announcement will affect them. We have identified five different situations that consumers may find themselves in. See below for information on how consumers in HFC areas may be affected.

How will this affect consumers?

  • Consumers already connected using nbn HFC may notice a better performing service following the remediation work. Any consumers currently connected to HFC services who believe they are not getting the level of service expected should contact their provider. They should ask their provider to investigate the issue and confirm whether nbn’s proposed remediation will improve the service. Consumers with poor performing services should discuss with their provider changing to a lower speed plan or reduced monthly prices.

  • Consumers who have placed an order for nbn HFC should not be affected, as the connection should still take place as currently scheduled.

  • Consumers who are still using legacy services (for example, ADSL, Telstra or Optus HFC) in an nbn HFC ready area but have not ordered a service yet, will not be able to order an nbn HFC service for up to nine months. Because of this, consumers nearing the end of their internet and phone contracts might consider switching to a month to month plan until they are able to switch to the nbn. Consumers should not be worried about being disconnected from their current services as there are processes to extend the disconnection dates.

  • Consumers moving into an nbn HFC area should be able to connect to a legacy service (either ADSL, Telstra or Optus HFC). This work should not restrict their access to a non-nbn service.

  • Consumers who were expecting nbn HFC to be available in the coming months should expect a delay. Legacy services will continue to be available. We expect that revised dates for nbn HFC services will be on the nbn website shortly.

Why has nbn done this?

nbn has given us two reasons. Firstly that a small number of customers are experiencing ‘drop outs’ in their HFC service. They are attributing this to hardware that needs replacing on the HFC cable as well as interference from pay TV and other services that will be turned off when the migration to nbn is complete.

nbn has also said it is rectifying some process issues with the way the connection orders are managed. We look forward to improvements in this area as this has been one of the highest sources of consumer complaints.

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