NBN launches HFC pilot

Hybrid fibre-coaxial trial launched in Redcliffe, Queensland

NBN has launched a hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) end-user pilot, the company announced today.

"Our HFC planning, design and construction trials are also progressing well and we expect to connect customers from mid-2016," NBN CEO Bill Morrow said today during the company's Q1 results call.

"Last week we commenced our HFC pilot in Redcliffe, Queensland, a great step towards commercial launch next year," the CEO said.

The pilot involves around 300 households and four service providers and will test the connection process and customer experience, NBN said in a statement.

"With HFC users now in trial, this is the first results call where all our fixed line technologies have end users connected," Morrow said.

"This along with our first fully integrated corporate plan, a public three year construction plan and continued good progress across all measures gives us confidence in our ability to hit our full year targets."

HFC is the only fixed-line technology that forms part of the 'multi-technology mix' National Broadband Network that is yet to launch.

NBN formally launched its fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) product in September.

Under NBN's current planning, HFC is set to be the second most common technology used to connect to the network.

Some 4 million premises are set to be connected to the National Broadband Network via HFC, representing 34 per cent of the total NBN rollout, compared to 38 per cent via FTTN and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB), and 20 per cent via FTTP.

NBN's latest corporate plan envisages 0.6 per cent of premises being connected via fixed wireless and 0.4 per cent via satellite.

NBN has struck agreements with Telstra and Optus to progressively take ownership of the telcos' HFC networks.

NBN intends to upgrade the HFC networks, eventually supporting the DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

NBN today reported an EBITDA loss of $336 million for Q1.

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