Category: Uncategorised

NBN pricing changes sees customer activations soar

CRN, 11 May, 2018 – NBN Co saw a surge in activations and revenue for its third quarter, which it attributed to optimisation work on its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network and its changes to wholesale pricing offers.

The network provider had a total of 3.7 million activations for the period ending 31 March, up from 2 million in the same period last year. Revenue meanwhile came in at $1.4 billion, up 112 percent from $665 million in the period ending 31 March 2017.

The company also said that some 6.5 million premises were ready to connect to its broadband access network, with 7.5 premises ready for service.

“These results demonstrate the progress we’re making on our top three priorities, which are to complete the build by 2020, improve the end user experience, and deliver a modest return on the taxpayer’s investment,” NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow said.

“We’ve shown stable performance against our long-term goals on the build side and significant improvements on customer experience.”

In December, NBN Co offered a temporary credit to retailers to buy 50 percent more connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) per user, while reducing the price of the access virtual circuit (AVC) for 50Mbps services. This allowed customers on the 25Mbps plan to upgrade to 50Mbps for free.

This resulted to a six-fold growth in 50Mbps subscriptions, going from 158,959 at the end of December to 989,360 subscribers on 31 March. The plan now also accounts for 26 percent of all NBN plans.

The company said this change also contributed to reducing average bandwidth congestion across its network from six hours per week last year to 18 minutes. The network can also support higher speeds during peak hours.

“Our monthly progress report demonstrates that our customer experience program is working, and we know there’s more to do to get this right,” Morrow said.

“The NBN Co team, delivery partners and RSPs are working quickly to make improvements across the industry for a better experience for all.”

The company also relaunched its HFC network on 27 April following the launch of the fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) network the day before. NBN paused HFC rollouts in November due to customer experience issues.

Bill Morrow announced last month his intentions to step down as chief executive at the end of this year, and NBN Co has now started to look for a replacement.

(2018), NBN pricing changes sees customer activations soar, CRN, viewed 11 April 2018, <https://www.crn.com.au/news/nbn-activations-and-revenues-surge-in-third-quarter-490755>.

OAIC sees 63 data breach notifications in first six weeks

ITNEWS, 11 April, 2018 – Australian organisations reported 63 data breaches in the first six weeks of mandatory notification rules coming into effect, with human error listed as the most common cause.

By contrast, when organisations only had to voluntarily reveal breaches, they only self-reported 114 instances for the entire 2016–17 financial year.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) today released the first quarterly report since the mandatory data breach notification scheme came into effect on February 22.

The report notes that eight breach notifications were received in the six days in which the scheme operated in its launch month.

A further 55 data breach notifications were received by the OAIC in March.

Health services providers were responsible for the single largest number of notifications (15), followed by businesses that supply “legal, accounting and management services”.

Organisations in the finance, education and not-for-profit sectors were also implicated.

“The majority of data breaches reported to the OAIC involved ‘contact information’, such as an individual’s name, email address, home address or phone number,” the OAIC said.

“This is distinct from ‘identity information’, which refers to information that is used to confirm an individual’s identity, such as driver licence numbers and passport numbers.

“Entities also reported data breaches that involved individuals’ tax file numbers, financial details, such as bank account or credit card numbers, as well as health information.”

The OAIC said 78 percent of notifications it received impacted “contact information”, compared to 24 percent that exposed “identity information”.

“Health information” was exposed in 33 percent of the cases and “financial details” in 30 percent of cases.

The majority of notified breaches – 50 percent – were the result of human error, although malicious or criminal actors are believed to have been behind a further 44 percent of incidents.

Just under three-quarters of eligible data breaches (73 percent) “involved the personal information of under 100 individuals”.

Acting Australian Information Commissioner and acting Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk, said in a statement that “the transparency provided by the NDB scheme reinforces Australian Government agencies’ and businesses’ accountability for personal information protection and encourages a higher standard of security.”

“Over time, the quarterly reports of the eligible data breach notifications received by the OAIC will support improved understanding of the trends in eligible data breaches and promote a proactive approach to addressing security risks,” Falk said.

(2018), OAIC sees 63 data breach notifications in first six weeks, ITNews, viewed 11 April 2018, <https://www.itnews.com.au/news/oaic-sees-63-data-breach-notifications-in-first-six-weeks-488720>.

ACCC reports better than expected results from broadband tests, but finds some dire downloads

COMPUTERWORLD, 29 March, 2018 – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says that the first report from its broadband monitoring program has revealed better than expected performance from NBN services sold by Australia’s biggest telcos. However, the report also revealed that around 5 per cent of the tests run on NBN services failed to reach at least 50 per cent of households’ maximum plan speed.

The ACCC said that fibre to the node (FTTN) connections that could not support the maximum plan speed paid for by households were a factor that brought down average performance overall.

The report, compiled by SamKnows using the broadband connections of volunteer households, stated that the “poorer performance on services not meeting 50% of the maximum plan speed is likely being caused by limitations in the access network, rather than congestion during the busy hours and ISPs’ provisioning of their networks”.

The ACCC has announced a series of court-enforceable undertakings from Vocus, iiNet, Internode, TPG, Telstra and Optus after the retail service providers (RSPs) sold FTTN and fibre to the basement (FTTB) services to customers whose lines couldn’t handle the maximum speeds they were paying for.

SamKnows’ initial findings report covers the period 4 February to 5 March. During that time some 61,000 tests were run using hardware probes installed in households with NBN connections.

Overall, the tests revealed that NBN services sold by iiNet, Optus, Teltra and TPG delivered 80-90 per cent of the maximum plan speeds during the peak usage period of 7-11pm.
“These first test results are better than expected, and indicate the majority of internet service providers are now delivering very close to their maximum plan speeds,” ACCC chairperson Rod Sims said.

However, he added: “The results for some types of services are still lower than we would like, but the overall results go against the current wisdom that the majority of consumers and businesses are having issues with NBN speeds.”

“NBN Co is pleased to see the results from the ACCC broadband speed testing program reflect the initiatives we have recently implemented to improve customer experience,” an NBN spokesperson said.

“The report reiterates the positive impact of our new wholesale pricing promotion, which has relieved bandwidth congestion on the network from an average of around four hours to 12 minutes per week.”

“The ACCC findings also confirm the majority of retail services over the NBN network are delivering maximum speeds during the busy hours,” the spokesperson said.

Out of the four retail service providers named, TPG took the top spot for performance. On average, the RSP delivered download speeds that were 90.7 per cent of plan maximum during the busy evening period. It was followed by its subsidiary iiNet (88.6 percent), Telstra (88.1 per cent) and Optus (80.7 per cent).

During the peak usage period, NBN 100Mbps services delivered an average download speed of 87.97Mbps across all RSPs. NBN 50Mbps services had an average of 44.34Mbps, and 25Mbps services an average of 21.52Mbps. ADSL services tested as part of the program delivered an average of 7.99Mbps.

“We know that there are customers who are not getting the speeds that are being advertised,” Sims said.

“We hope that the transparency and the regularity of our broadband speed reports will encourage all retailers to ensure their customers are getting what they are paying for.”
Earlier this week the ACCC announced it will release more detailed quarterly reports on the state of the NBN wholesale market. However, it revealed at this stage it would not include details about how much capacity individual telcos are purchasing.

In addition to download and upload speeds, SamKnows is testing a range of other metrics, including latency, jitter, packet loss, DNS performance and website load speeds.
Results from those tests are yet to be released. Future reports from the program are expected to include additional information, such as a comparison between metro and regional performance.

(2018), ACCC reports better than expected results from broadband tests, but finds some dire downloads, Computerworld, viewed 29 March 2018, <https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/635521/accc-reports-better-than-expected-results-from-broadband-tests-but-finds-some-dire-downloads/>.

ACCC prepares to set auction limits for key 5G spectrum

COMPUTERWORLD, 21 March, 2018 – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has written to industry stakeholders seeking input on allocation limits for the upcoming auction of spectrum in the 3.6GHz band.

Spectrum in the 3.6GHz band is expected to play a key role in telcos’ rollout of 5G services in Australia.

“The ACCC understands the 3.6 GHz band will be utilised for wide-area broadband deployments, notably mobile broadband and fixed wireless,” the ACCC said in a letter calling for input on allocation limits.

“In particular, this band is likely to be used for early 5G deployment as the broader 3.3–3.8 GHz frequency range has been identified internationally as a pioneer band for 5G services.”

Communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield earlier this month requested advice from the ACCC on spectrum allocation limits as the government moves ahead with auctioning off 125MHz of spectrum (3575-3700MHz) in regional and metropolitan areas.

The spectrum will be available for a 12-year term, depending on the location, the minister noted in his letter to the ACCC.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has indicated a preference to auction off the spectrum in 25x5MHz lots, the letter from Fifield stated.

“Small lots would allow the band to be split in a large number of ways and may be attractive for smaller bidders,” the minister said. “However, offering the spectrum in 25x5MHz lots increases the risk that bidders may win an amount of spectrum that is insufficient or uneconomical.”

A proposed minimum bid requirement has been proposed to mitigate the risk.

The ACMA is planning to begin the auction in October.

The ACCC said it expects a high level of demand for the spectrum. Its letter states that mobile network operators “have indicated that they will require 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.3-3.8 GHz frequency range to deliver 5G services, meaning some bidders may seek to acquire up to 100 MHz of 3.6 GHz spectrum in the auction.”

(2018), ACCC prepares to set auction limits for key 5G spectrum, Computerworld, viewed 21 March 2018, <https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/635028/accc-prepares-set-auction-limits-key-5g-spectrum/>.

NBN Co to extend 50Mbps promo pricing until October

ITNEWS, 1 March, 2018 – NBN Co will extend its promotional 50Mbps price offer through to the end of October to give retail service providers more time to prepare for the switch to a more permanent price construct.

The company this week revealed plans to create a “second promotion period” for its 50Mbps product and for the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) discount that accompanies it.

Where the original promotional price offer had been due to run out at the end of April, the extension – if it wins regulatory approval – would see the offer run for an additional six months.

The extension will create a greater period of overlap between the temporary and permanent price offers that NBN Co unveiled at the end of last year.

The promotional offer – which is known as ‘Focus on 50’ – works within the boundaries of the existing NBN price construct, cutting the AVC cost of a 50Mbps product and offering 50 percent extra CVC – on top of what the RSP buys – for free.

It was intended to be a bridging measure that enabled NBN Co to bring a large percentage of its user base onto a higher-speed and less congested service, while giving RSPs time to make IT changes to work with an entirely new price construct.

The new price construct will offer AVC and CVC bundles for both the 50Mbps and 100Mbps wholesale tiers.

A consultation on the final form of that new price construct wraps up in NBN Co’s internal product development forum at the end of February.

NBN Co has indicated it remains on track to launch the new wholesale price bundles by the middle of this year.

As it looks now, RSPs will need to migrate a substantial number of 50Mbps customers from the temporary to permanent price construct.

NBN Co has said it expects more than 1.2 million premises to be on the 50Mbps tier by June, when the permanent construct comes into effect.

The lion’s share of these premises will be with Telstra, who this week said it would upgrade all its existing 25Mbps users to the 50Mbps tier.

Vodafone also recently said 80 percent of its NBN user base is on 50Mbps or higher plans.

(2018), NBN Co to extend 50Mbps promo pricing until October, ITNews, viewed 1 March 2018, <https://www.itnews.com.au/news/nbn-co-to-extend-50mbps-promo-pricing-until-october-486052>.

Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches scheme is now in effect

ZDNET, 22 February, 2018 – The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme comes into effect today, requiring agencies and organisations in Australia that are covered by the Privacy Act to notify individuals whose personal information is involved in a data breach that is likely to result in “serious harm”, as soon as practicable after becoming aware of a breach.

Launching the new legislative direction on Thursday, Australia’s outgoing Information and Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said the NDB represents a significant boost to privacy governance in Australia. He said the requirements of the NDB scheme, however, are neither exceptional nor unexpected, noting rather that the scheme formalises a long-held expectation of consumers and the Australian community more broadly.

“Meeting privacy obligations and the expectations of the community continues to be essential. Only by demonstrating a commitment to privacy can organisations build and maintain people’s trust and a social licence for innovative uses of data,” he explained.

“The success of an organisation that handles personal information, or a project that handles personal information, depends on trust. People have to trust that their privacy is protected and be confident that personal information will be handled in line with their expectations.

“As a result, privacy today is really about transparency and accountability.”

The NDB scheme uses the phrase “eligible data breaches” to specify that not all breaches require reporting.

In general terms, an eligible data breach refers to the unauthorised access, loss, or disclosure of personal information that could cause serious harm to the individual whose personal information has been compromised.

Examples of a data breach include when a device containing customers’ personal information is lost or stolen, a database containing personal information is hacked, or personal information is mistakenly provided to the wrong person.

An employee browsing sensitive customer records without any legitimate purpose could constitute a data breach as they do not have authorised access to the information in question.

While it is unclear how many notifications the new legislative direction will result in, Pilgrim did say on Thursday his office is yet to receive a notification.

“We don’t know what we’re going to receive by way of notifications, or the current number,” he continued.

“We will see over the coming months whether that number mirrors the experience of the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA), which implemented mandatory data breach notification requirements in January 2016.”

Pilgrim said in the first 100 days of its scheme, the Dutch DPA received 1,000 notifications.

“I am staggering back at the thought,” the commissioner added.

The OAIC has published guidelines on the scheme, which also includes information on how to deal with the aftermath of a breach.

However, as the NDB only applies to those covered by the Privacy Act, intelligence agencies, not-for-profit organisations, small businesses with turnover of less than AU$3 million annually, credit reporting bodies, and political parties are exempt.

“Then there’s another fabulous little part of the Act which says if you collect or disclose information, and in doing so you receive a service benefit or advantage, you can’t claim the small business exemption,” Pilgrim added on Thursday.

“The nature of business, regardless of their turnover, has changed dramatically since 2000 when those provisions came in and it’s really hard to distinguish now about what would constitute a small business, but we do have to ask the question, ‘OK you’ve got a AU$3 million turnover, but are you collecting personal information and are you somehow getting a service or a benefit or advantage.

“My personal view is I think it’s becoming a compliance burden on small to medium enterprises to actually have to ascertain that in the first place, rather than considering why aren’t I just applying good privacy practices in line with the principles and just move on like that.”

There is the option for small and medium-sized enterprises under the Act to voluntarily opt-in to be covered by it. Pilgrim said there has been “quite a few” take up this option over the years.

He said it is best practice for SMEs and those not covered by the NDB scheme to follow the guidelines because, “at the end of the day, I think your customers will respect you for it”.

The federal government finally passed the data breach notification laws at its third attempt in February 2017.

A data breach notification scheme was recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security in February 2015, prior to Australia’s mandatory data-retention laws being implemented.

(2018), Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches scheme is now in effect, ZDNet, viewed 22 February 2018, <https://www.zdnet.com/article/australias-notifiable-data-breaches-scheme-is-now-in-effect/>.

NBN reports progress but no timeline for HFC fix

COMPUTERWORLD, 12 February, 2018 – NBN CEO Bill Morrow says the company is not yet ready to reveal a timeline for completing work on the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) portion of its network address performance issues.

NBN in November announced it would halt sales of HFC services for six to nine months until it could “calibrate a number of processes” and deliver higher quality connections using the technology.

Problems with HFC connections have been a “big contributor” to end user frustration with the National Broadband Network, Morrow said today.

“We’re now conducting upgrade work to improve the service quality on HFC and it’s still too early to be specific on timelines for releasing this footprint, but we are progressing quickly and I look forward to updating you shortly,” the CEO told a briefing on NBN’s first half results.

The chief executive said that although NBN had paused sales it had not halted HFC-linked construction work.

“That is continuing at pace and we’re tracking well on declaring premises ready for service,” Morrow said.

“HFC remains an important part of our technology mix and we’re confident it will deliver the experience we all expect,” the CEO said.

It was a “tough call” to pause sales of HFC services but NBN “will not prioritise the speed of the build ahead of customer experience,” he added.

NBN’s chairperson, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, last year said that the pause could potentially result in the company missing its financial targets, at least in the short term.

Morrow said today that although it will have a short-term impact on NBN, he doesn’t believe the pause will have any “longer term implications” for the company’s ability to complete the network rollout by 2020 and meet its financial goals.

Revenue surge

NBN reported $891 million for the six months ending 31 December, up 121 per cent on the prior comparable period.At the end of 2017 the company had close to 3.39 million households and businesses with active services on the new network, out of almost 6.14 million able to order services.

The company reported an EBITDA loss of $1.38 billion for the half; discounting payments to Telstra and Optus to migrate users to the new network the EBITDA loss was $131 million.

(2018), NBN reports progress but no timeline for HFC fix, Computerworld, viewed 12 February 2018, <https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/633265/nbn-reports-progress-no-timeline-hfc-fix/>.

NBN expecting 1.2m people on 50Mbps speeds by mid year

ZDNET, 11 February, 2018 – The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has revealed that it expects to have 1.1 million additional people on its 50Mbps plan by June as a result of providing this speed for the same access pricing as its 25Mbps service at the end of last year.

According to NBN, in the two months since announcing the promotional pricing, 200,000 premises have already been moved to the 50Mbps plan, with 50,000 of these new service orders and the remaining 150,000 premises upgrading from 25Mbps.

There were only 114,000 end users on the 50Mbps speed tier prior to December, NBN said, adding that this constituted around 3 percent of all new weekly NBN service orders.

Now, about 30 percent of all new weekly NBN orders are for the 50Mbps product.

By June, around 1.6 million end users will be on plans of 50Mbps or 100Mbps, NBN said, which amounts to 35 percent of all users, up from 17 percent in December.

“NBN is very pleased with the initial take-up of the 50Mbps promotional plan by retailers, and we look forward to tens of thousands of end users receiving faster broadband services over the coming months,” an NBN spokesperson told ZDNet.

“The 50Mbps promotional plan is only part of our broader campaign to focus on improving the customer experience on the NBN network as we seek to deliver the best possible experience for end users on the network.”

A majority of users have been on 25Mbps plans since NBN’s launch, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) again affirming that 54.3 percent were on the 25Mbps speed tier as of December 31.

As a result of NBN providing RSPs with a temporary credit for acquiring 50 percent more CVC, and pricing 50Mbps access virtual circuit (AVC) the same as 25Mbps, the ACCC last week announced that retail service providers had increased their purchase of connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) capacity, with a rise of 38 percent in the quarter to December.

According to ACCC chair Rod Sims, the average NBN CVC bought by retailers per user increased from 1.11Mbps to 1.53Mbps, with NBN contracted to supply 5,385Gbps of CVC capacity by the end of December, an increase from 3,452Gbps at the end of September.

“We are pleased to see such a large jump in the CVC acquired by retailers from NBN Co this quarter. With this level of CVC, consumers will have faster broadband speeds and hopefully less congestion during peak evening periods,” Sims said.

“NBN Co’s response to retailers’ concerns about CVC pricing seems to have had an impact on the amount of CVC being acquired, which we believe will benefit consumers through better quality broadband.”

NBN had set up 50Mbps as its flagship speed under its new wholesale pricing in December, also offering discounts on its 100Mbps speed tiers.

Under the changes, NBN’s access and bandwidth charges will also be bundled together across CVC and AVC for the two top-tier plans.

The 50Mbps wholesale bundle will cost retail service providers AU$45 per month — a 27 percent discount — and include 2Mbps of bandwidth, while the 100Mbps wholesale bundle will be reduced by 10 percent to cost AU$65 for 2.5Mbps of included capacity.

According to NBN, the bandwidth being included amounts to “nearly double” the capacity that is currently being purchased by RSPs, with additional capacity available for AU$8 per megabit per second per month — a 40 percent reduction on its previous pricing.

NBN CEO Bill Morrow had previously criticised retailers for cutting corners by focusing on pricing rather than speeds or quality of service after he revealed that the average bit rate per user is around 1Mbps.

RSPs including Vocus, Vodafone, MyRepublic, and Macquarie Telecom had meanwhile argued that the only reason retailers are not offering gigabit speeds to consumers is NBN’s CVC pricing structure.

NBN, however, argued that falling margins and trade-offs between price and quality of broadband services are not only caused by the CVC charge, but mainly by competition.

The ACCC last week also announced that the first speed-monitoring report on fixed-line NBN services is due to be published next month, despite the boxes only just having been provided to the homes taking part.

“We’ll be putting out a monitoring report by the end of March where everybody can see which providers are providing what speeds, and so that will firstly allow consumers to see what’s going on,” ACCC chair Rod Sims told ABC Radio National Breakfast on Friday morning.

“We have just got all the boxes for the first run of people.”

(2018), NBN expecting 1.2m people on 50Mbps speeds by mid year, ZDNet, viewed 11 February 2018, <https://www.zdnet.com/article/nbn-expecting-1-2m-people-on-50mbps-speeds-by-mid-year/>.

ACMA imposes new rules for NBN migrations

ITNEWS, 21 December, 2017 – NBN retail service providers will need to adhere to a new set of rules outlining how they are to handle migrating customers to the national broadband network from next year.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today announced its intention to implement new rules that would “significantly improve the consumer experience” in moving to the NBN.

It claimed many telcos weren’t giving customers the right information or acting “quickly and effectively” to resolve migration issues.

ACMA claimed more than 55 percent of all network-related complaints for the three months to June 30 were about faults on the network and broadband speeds, while a further 44 related to connection issues.

The regulator said connection issue complaints took on average up to 28 days to fix, and fault complaints took up to 19 days to resolve.

It also noted the massive increase in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, with numbers more than doubling this year.

ACMA said industry co-regulator arrangements weren’t working for consumers, and therefore new mandatory rules were required for telcos to “improve their performance”.

The new rules will force telcos to line-test new services after connection to identify faults or other problems early, and to line-test at any time if requested by the user.

They will require telcos to report their complaint numbers quarterly to ACMA – which will be publicly released – so it can monitor changes; to adhere to minimum standards for their complaint-handling processes; and allow for consumers to be reconnected to legacy networks within a certain timeframe if that fallback is needed.

The rules will also outline the minimum information that RSPs must provide before signing customers up to the NBN.

This “consumer information standard” must include “details about the speeds to be delivered, technical limitations such as power outages, the technology on which the service is to be delivered, exit provisions when services are not as advertised and what information will be provided in the event of a network outage”, ACMA said.

ACMA will additionally undertake further research into modem quality, in the expectation of producing either technical standards or a modem performance rating scheme.

The rules will be “immediately and directly enforceable” by ACMA once they come into force on July 1 next year. The agency will start consulting with industry on the changes in early 2018.

Breaching the rules could see RSPs face civil penalties of as much as $10 million.

ACMA made the announcement on order of the federal government, which will provide the agency $8.7 million over three years to support the measures.

Telco industry body the Communications Alliance called the move a “positive” step.

“The transition to the NBN is creating major change for the country, requiring ongoing adaptation throughout the supply chain,” CEO John Stanton said in a statement.

“To the extent that the measures announced will contribute to better coordination of the multi-party supply chain that delivers services to consumers – and therefore improve the overall consumer experience – this will obviously be a positive.”

The Comms Alliance said some RSPs were already undertaking most or all of the activities listed under the ACMA’s proposed rules as a result of existing industry co-regulatory measures.

(2017), ACMA imposes new rules for NBN migrations, ITNews, viewed 21 December 2017, <https://www.itnews.com.au/news/acma-imposes-new-rules-for-nbn-migrations-480239>.

NBN Co freezes new HFC orders

ITNEWS, 27 November, 2017 – NBN Co is putting a temporary freeze on all new HFC orders and delaying go-live for some of the HFC network as it tries to improve the quality of service for all end users.

The company said it would “temporarily pause all new orders” over its HFC access network.

“This pause will be in effect until incremental field work is undertaken to raise the quality of service for end users,” NBN Co said in a statement.

It also said there would be a “delay of the current rollout timing of new HFC areas” while it undertakes this rectification work, both in the existing footprint and areas not previously declared ready for service.

The delays are currently anticipated to be between six and nine months.

However, NBN Co claimed the halt would not impact its ability to meet its target of delivering the NBN by 2020.

The move is likely to be a source of significant embarrassment for both NBN Co and the government, confirming what many HFC users had been reporting for months.

NBN Co said it would perform “advanced network testing and remediation where needed, wholesale connector replacements, signal amplification calibration, and lead-in work as required”.

Its initial focus is on improving services for the 370,000 users already connected to HFC. The company then plans to work through a backlog of orders and activations it has to delay to allow that work to happen, before resuming with the remaining portion of the HFC rollout.

The company said it would amend information on its rollout map to provide better data on how the freeze and delays will impact those who were anticipating HFC connections.

NBN Co said it was also working with Telstra and Optus to make sure “those who may wait a bit longer to switch to services on the NBN access network will still have access to the same services that they have today”.

The HFC network currently accounts for the largest number of unserviceable connections of any fixed-line technology in the NBN rollout.

NBN Co has been re-architecting parts of the HFC network it had purchased from Telstra and Optus to prevent over-subscription on existing HFC nodes.

Getting HFC right is critical for NBN Co: it is betting on its HFC network to bring in the highest amount of revenue per user of any residential access technology in its portfolio, outstripping even full fibre connections.

It is also important for those that sold their HFC networks to NBN Co.

Telstra said in a financial filing that the delay will have a flow-on effect on “a proportion of the payments to Telstra from NBN Co into future periods”.

The telco also said it would discuss ADSL disconnection obligations with the ACCC and NBN Co “to minimise customer impact during this period”.

(2017), NBN Co freezes new HFC orders, ITNews, viewed 27 November 2017, <https://www.itnews.com.au/news/nbn-co-freezes-new-hfc-orders-478516>.