About three million Australian homes waiting to be connected to the NBN will now face even further delays after work on the HFC (hybrid fibre coaxial) rollout was halted to improve the service and resolve existing issues.
Also known as the Pay TV network, HFC connections to the NBN have been problematic and NBN Co has decided undertake fieldwork to ensure the quality of connection and customer experience is significantly improved.
NBN was connecting almost 80,000 new premises each month to HFC but now any new orders have been temporarily paused.
“So we can provide a better experience to our customers and their end users, NBN Co will immediately implement new initiatives designed to improve the quality of service for end users on our HFC network,” said NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow.
“In order to deliver an improved experience on HFC, NBN Co will be performing additional work ahead of end users being able to connect to NBN services on the HFC network.
“With the incremental work now required before a home is declared ready to connect, we are focused on providing a better service to our customers (the internet service providers) and thereby improving the experience for the end user.
“While the good news is that we are working on a better experience for the internet providers and end users, the improvement efforts will take additional time and therefore a delay of schedule will occur for most of the remaining HFC premises that have yet to switch to services on the NBN access network.
NBN Co has plans to connect almost three million homes to HFC with 370,000 already connected and nearly one million premises ready to go.
Before another connection is made the NBN will focus on the users already connected to this technology to improve the quality of service after a range of problems by customers.
The NBN will be performing advanced network testing and repairs where needed along with wholesale connector replacements, signal amplification calibration and other lead-in work as it is required.
Despite this delay and these initiatives, the NBN says it is still on target to connect eight million active end users and a fully connected consonant by 2020.
“We remain confident of reaching our goal of completing the build and connecting eight million Australian premises by 2020,” Mr Morrow said.
“There are so many elements of this industry transformation that we cannot directly control, but we are serious about improving that which we can.
“This is a deliberate change to demonstrate NBN Co’s focus on putting the customer experience as a priority over all else.
“The HFC access technology is used around the world to deliver reliable high-speed broadband services. This technology is an important part of NBN Co’s technology mix.
“The rollout of the NBN access network is one of the most complex and ambitious initiatives in any telecommunications market across the world – we are focused on ensuring the network is ready to deliver services which meet the expectations of Australians.”