NBN gives Telstra 1.6 billion reasons to upgrade its HFC network

NBN gives Telstra 1.6 billion reasons to upgrade its HFC network

The NBN Company and Telstra have announced a new deal today which will see the latter upgrade and extend its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable network over the next four years.

NBN Co. will pay Telstra $1.6 billion to manage, design and provide construction on the upgrades, which promises to bring fast broadband to over 3 million Australian homes.

“Telstra has enormous experience in HFC design and construction, and the rollout will be greatly assisted by having them as a key partner in the delivery of this part of the network," said NBN CEO Bill Morrow.

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The agreement comes after successful trials on the Optus HFC network in Queensland, which saw trial users reach download and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps.

This would go against reports from last November, in which leaked documents described Optus and the NBN Company’s $800 million HFC network as "not fully fit for purpose."

The homes in this deal will predominantly be connected using NBN’s HFC technology. However, a ‘multi-technology mix’, which likely includes Fibre to the Node, will also be implemented in an effort to “enable the network to be deployed as quickly as possible.”

NBN Co. believes this new deal will put the company well on track to meeting its goal of connecting 8 million Australian homes by 2020.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.