NBN halts national rollout to play with HFC: no amazing new product, nobody sure why

By John Miller

Monday the 27th of November, 2017


NBN, the national “”””high-speed””” Australian internet connection network that is almost perceptibly faster than dialup was a decade or so ago on the days when it hasn’t crashed or you aren’t being throttled by your ISP because they oversold it, has inexplicably halted the rollout.

If you don’t already have this failing pile of garbage, then don’t expect to get it anytime soon.

The reason: tech jargon.


I recently called up one of my mates who is pretty good with IT to ask him what the bloody hell HFC is. Sounds Uma Delicia amirite? Not so fast, Zinger fans.

Turns out that HFC, or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial, is just the shoddy old cable network that we used to use for Foxtel. Optus sold theirs to the marks at NBN for $800 MIL, who promptly realised they had been sold a lemon, and were about to write it off.

Not so fast, says some prick at NBN, we must make lemonade out of these lemons.


So NBN has basically stopped the rollout to fix up the shoddy Optus cable network, which is probably great news to whichever idiot son or nephew runs Foxtel for Rupert Murdoch, and for the ten idiots that still want to wreck their free-to-air TV antenna wall socket so that they can have a fibre optic cable in their living room instead of an inconspicuous phone line because they’ve never heard of Foxtel Play.

Word to the wise, the fibre optic cable comes with a 12-month contract, and you can cancel Play any time. Why anybody would pay 40 bucks a month just to watch these Wallabies play is anybody’s guess, but my guess it that I’m just an idiot, and it’s good to know I can stop paying to get tortured any time I feel like.


Anyway, I digress.

HFC offers absolutely nothing special, on the face of it, just another promise of 100 MBPS d/l that may never eventuate.

After hanging up on my nerd associate, I thought a little deeper, and on reflection we probably shouldn’t be whiny little bastards about this.

Right now I am only getting half the speed I paid for on the PC, and half that again on the PS4, which seems to be a fairly common experience amongst NBN users. So it is probably all to the good that NBN takes a pause, and does what it can to improve its current architecture before rushing off to the next rollout to underwhelm new customers.

TBQH fampai, I can’t even tell whether it’s the NBN that’s shite or just my ISP, but right now my money is on both.


Although HFC is not some sexy new product, or the silver bullet that I can buy and get a true broadband experience, it will perhaps help at the margins. And anything that gets us closer to the 100 Mbps that we’re paying for can’t be all bad.

At least it might take enough pressure off the NBN to stop the whole bloody network from going down. And that’s a good thing.


Full disclosure: John Miller’s IRL name is Frank Faulkner. I’m an Aussie and when I’m not obsessing about Conservative politics or defending Trump I also enjoy various sports and Christian activities.

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