Monday, 11 December 2017 05:05

NBN Co chief claims some HFC issues arose recently Featured

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NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow has claimed that some of the problems that led to the postponement of connecting customers to the network through HFC only surfaced recently as the volume of customers who were connecting rose in number.

Morrow (below, right) told a parliamentary committee on Friday that, "some of the issues only recently came to light as we loaded up the network with more customers... it was important to me that we act immediately."

He made no mention of the fact that in November 2015 leaked documents had identified noise ingress on HFC as the cause of interference and degradation in end-user speeds. The same months, a leak indicated that NBN Co would abandon the Optus HFC network.

While Morrow denied this was being considered in February 2016, seven months later the company did a backflip and dropped the Optus HFC network from its plans.

The NBN Co chief told the hearing the company did not want to give customers a sub-standard experience and that was why the HFC connections had been stopped.

morrow dec8 senate vertHe said it was within the capabilities of NBN Co to fix the problems with the HFC network. Contingency funds had been set aside to deal with such issues, he added.

Morrow also said that a total of 1500 micro-nodes — what he described as compact DSLAMS that would improve the connections for fibre-to-the-node customers — had now been activated and could support about 43,000 premises.

The NBN Co's efforts to improve the understanding of retail service providers in the value chain had resulted in the average CVC provision per end-user increasing by about 10% in the last three months, he claimed.

NBN Co announced on 27 November, saying that households and businesses would have to wait between six and nine months longer for HFC connections while the company fixed technical issues affecting the speed that the network can deliver.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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