Australia's NBN Co, the state-owned company building the national broadband network, has revealed it is suspending the rollout of new connections using the hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) component of the network.
The company has taken the move as a result of complaints about the customer experience from end-users of the HFC network. All new activation requests for HFC services will be delayed for an expected six to nine months.
NBN Co acquired the former HFC pay TV networks of Telstra and Optus to incorporate into the multi-technology mix of the NBN. But the company was last year forced to abandon plans to use the Optus HFC network it paid A$800 million ($608 million) for after admitting it was in a poor state of repair.
The NBN corporate plan calls for HFC to be used for nearly 3 million premises across Australia. To date the network passes 1 million premises and around 370,000 services have been activated. The halt on new activations raises the prospect of the HFC rollout being scaled back further.
“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,” NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said.
“We remain confident of reaching our goal of completing the build and connecting eight million Australian premises by 2020.”