Optus squeezes last drop out of HFC network with new bundle

Optus has announced the availability of a new data cable broadband bundle for customers that are being serviced by its hybrid fibre-coaxial cable network.

Before Optus' hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable network becomes officially owned by NBN Co, Optus is making the most out of the network with the announcement of a new entry-level unlimited data cable broadband bundle.

To be made available to customers serviced by Optus' HFC cable network for a "limited time", the AU$90 a month cable bundle includes unlimited data, domestic calls, and entertainment, with an international calling pack for under AU$100 on what the company said is a "premium high-speed network".

Optus said the ultimate cable bundle will be available to customers until February 5, 2015, in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

NBN Co plans to use existing HFC cables that are currently owned by Optus and Telstra to connect over 3.27 million premises to the National Broadband Network (NBN). It previously said that it is committed to offering high-end speed tiers on the HFC network, despite concern that the networks may not currently be able to provide such speeds, particularly for uploads.

ZDNet understands that the sale of Optus' HFC cable networks will be completed once the sale of Telstra's HFC cables is finalised, which NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow revealed last Monday is scheduled to wrap up by Christmas.

Under its transitory corporate plan for 2015, NBN Co said that the ongoing negotiations with Optus and Telstra hampered the ability for the company to publish firm rollout figures for 2016 and 2017. The plan also indicated that the initial releases of the HFC products will be made by the end of June 2015.

However, Optus was not always open to the idea of making the network available as a wholesale service. Two years ago, the telco talked down such a proposal when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was investigating whether to allow NBN Co to pay Optus AU$800 million to decommission its HFC network and migrate customers onto the NBN.

Optus had a change of heart in February, when it said that recent advances in technology could allow it to open its HFC network to wholesale for the NBN.

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