Optus upgrades HFC too

Optus upgrades HFC too

Summary: Optus has finally put an end to speculation on whether it will follow Telstra's upgrade of its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network, announcing that it has already started work on its cable in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

TOPICS: Telcos, Broadband, Optus

Optus has finally put an end to speculation on whether it will follow Telstra's hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network upgrade, announcing that it has already started work on its cable in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Optus confirmed today that it is already upgrading its HFC network in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to [standard] DoCSIS 3. Further details will be announced shortly. Optus is committed to offering innovative plans and pricing across all its competitive networks," the company said yesterday in a statement.

Upgrading to the DoCSIS 3.0 specification significantly increases transmission speeds — 100Mbps in the case of Telstra, which this week announced the completion of its $300 million DoCSIS 3.0 upgrade to one million homes. Optus did not say which speeds it hoped to achieve.

When Telstra's upgrade was first announced last year, Optus would not be drawn on whether it intended to follow suit.

"Upgrading HFC is not the answer to Australia's broadband future as it will only ever benefit selected areas in major capital cities and not 98 per cent of the population," a spokesperson for the company told ZDNet.com.au at the time in a statement. "The fact is, only a very low percentage of customers at best will ever experience the claimed speeds of 100Mbps."

The speeds on HFC would vary, Optus had said, since the network was shared, meaning that the more users on the HFC network the slower the speeds. Optus also believed that the upgrade, which would require each home to be individually wired up to the HFC, would be an inconvenient process for most customers, and potentially be an expensive one if they wanted to achieve the higher speeds, since they would have to upgrade their modems.

However, the telco seems to have overcome its concerns about laying out money to achieve faster speeds, even going further than Telstra by upgrading all cities where it has a presence. Optus' HFC network is available to around 1.4 million homes in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Optus

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • Lucky

    Lucky everyone in australia lives in melbourne, sydney and Brisbane.........
  • lucky indeed.

    Lucky that thos eliving in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane can grow their own fruits and vegatables, hae a sheep or a cow or two roaming around the backyard ... and not have to pay inflated prices to 'the country' in order to get those goods.

    Remember - there are always 2 sides to any coin.
    I'm not condoning the choice of Optus in this case.. or any other infrastructure provider for perhaps favouring city areas.. but we have our losses as well as our wins.
    It's not all rosy just 'cause we live inthe big smoke.
  • lucky?!?

    Optus is forced to use existing infrastructure like everyone else here. the cost of upgrading their existing network (which I cam say, as am end user, definately needs it) would be far far cheaper than laying their own lines for rural communities etc. To be fair, I doubt the government is going to offset Optus for maintenance costs for any rural areas. It's just as unlikely the limited number of rural customers they get would provide enough extra profit to make this a viable option for Optus. I happen to live in an Optus cable area in "Brisbane" that is about as rural as they get, and it's nowhere near as fast here on the outskirts as it is closer to town. So I can see they loose network integrity with distance and also require regional hubs and powerlines to run cables on and power boosters etc which aren't feasible in rural areas.

    P.S. I DO live on property and grow my own veges and own a milking cow and make my own butter and cheese and cream. ;)