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
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
"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.