Accepted Solution

Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?



A gizmodo article in 2017 said that Optus and Telstra would upgrade all HFC connections to at least the higher FTTC level in a few years.


What do we know about this? Will this still go ahead? I had lightning fast Optus broadband cable and now am old i have HFC and am livid. The gov or Optus has taken me for a ride reducing my performance to subsidise someone else!


@Dan_C @wobbie @petergdownload @Jiefu @SillyGogo Can any number of you please comment and let me know what your thoughts are? Thank you.





Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


Optus nor Telstra or any other RSP that resells nbn have any say as to what technology nbn uses for a particular area.


You can pay for nbn to provode a quote to technology upgrade you at your own cost. 

Did someone on Yes Crowd answer your question? Did they share a great tip? Please remember to acknowledge their awesomeness by throwing a Kudo and/or Accepted Solution their way!

Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?

[ Edited ]

Hey @nothappyjanus ,


I'd not put much faith in a 2017 article were the NBN is concerned. I'm not sure where you get "upgrade all HFC connections to at least the higher FTTC level in a few years" from? That's never been promised. But to lay it out (as I understand it):


1) Optus has no control over the introduction of the NBN or which technology each household will get. Optus will not be upgrading any NBN technology as NBN now owns it all.

2) About 25% of Australians will be connected via HFC (HFC is by the way the same as the "cable" you are now on and gnerally capable of 100Mbps - the top NBN speed offered to all technologies (except FTTP).)

3) The Liberal Government made the call to use the existing HFC network for the NBN (The Multi Tecnoly MIx or MTM). Optus HFC cable network was found to be close to collapse and will be dismantled. Telstra cable network is being repaired and improved to provide the NBN HFC option.

4) FWIW the NBN was always about spreading the speed. Both governments agreed that a national upgrade was needed and that everyone should benefit. As an existing HFC user you have been lucky to have access to the top tier of Internet technology for over a decade. So now yes, city users are cross subsidising the country users and prices will rise $10-$20. 

5) HFC should actually be fine for everything you need. Are you on the NBN now? A 50Mbps unlimited plan should cost about the same as any previous plan and you should notice little different in day to day use. Are you experiencing any?

6) The HFC network is definitely a challenging upgrade (I so wish the the FTTP option was adopted in full and the internet just became this fast reliable thing that every one took for granted, like turning on the bath tap). There is and upgrade path and its already being implemented, called DOCSIS 3.1. At the moment its just being used to hit the 100Mbps speeds as needed but should eventually offer more for those that need it.

7) There generally should be little difference between HFC and FTTC at the moment. Both can hit 100Mbps normally. The difference is that FTTC can hit 300Mbps (when they decide to do that) and can easily be upgraded to FTTP any time. HFC can't.


So for now, there's likely little difference in what you have and HFC is pretty much the third best NBN technology there is (be glad you are not on FTTN). Unfortunately the MTM approach by the Liberal government has meant  this national infrastructure is going to be almost at capacity in just a few years. Time for another upgrade?


Peter Gillespie

Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


Thank you @Paddylee .

Any reason why the nbn would choose to run HFC to my house when Ii already had OptusBroadband  Cable? So am I correct in  saying that i was downgraded as a part of the NBN rollout? So i had the infrustructure to be really fast cable already insitu but the nbn then decided to  downgrade Optuscable users in my suburb?


Am i wrong in my understanding of what happened? 


Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


Thanks you for your informative and comrehensive reply. I have learnt a lot of information by reading both your replies so far.

I agree with your understanding of failures of nbn gold standard adoption and continued downgrading in the roll out.

Sunsidising others is not really  worrisome to me . I am happy to pay more tax for other public goods such as education,health etc it is just that the DROP in performance is so noticeable in my household.

Your point 5)  yes. I have frequent drop outs in wireless with the socalled premium wireless and my tv quality is worse now thatt i am on fetch tv router fast v3 sagemcomm socalled Acpremiun modem. My performance is observable in latency and drop outs etc. My teenagers scream and we never had problems in pre bbn days on our optus cable.

Given ,you say hfc is eqyiv to optus broadband cable prenbn ,am i right in surmising that there is something tecgnically wrong with my system?


My optus netgear cg-3000 -25taus doc sis 3.0 was much better than this new optus fetch sagemcomm v3 HP 10.70.1 modem router.


What do you suggest i do Apart from buying my own modem or bridging modems?

How do i check if i have been given this doc sis 3.1 you haver eferred to in the past and to me here? Is it in advanced settings on as you suggested previously?


Thank you for all your help but do hope you continue to humour me in answering more.


Re gizmodo article ,yes ,it did say optus and telstra would  upgrade their HFC households  to fibreto the distribution point or fibre to the driveway or FTTC . I dont think i misread it but i am open to being corrected.



Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?



So peter, the best is FIbre to the Premises ,then fibre to the basement thenn third best is HFC  (with or without Docsys 3.1) and then fourth best is FTN and down we go?




Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?

[ Edited ]

A lot of questions NHJ Smiley Happy (Which is always a good thing)


I'll throw in what I know. Technology wise its FTTP => FTTC => HFC => FTTN => Wireless. I count FTTB as the same as FTTC essentially even if there are differences (both just run the fibre to within 50m of your home). IMO in the short term (5 years) as long as you're not on FTTN then you should get a pretty similar internet experience once things settle down.


Note you are essentially getting the exact same technology as you were already on Optus Cable = NBN Cable. No downgrade involved.


The government bought both the Optus and Telstra HFC network. Labour intended to just tear it down and use FTTP. Liberals directed the NBNCo to use it instead. Testing showed the costs to repair the Optus HFC network (So everyone in the suburb could use it) would be too much and so it is still being torn down. The Telstra HFC network (now NBN) is being upgraded and that's what many will get. 


AS for your personal situation that might need another thread and some investigation. The Optus modems are not known to be all that great (particularly wifi). Its hard to determine where your issues are when you are using wifi and you should do some tests via cable. If the dropouts are based on your line in (HFC) then a NBN technician should be able to improve that. But I would probably suggest you do have a go at putting in a good modem and seeing what that can do (You'll lose land line capability, although there is a fix for that if really needed) 


As for DOCSIS 3.1 you don't need to worry about that. Its technology NBN is using in the network to improve overall bandwidth. 


Peter Gillespie

Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


Peter,thank you for that very informative and prompt reply.I will look into the suggestions you make. Thanks again.

Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


@Jiefu  and @Dan_C C and           @petergdownload  @Paddylee  @SillyGogo 


Sorry but i could not find @jiefu and paddy? Reply to me re my issue of late. The one where jiefu said s/he had  friends in exactly the same boat as I. Have their responses been deleted byOptus admin or is it just me nit being abke to find them or is it poor website design?


I also struggle to find responses to me in a central area. Why dont responses to me ,public,also go to an inbox? It makes it hard to remember who i have to get back to and what they said.i key in usernames and key words or headings into the search and i still cant find their responses. So now i dont know exacrly what they most recently saidto me!


Also my screen freezes up and i have a slow cursor and horrible latency when typing live on this live screen . It is now 13:50 Thursday afternoon,Melb time. Is this normal for this site? My response to Jiefu et al


"Thanks guys. I must explain ,I am only speaking about wireless . The configuration of our home has not changed nor has our content viewed ie we did not swap to lots of gaming nor to lots of movie streaming upon NBN connection.

Wired is only used for fetch box modem router to watch free tv,netflix etc we may be watching some foxtel through it as well but i am not sure as maybe my wife comcasts it off her phone internet?

All our internet use was done wirelessly even though we had Optus Cable Broadband coming into the home originally. We just stopped using ethernet cables inside because our wireless performance was spot on! I could not fault broadband cable nor Optus then.


From the very moment NBN was announced we started noticing dropouts,disconnections ,lots of latency ,bufferring etc. And it became worse and worse over time yet we survived.We seemed to watch netflix in decent quality and all free to air channels had sharp good resolution quality just running off the antenna and /or through the hardrive we had for recording e optus people also sent me a new modem and sent out a technician who replaced a plug on the box on the outside wall of my house. Much of the was then resolved but then quality progressively became worse.

A cynic would say Optus was choking our service in the run- down to final switch off and to urge us to sign up to Optus

However ,somone here has just said that optus hfc is being downgraded whilst existing telstra hfc cabling is being upgraded ;so maybe quality lessening has been due to extra work and congestion on annetwork with much less hFC cabling? Either way, i am not an expert and as a customer all i notice is Worse service quality than i had.

Now since we are on nbn cable that i now know is HFC- and people here say is the same tech i had previously anyway-we have noticed even more problems with wireless use with more dropouts ,bufferring ,disconnections ,latency,slow cursors etc!



Now we watch free to air tv through the fetch router/modem (no hardrive recorder attached now ). I haven-t checked to see where our antenna for tv is plugged in.

It just seems we are not getting the 1020 hd type sharpness anymore on the tv either.

These are my observations which tie into Jiefu friends' ones as well.

We have not tried wired for pc use yet so i can not comment but is a step backwards for us even if we do manage to get high speeds,better latency and less dropouts ! As i said ,we never had to run wired much in the past.

So i hope i have summarised as best i could what my beef is.

So thank you to all .So it seems i have the best Optus ac modem/fetch box(which i am told is actually quite crap) and can not do anything unless i get nbn to upgrade my house conne ction/cabling or get a better modem with (better wireless capability,assuming my fetch sagemcomm optus modem is actually stacking up in wired capability to my Pc?

Yet,how does that explain the worse tv image quality now that we have nbn throhgh optus sagemcomm /router fetch box? That implies there is an issue in the wired capacity as well ,doesnt it?"


Thanks and any thoughts on any of the above are welcome as always.

Re: Will Optus or NBN upgrade HFC to FTTC or better?


Pls Forgive the spelling errors as i am terrified of trying to fix them and then the screen freezing ie in the past the screen has frozen up for me to lose paragraphs and paragraphs of material. Even typing off site into a draft for copy and paste does not work well as the site wont let me paste many times ie paste button disappears once i bring it up in optus yes crowd screen?

Post a Reply
Top Contributors
78 Kudos
68 Kudos
52 Kudos
41 Kudos
26 Kudos