Cable disconnection to NBN HFC - When, What, Why?


Was sold an Optus Cable Internet, phone and Fetch bundle in January 2018 on 2 year contract for $80 pm which included 100MBs speed, unlimited data, PAYG phone calls and Fetch Mighty incl. 1 channel pack with email billing and bPay payment option for no extra charge.


We are now receiving letters from Optus saying that NBN is now available in our area and that we either have to move to an Optus NBN product that includes less features and is more expensive OR find an NBN service with another provider otherwise we will be disconnected without any service in January 2019. This despite receiving a letter from NBN Co contradicting Optus by stating that the disconnection date is not until November 2019!


I have contacted Optus Customer Service ( a term for which I use loosely but that’s another story) to confirm the actual date and query the vast differenciation in product pricing only to be told that the disconnection date is January 2019 and the ONLY offer Optus will make for terminating our 2 year Contract early is to release us without penalty and that they are unable to honour the existing pricing on equivalent products on offer.


I have also spoken with NBN Co to confirm the disconnection date and they were adament that the date is November 2019 and went as far to say that they don’t know why Optus continue to provide false and misleading information regarding this.


I suspect I know why... money! What a sneaky way to get more money from existing loyal customers without providing any added value (in fact providing less value) whilst breaking an existing contract which, had a customer done, would most definitely have been enforced by referring it for default by a Collection Agency.


It seems Optus have a low regard for their reputation and no regard for their existing customer base let alone their legal and moral obligations as accepted by their Australian Government License as a Telecommunications Operator, as evidenced not only by our experience but that of many other Optus customers who have vented their frustrations on forums such as this. 


Any Company that is willing to loose customers to their competitors doesn’t deserve to remain viable and any Company that knowingly provides faulty or misleading products and services doesn’t deserve to operate without being held accountable for such practices.


Watch out Opus, I can smell a class action suit in the air if these types of issues go unresolved. Anyone else smell what I do?

Re: Cable disconnection to NBN HFC - When, What, Why?


18 month disconnection once nbn is live is only for copper based services. 


HFC services do not have this, and from memory its normally set at 3 months from nbn go live.


It costs EVERY telco more to deliver services over nbn compared to tgeor own network, nbn sets the wholesale prices so this is out of control of each telco. 

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Re: Cable disconnection to NBN HFC - When, What, Why?


Unfortunately in this instance the NBNCo has led you down the wrong path. Its an extremely well known exception in the telecomunications industry and I'm surprised NBNCo staff wouldn't be well across it by now.


Essentially when NBNCo bought the Optus cable network (it will be completely dismantelled in a few years) Optus put in a proviso that they could shut off their service when they wanted. NBNCo is required to provide 18 months warning in an area but Optus have no such requirement. In general it seems Optus has opted for a three month window only for all existing customers. 


The main reason for this would seem to be optus don't want to pay $$$ maintaining and operating a network that few and fewer customers are using (the rest having gone to the NBN). IMO its not an unreasonable approach but Optus hasn't handled the marketing relation with this very well at all (instead getting into trouble for initially blaming the NBN and trrying to scare customers into quickly signing up to a new NBN plan)


The good news is that you are aware that you can now choose any RSP. Optus by cancelling their end of the contract means no break fees etc. for you. Definitely a good time to look around and assess options.


On the NBN itself, yes for cable operators the arrival of the NBN doesn't have as much benefits (although there are several very good ones). But in terms of simple price paid for download speed the internet is now more expensive (Probably $20 or so per month on average). This is because the price of building the network is essentially being charged to we customers in a very short time frame to recoup costs - blame the government for that one)


FWIW the sweet spot for $/performance is now around 50Mbps. This should see you on roughly the same value contract as before. 50Mbps is also usually plenty for most homes at the moment.




Peter Gillespie


Re: Cable disconnection to NBN HFC - When, What, Why?


All that may be true however it doesn’t explain nor justify signing up Customers on 2 year contracts for services they can’t or choose not to provide. It’s not like the NBN appeared out of the blue and was without consultation with NBN Co, Optus knew long before signing us up on a fixed price contract that a migration to the NBN would be required and then to charge an extra $40 per month for the same services and expect customers to cough up or go elsewhere just proves my point.

Re: Cable disconnection to NBN HFC - When, What, Why?


The ability to terminate your contract (and the service) is a standard clause in any Optus (or basically any business) contract. The NBN is appearing at different parts of the country at different times and Optus have no control over that (changing) timetable. Interestingly enough Optus have now switched to only offering a non contract (month 2 month) cable service I don't know when they did that but its definitely more transparent.


But aside from irritation, The Optus approach doesn't necessarily change much. No Telco can (or does) offer to be able to honour a two year contract as all of them are being taken over by the NBN in 18 months or less. In all cases and with any Telco you will need to break any existing contract and decide to either stay or go elsewhere for your internet. 


Pricing is pretty variable durint this transition, but FWIW IMO Optus have a pretty good price / product offering in the mix of what's out there.


Peter Gillespie 

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