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New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

100Mbps service and rapid repair turnaround promised

nbnTM, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap.

The new plan (PDF) reveals that retail service providers will be provided with a Network Sandpit for HFC” in 2015's fourth quarter. In Q2 of 2016, “HFC Business Readiness Testing” will commence. As the NBN will use existing hybrid fibre-coax (HFC cabling installed for cable television) to provide millions of connections, the looming release of the sandpit and the readiness testing plans suggest much work has been done towards the planned Q2 2016 “initial product release” of DOCSIS 3.1 services.

The roadmap also adds a pledge to deliver “TV Infrastructure for New Developments” in Q1 2016. Also new are Q2 2016 pledges to deliver “Introduction of four additional Enhanced Service Levels with both 6 and 4 hour restoration targets across both business hours and 24/7 hours of operation” and a 100Mbps tier of service.

nbnTM has also revealed, in its usual detail-free fashion, that it has added another 200,000 premises to its rollout plan. Margaret River, Kalgoorlie, Buderim, Springfield, Port Macquarie, Ryde, North Sydney, North Manly, Portsea and the Melbourne suburb of Beaconsfield can all expect to be connected to the NBN, by nbnTM, before the end of 2016.

The canned statement announcing the soon-to-be-wired locales includes verbiage from nbnTM chief operating officer Greg Adcock to the effect that ““Today, around one in ten homes and businesses can connect to the nbn™ network. Our recently renegotiated construction contracts give us the confidence to schedule more than double that amount to start construction over the next 18 months.”

nbnTM looks to be rather keen on under-promising and over-delivering: at a guess we could have 30 per cent of Australian premises on the nbnTM roadmap by late 2016. When Australia's next election is due to take place. ®

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