Australians whose NBN internet is run through pay TV cables have been told they will soon have access to a more stable service.

NBN Co says it has begun rolling out new technology known as DOCSIS 3.1 on its hybrid-fibre coaxial cables, which were previously used for pay TV services.

The move will double downstream capacity on the HCF network, which currently serves about 400,000 homes or businesses and is expected to serve three million properties by 2020.

The authority says the change will help ensure there is enough capacity to meet demand as more homes join the network, especially at peak times.

The shift will provide a more stable and resilient network for users, NBN Co’s chief technology officer Ray Owen said in a statement.

DOCSIS 3.1 is also a faster way of improving capacity on the network than the current option of splitting optical nodes, Mr Owen said, which will free up construction resources for building the network itself.

Mr Owen said the technology, which will be gradually rolled out by area, could facilitate faster speeds in the future but noted that’s not the corporation’s current focus.


NBN Co had paused the rollout of its HFC network in November in order to conduct upgrades and improve the quality of service.

It resumed the rollout in June and expects to make it available to 100,000 Australian homes and businesses each month until April 2019.


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