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National Broadband Network names cable broadband trial sites

If you live in Redcliffe, Merrimac, Slacks Creek or Emu Plains, you're in luck

By Richard Chirgwin

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Three Queensland and one NSW locales will find out whether NBN Co's promise of downloads at 100 Mbps over hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) survives peak-hour traffic, after the company responsible for building Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) announced trial sites of the delivery medium.

In Queensland, Merrimac, Slacks Creek and Redcliffe will trial NBN HFC broadband, along with the Western Sydney town of Emu Plains.

NBN Co says “The goal of the trials is to test construction processes to physically connect homes passed by the networks where a connection currently doesn’t exist as well as improving network capacity and broadband speeds consumers may receive.”

The construction trials include adding lead-ins to premises that don't have them, including adding node capacity where premises are passed but can't currently connect.

The trial will also be an important test for vendor Arris, which in February won a AU$400 million deal to supply HFC equipment for the rollout. That kit will be DOCSIS 3.1-upgradeable, but NBN Co is opting for a DOCSIS 3.0 rollout for now.

NBN Co's CTO Dennis Steiger said “The aim of this construction trial is to deliver valuable insights into how to deploy that upgraded HFC network at scale.”

Commercial services are expected in 2016.

Comment: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull reckons government should be run like the NBN, which in the context of the HFC rollout might mean you can have a little bit of government now, and a real government next year if everything doesn't collapse in a heap.

Alternatively, he may have meant that like the NBN, the incoming government should blame its predecessor for everything, and purge the board.

Or perhaps it just means it's okay to arrive in government, refactor the financial reporting and claim that one's predecessors were lying about the costs.

Or maybe it just means appear in high-visibility vests wherever possible.

Offhand, it looks to Vulture South like the Australian government is run exactly like the NBN. ®

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