What is the NBN HFC and How Does It Work?

  • What is the NBN HFC
  • How Does NBN HCF Work
  • How Fast is NBN HFC

HFC Table

The National Broadband Network is a nationwide project launched by the government to provide high-speed internet connection to residents. It uses fibre optic cables with other existing technology such as copper lines and radio towers to transmit data through a more stable network.

Under the NBN, there are two kinds of connections offered to subscribers — Fixed Line and Fixed Wireless. Fixed Line connections utilise fibre optic cables and, in some cases, existing copper wires to establish the connection, while Fixed Wireless connections use radio signals transmitted from towers. 

Fixed Line connections are categorised into five types that differ according to how the connection was made from the network to the end-users. The give categories are:

  1. FTTP (Fibre to the Premises)
  2. FTTN (Fibre to the Node)
  3. FTTC (Fibre to the Curb)
  4. FTTB (Fibre to the Building); and
  5. HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)

In this article, we will focus on the HFC Fixed-Line connection.

NBN HFC in a Nutshell

HFC stands for Hybrid Fibre Coaxialsand uses a pay-TV or cable network to make the final connection between the NBN access network and the end-users. An HFC line runs from the nearest fibre node all the way to a customer’s residence or place of business.

NBN has managed to set up HFC connections throughout the country over the years. Some subscribers are already connected via HFC, enjoying the benefits of having a reliable and speedy connection. In case you’re wondering if HFC is also available in your area, check out this NBN rollout map and type in your address in the search bar.

Based on regulations, residents are given 18 months to upgrade to the NBN network once an area is declared serviceable. Those who refuse to do so may lose their phone and internet services.

If you don’t want to go through all that hassle and avoid any disruption to your daily internet activities, be sure to check out some of the NBN broadband plans offered by the leading service providers. There are plenty of deals that fit your needs as well as your budget.

How does NBN HFC work?

If the above explanation about HFC is a bit difficult for you to grasp, here’s a simple way to put it:

Are you familiar with Foxtel? Do you understand how that works? It’s pretty much the same way HFC connection works.

Properties with pay-TV subscriptions like Foxtel or a cable network like Telstra or Optus are likely going to get an HFC connection. In fact, the availability of these cables that can be used to connect to the central node in your area may be the exact reason for this.

To complete the set up in your home, you will need an NBN Connection Box aside from the access network device that will be installed outdoors. The connection box will be plugged into a coaxial outlet (the entry point of your connection) and will act as a modem.

When the connection box is ready, you will need to connect a wireless router using an Ethernet cable so you can connect multiple devices to your network. The router should come from your service provider when you sign up for a plan. While the NBN-supplied connection box is free, you may need to pay for the router.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment with a technician to set up HFC connection?

Yes. An NBN access network device has to be installed at the point where the line enters your home. This is done by a professional installer pre-approved by NBN or your service provider. To make sure your connection is activated right away, be sure to schedule an appointment with a technician.

How long does installation usually take?

A standard installation for HFC connection may take anywhere between two and four hours. It depends on the existing infrastructure in your area and whether the coaxial cable is connected to the NBN utility box. In some cases, the whole installation process can take up to eight hours.

Can I reschedule an installation appointment?

Yes. All you need to do is contact your service provider at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment to avoid incurring charges.