Director of the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES) and Melbourne University professor Rod Tucker said the high speeds were possible, but on HFC everything depended on the number of users on the network at the same time.
“I’m not a great fan of the multi-technology mix that the Coalition has implemented, but I think the best part of their strategy is to use the existing HFC network, because it does have the capability of being reused and providing good extra bandwidth,” Mr Tucker, who has advocated for FTTP and helped with the development of the NBN, said.
“You can easily expect over 100Mbps downstream for DOCSIS 3.0, which means in the new NBN those people with HFC will likely be doing better on average than the people with fibre-to-the-node.”
NBN Co said the cost of upgrading all of its network from DOCSIS 1.0 to the current best level of 3.0 was minimal, and that the networks could already carry DOCSIS 3.0. Therefore it was more a matter of consumers replacing their modems with compatible ones.
Back to the issue of contention. From everything I’ve read and from actual experience HFC is fast until the number of users increases exponentially, then it begins to all slow down. Hopefully DOCSSIS 3.0 and 3.1 can fix this. Bill Morrow claiming HFC NBN will be as fast as Labors FTTP is a bit of claim chowder though. Maybe at introductory 100/40 speeds this is true, however NBN Co was ready to turn on 1000/400 at the flick of a switch and with small upgrades the FTTP solution will go up to speeds of 10 gigabits. That’s with technology available today. I think more effort is being put into R&D on Fibre then HFC so IMHO I see Fibre development outstripping HFC R&D.