New tech to add stability on NBN network

Marnie Banger

Australians who get NBN internet access through pay TV cables have been told they will soon have a more stable service.

NBN Co 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 federal government owned national broadband network rollout company says this will help ensure there's enough capacity to meet demand, especially at peak times.

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

DOCSIS 3.1 is a faster way of improving capacity on the network than the current option of splitting optical nodes.

In November, NBN Co paused the rollout of its HFC network due to service quality concerns.

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

Federal Labor communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland panned the HFC rollout as too expensive.

"Since 2014, the cost per premises of the NBN HFC build has increased by 54 per cent," she said.

"In contrast, New Zealand, the US and the UK have reduced the cost of fibre-to-the-premises by between 40 and 50 per cent."