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Australia’s nationwide broadband roll-out over hybrid coaxial fibre (HFC) is being temporarily suspended while the latest in a number of customer service issues are addressed.

New areas awaiting connection to the national broadband network (NBN) from 11 December now face delays of between six and nine months, NBN Co has confirmed.

“While the good news is that we are working on a better experience for the Internet providers and end users, the improvement efforts will take additional time,” NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement.
“We remain confident of reaching our goal of completing the build and connecting eight million Australian premises by 2020.”

Almost one million premises are now ready to connect to the NBN via the HFC-based pay-TV network, with 370,000 already connected.

Unlimited data services on NBN and increases in mobile data caps are already fuelling adoption of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services in Australia, according to recent research from Telsyte.

However, many NBN customers were not “having the experience they deserve when getting connected and some were not experiencing the full potential of the network,” the company said.

The communications spokesperson for Australia’s opposition Labour party Michelle Rowland called the NBN infrastructure “dud” technology.

“This was supposed to be future-proofing technology that would save four years and A$30 billion by switching to the multi-technology mix. It has utterly failed,” she told reporters.

Shares in Telstra fell following the NBN Co announcement on Monday (27 November). NBN Co paid the telecommunications company A$11 billion for its infrastructure, and to manage the design and construction of fast broadband to more than three million homes currently in the footprint of Telstra’s HFC pay-TV cable.

“Telstra will keep impacted customers informed and discuss disconnection obligations with NBN Co and the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to minimise customer impact during this period,” the telco said in a statement.
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