Potential NBN users face a new delay after the company behind the rollout announced technical problems would again push out its rollout. Picture: Chris Higgins
Potential NBN users face a new delay after the company behind the rollout announced technical problems would again push out its rollout. Picture: Chris Higgins

Massive new delays for NBN customers

MORE THAN two million Australian households will need to wait months longer to connect to the National Broadband Network after the company behind the rollout admitted some of its connections were simply too unreliable.

About 2.5 million households are expected to be affected by delays up to nine months, which NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow said he would not categorise as "a stuff-up" but evidence the company was trying to improve customers' experiences.

National Broadband Network CEO Bill Morrow, with Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, said the delays were designed to improve the customer experience. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
National Broadband Network CEO Bill Morrow, with Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, said the delays were designed to improve the customer experience. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The delays will affect households due to connect to the NBN using pay-TV cable, also known as Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC), including 780,000 homes in areas "ready for service" and an additional 1.8 million premises where work on the network had yet to commence.

Mr Morrow said the HFC connections to the NBN were more susceptible to internet dropouts, particularly during evening peak times, and the issue had already caused a greater number of consumer complaints than for other technology.

NBN Co could fix these issues on a "one-on-one basis if we needed to," Mr Morrow said, but it was more efficient to halt the rollout to prevent widespread internet connection problems.

"I don't believe this is a stuff-up," he said. "If we have done something, we need to wear it. I have no problem admitted we could have done something better.

READ MORE: Why the problems with the NBN can't be fixed

"It's very easy in hindsight to look back and say 'well why didn't we examine this particular frequency band with this particular issue' but the reality is this is someone else's network (Telstra)."

About 50,000 Australians "in the queue" for an HFC connection would still have their services activated, he said, and retailers would be give a two-week window to connect other new orders so no customers were left in limbo.

More than three million households and businesses are expected to connect to the National Broadband Network using Telstra's HFC network.

The latest delays follow NBN Co's decision to scrap plans to use Optus' HFC network last year after a long list of technical problems with ageing, overused equipment, network complexity, and high interference slowing download speeds.



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