NBN Co pushes back HFC restart date

This article was written by Eleanor Dickinson (ARN)

NBN Co has once again changed the date for when it will begin re-taking hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) orders amid a global chip shortage. 

The broadband builder originally suspended orders for HFC services on 1 February after the chip shortage left it with a dearth of network termination devices (NTDs). 

However, after originally claiming it would start taking orders for HFC devices in June, and then subsequently in May, NBN Co has now pushed the date back to 26 July. 

The latest date change came after NBN Co encountered issues with the rollout of a new workforce scheduling system, which sparked a protest among its workforce and contractors. 

However, it now claims that it will start connecting customers with HFC services, giving customers who have been waiting for the longest the first available connection appointments. It will also make available simple self-install kits to eligible premises to speed up their connection to the network. 

“We are pleased to confirm that we have acquired sufficient stocks of HFC modems and resolved a number of issues that have impacted the availability of field technicians, which will enable us to recommence taking new orders to connect premises to the network via HFC technology,” said NBN Co chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb. 

“We apologise to customers who have been inconvenienced by the initial delay relating to the global shortage of silicon chipsets used to manufacture and supply HFC modems, and the subsequent delays relating to our workforce scheduling system and the availability of field technicians in recent weeks.” 

Whitcomb added that it may “take some weeks to fulfil all new connection requests” due to customer demand. 

The news comes as NBN Co opens the door for governments at all levels to help it further develop its infrastructure.   

It is now calling for expressions of interest from federal, state, territory and local government agencies for the co-funding of projects to lift the digital capabilities of communities in regional and rural Australia.

E-marketing unsubscribe laws clarified

This article was written by iTWire – more than Tech News AUTHORITY NEWS: The law setting out how businesses must action unsubscribe (or ‘opt-out’) messages from consumers receiving commercial SMS and email has recently been further clarified. Businesses must not require consumers to do either of the following: • Provide personal information (other than the… View Article

ATO prepares to buy more managed services

This article was written by Stephen Withers, iTWire – more than Tech News The Australian Taxation Office has announced plans to buy additional managed IT services. ATO chief information officer Ramez Katf said the organisation plans to follow 2020’s six managed network services contracts with contracts for the supply of centralized computing, end-user technology, and enterprise… View Article

2021 telecommunications industry outlook

This article was written by Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s US Tech, Media and Telecom leader. Three strategies to consider in the year ahead Since spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been accelerating structural challenges and trends that have long faced the telecommunications industry. Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s US Tech, Media, and Telecom leader, explores the biggest trends… View Article