NBN Co might need to rebuild the Optus network it bought for $800 million

More cable? Getty

The Optus hybrid fibre-coaxial network purchased by NBN Co in 2012 is “not fit for purpose”, according to an internal briefing published by Fairfax Media.

The HFC network is part of the “multi technology mix” that the government announced to replace Labor’s full-fibre plan.

The draft NBN briefing, intended for senior executives, says parts of the network are reaching the end of their lifespan, others are oversubscribed and would not be able to provide the speeds promised by the government. The network would need to be “overbuilt” to cover 470,000 premises, according to The Financial Review.

Upgrading or replacing the network could cost up to $375 million the document states.

“NBN will miss its financial year 2017-18 ready-for-service targets by respectively 300,000 and 333,000 [premises],” it reads.

“Preliminary analysis indicates a peak funding increase of $150 million to $375 million.”

The lower bound of that estimate would require expanding Telstra’s current network, which sits alongside the Optus network in many areas.

But the NBN has rejected reports that the network needs to be upgraded.

“Our corporate plan has accounted for the ebbs and flows expected in a project of this scale” a statement read.

“NBN is conducting an HFC Pilot on the Optus HFC network in Redcliffe, QLD…End-users have been receiving speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps. NBN has not found any unexpected technical issues with the Optus network in the Redcliffe area.”

You can read more at The Financial Review.

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