Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra is expected to move forward with plans to upgrade its hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network from next month, according to iTnews. The telco will reportedly deploy DOCSIS3.0 technology in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast, boosting downlink speeds from a current peak of 30Mbps to 100Mbps. The report cites Telstra CEO David Thodey as having suggested that a national upgrade would likely get started in the second week of December.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Telstra’s HFC broadband network passes more than 2.7 million homes across the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with nodes capable of serving up to 1,200 customers each. Back in March 2009 the telco announced plans to invest more than AUD300 million (USD191.4 million) that year to upgrade its HFC network to offer downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps, with the initial upgrade phase conducted in Melbourne. A month ahead of schedule, in November 2009 Telstra revealed that it had completed the upgrade, and said that the higher speeds would be available on a commercial basis from 1 December 2009. Telstra also revealed plans to boost the speeds on its cable infrastructure in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide to 30Mbps following the first 100Mbps deployment, but at that time confirmed that it had no intention to introduce 100Mbps anywhere other than Melbourne.
Following the revelation that 100Mbps speeds would be expanded to other cities, a Telstra spokesman was cited as saying that the upgrades had been planned due to ‘increased customer demand’, including a two-fold jump in the amount of data consumed over fixed line services. The upgrades meanwhile come despite claims that Telstra is close to finalising a deal for the transfer of its existing customers to the in-development National Broadband Network (NBN) with NBN Co, the public-private company overseeing the construction of the infrastructure.