Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) NBN

A Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection is when the premises contains an existing ‘pay tv’ or cable connection, such as Foxtel for example, that can be repurposed as the final component of the new NBN connection.
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Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) installations still require an access device at the point of entry into your home, which will be installed by an approved nbn installer or in some circumstances via self-install.

How does Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) work?

As mentioned above, HFC is short for Hybrid Fibre Coaxial. But if you’ve ever heard people refer to the term ‘cable’ when talking about internet connections, it’s basically the same thing. Cable internet technology and plans have been available for some properties in Australia for years, and the same tech is used by Pay TV services.

If your home has been allocated an HFC nbn™ connection, it’s most likely because your neighbourhood already has cable, including your own premises. The nbn™ is built using fibre optic cables that run all across the country. Starting out in major hubs, they travel all the way to different regions across Australia. The small connections, in suburbs and towns, are called ‘nodes’. Coaxial cables then run from the nodes to your home, connecting you to the national network. 

How is Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) different from other NBN types?

There are a number of different nbn connections.

  • FTTN (Fibre to the node): The fibre connection runs to the node, and from there a copper connection runs to your home.
  • FTTC (Fibre to the curb): Fibre runs to a distribution point on a curb, or street, and copper runs to the home from there.
  • FTTP (Fibre to the premises): While generally less common, this option provides a quality connection by running the fibre connection to the home itself.
  • FTTB (Fibre to the building): Generally seen in apartment buildings, this connection delivers fibre to a comms room of a building and then couples with the existing cabling network within.
  • Fixed Wireless: Using transmission towers, a signal is spread across a region where residences are fitted with a roof antenna.
  • SkyMuster Satellite: Primarily for remote locations, there are presently two satellites in operation communicating with satellite dishes placed on residences.

How fast is Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)?

HFC, can offer a range of speed options like most nbn connections. Of course, these speeds can be affected by local traffic and your plan and provider. When comparing providers, just check to see if they offer tiers of speed, and take this into account when making your decision. For some additional research, check out the ACCC’s Broadband Performance Data site. It’s regularly updated with speed information from some of Australia’s top internet providers.

What equipment do I need for a Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection?

Most of what you need will be supplied. Firstly, an nbn™ utility box will sit outside of your home. This will connect to a box or cable modem inside. These are all supplied by the nbn™. The unit inside your home, known as an NTD (Network Termination Device) needs to be connected to a modem/router. This can be an existing piece of hardware you already own (if compatible with the network), or can often be provided by your nbn™ provider. Check with your chosen provider what modem options are available.

How do I compare internet plans?

No matter what kind of nbn™ plan or connection you need, we can help to find you a setup that works for you. Depending on your location, type of premises and the number of people, there are plenty of factors to take into account.

The good news is, you don’t need to do all of the hard work! Just give iSelect a call on 13 19 20, and we’ll help you compare from our range of plans and providers*.

Last updated: 17/09/2021