Hybrid Fibre Coaxial NBN

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Updated 26/10/2023
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Written by

Mel Basta

Updated 26/10/2023

What changed?

Rewrite for TOV and clarity and references updated
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

Compare NBN plans the easy way

Save time and effort by comparing a range of NBN plans and providers online*

How does HFC work?
How fast is HFC?
How much do HFC Internet Plans cost?
What equipment do I need for a HFC connection?
How can I get a HFC connection installed?
How is HFC different from other NBN types?
Where can I compare HFC Internet Plans?

A Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection is a type of NBN connection that makes use of existing pay TV or cable lines. The cable lines form the final part of the NBN connection, and voila, high-speed Internet!1NBN Co – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Explained

How does HFC work?

HFC is short for Hybrid Fibre Coaxial – what a mouthful! But if you break it down, it makes sense. ‘Coaxial’ is the type of cable used in the pay TV network,2As above ‘fibre’ is a shorthand for the fibre-optic cable used to build the NBN network, and a HFC connection uses a hybrid of both.

If your home has been allocated a HFC NBN connection, it’s probably because your neighbourhood and your own premises already have cables.

You might already be aware that the NBN network runs all across the country, starting out in major hubs and travelling all the way to different regions across Australia.3NBN Co – How your broadband gets to you The sites in suburbs and towns where a major NBN line divides into smaller lines are called ‘nodes’.4NBN Co – The technology that connects your premises

With a HFC connection, coaxial cables then run from the nodes to your home, connecting you to the national network.5NBN Co – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Explained

How fast is HFC?

Like most NBN connections, HFC can offer a range of speed options. In theory, HFC connections can deliver download speeds of up to 1Gbps,6Dodo – Choosing the perfect NBN plan although this can depend on local traffic (especially during peak evening hours!) as well as your NBN Plan and provider.

HFC is typically slower only to FTTP connections.7Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – Broadband Performance Data This means homes or businesses with a HFC connection should usually be able to access NBN Home Superfast Plans (the second-fastest available).8Aussie Broadband – NBN HFC explained – Everything you need to know They can sometimes access Ultrafast Plans (the fastest available).9As above

How much do HFC Internet Plans cost?

With HFC, any NBN Plan could be fair game – if you’re looking at the fastest tiers, you’ll just need to check whether they’re possible with your particular connection.10As above

Many providers offer a variety of plans and iSelect can help you choose a plan that suits your budget and needs from a range of plans and providers*.

Starter plans can begin from around $55 per month for download speeds of around 15Mbps,11Dodo – NBN plans ($55 plan, price checked 18/10/23) or for 25Mbps they can be as low as around $50 per month.12Tangerine – NBN plans ($49.90 Value Plan, price checked 18/10/23)

Faster plans can range from around $128 per month for download speeds of around 250Mbps,13Goodtel – NBN plans ($128 Blazing Plan, price checked 18/10/23) or as low as $99 per month for speeds up to 1Gbps.14Superloop – NBN plans ($99 Lightspeed Plan, price checked 18/10/23)

It’s important to remember that while some plans may be cheaper than others and provide similar download speeds, other features, such as local customer service, might not be on offer, so when you’re choosing a plan, think about what’s most important to you.

What equipment do I need for a HFC connection? 

Your equipment should be supplied to you by your provider and by the NBN. The only exception is a modem and ethernet cable, where you can sometimes use your own.15NBN Co – Preparing for the NBN broadband access network, Hybrid Fibre Coaxial, p5 Here’s a simple summary of what you’ll need:

  • An NBN utility box: This box sits outside of your home and connects to the NBN connection box and modem inside your home.16As above, p3
  • An NBN connection box: This sits inside your home and connects to the NBN utility box.17As above, p3
  • A coaxial cable: This connects your NBN connection box to your wall outlet.18As above, p3
  • A modem: This is supplied by your internet provider. You’ll need to connect this to your NBN connection box with an ethernet cable that’s provided with the modem.19As above, p5
  • An ethernet cable: This is supplied by your internet provider. (It connects your modem to your NBN connection box.)20As above, p5

And that’s it. Once all these devices are connected to each other, you can access the NBN!

How can I get a HFC connection installed?

If your home or business is yet to be connected to the NBN, you’ll usually need to get an approved NBN technician to come and install it.21NBN Co – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Explained

First, you’ll need to get in touch with your Internet Provider so they can confirm which installation process applies to your premises.22As above

If your provider confirms that there is no NBN connection to your premises, they can then arrange to have an NBN technician call you and organise a visit to your premises to connect you.23As above

A standard HFC installation can take around two to four hours.24As above If the coaxial cable isn’t connected to the NBN utility box, it can take up to eight hours.25As above

With the NBN rollout well underway, you can check to see if your premises is connected to the NBN here.

How is HFC different from other NBN types?

There’s not just one type of NBN connection, there’s a whole bunch of them! So it’s no wonder it all seems a bit confusing for the uninitiated.

Here’s our quick guide to help you understand the differences between HFC and other NBN connection types:

Where can I compare HFC Internet Plans?

Depending on your location, the type of premises, and the number of people living there, there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing an Internet Plan that works for you. The good news is you don’t need to do it alone.

iSelect have partnered with CIMET to help you compare a range of Internet Plans and providers.* To start comparing plans, you can hop online or call our friendly team on 13 19 20.

Get started on comparing NBN plans today!

Save time and effort by comparing a range of NBN plans and providers online*

*iSelect’s partnered with CIMET Sales Pty Ltd (ABN 72 620 395 726) to help you compare a range of internet plans and providers. Not all internet plan providers or plans in the market are compared. The availability of plans may change from time to time. Not all plans available from CIMET providers are compared. Due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all plans compared will be available to all customers. Some plans and special offers are available only from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view CIMET’s range of providers. iSelect and CIMET earn a commission for every internet plan sold.