We reported a little while ago that NBN Co had paused new activations for HFC customers following a worldwide shortage of the required components to make its HFC modems. Well, the resumption of HFC orders is in sight, but be prepared – it’s a little way off.
NBN Co is expected to resume HFC orders towards the end of May 2021, but that could fluctuate a little depending on when the national broadband network operator receives stock, as it wants to build up a reserve before commencing new customer orders:
“Our recommencement plan is contingent on deliveries of stock, the first of which is due at the end of March and then at regular intervals throughout April and thereafter,” NBN Co said.
“Our intention to build up our inventory of HFC modems in advance of the recommencement plan.”
For customers waiting for an NBN HFC connection but who already have an existing connection, NBN Co has paused its cutover plans, allowing those customers to remain on existing access technologies until the new equipment is available. For customers with no alternative access mechanism, NBN Co has kept a small reserve of HFC modems which it will provide “where the disconnection date has passed and where no legacy service is available”.
If you’re in this situation, it is strongly recommended you engage with an NBN retailer and seek their assistance to gain access to whatever stock might be available – contacting NBN Co directly won’t do you any good.
Beyond servicing customers in these edge cases, NBN Co is also maintaining sufficient stock to look after vulnerable customers (again, as identified by RSPs) as well as emergency and other community organisations that have no other viable means to obtain internet connectivity.
Given how easily NBN HFC modems disappear – especially in residential tenancy situations where tenants take modems with them (despite them being useless at any other address) – one wonders when, or if, NBN will take alternative steps to stop wastage of the modems. Unlike HFC modems which disappear easily, NBN’s fibre to the premises modems (or NTDs) are almost always mounted to a wall and screwed in, making their accidental removal unlikely (or, in some cases, almost impossible).
It’s a shame they didn’t do the same for FTTC and HFC modems, as moving into a rental in an area served by these access technologies is almost always anxiety inducing .. especially now for HFC customers where the modem has likely been pinched, and a new one won’t be available for months.