Telstra ups cable to 100Mbps, dwarfs NBN speeds

Network upgrades to go national

Sol Trujillo - CEO Telstra

Sol Trujillo - CEO Telstra

Telstra today announced sweeping upgrades to its national Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), or cable, network which will see 1.8 million Melbourne homes receive Internet access speeds of up to 100Mpbs by years' end.

The upgrades will improve the telco's HFC network in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and dwarf the government's proposed minimum 12Mpbs speeds for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The speed of Telstra's Melbourne network will more than triple thanks to a rollout of the DOCSIS 3.0 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) at a total upgrade cost of $300 million.

Outgoing Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said the latest DOCSIS version has been successfully rolled out overseas.

“Late last year, Telstra foreshadowed that we would continue our investment in our cable network and, with the DOCSIS 3.0 software now well established internationally, we have the ability to dramatically increase speeds into Australian homes,” Trujillo said in a statement.

“Now we are going to [have] super-fast broadband with download speeds among the highest in the world.”

Some analysts considered the DOCSIS technology a spare card to allow Telstra to tighten competition between its HFC network and the looming NBN.

The telco said further upgrades could push the network to speeds of 200Mpbs. In Melbourne, network speeds of 30Mpbs go to 1.8 million homes and 17Mpbs to some 700,000, the company said.

Trujillo last month said the company's is unperturbed by it's exclusion from the $4.7 billion taxpayer-funded NBN and said it will build on its Next G, HFC and fibre backhaul networks.

Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie told reporters last month in Sydney its exclusion from the NBN will not jeopardise its market position.

“It would be nice if this country got off the political kick and got on to the innovation investment concept and understand that there are a lot of ways to skin a cat,” McGauchie said.

He claimed the NBN will have no impact on Telstra's financial guidance and will present “major challenges for the operator” in terms of technology, logistics and legal challenges.

Trujillo said in a presentation made at the Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications conference in the US the company will lose $1-$2 billion in future revenue.

The national HFC network reaches 2.5 million homes and the DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades will start immediately

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