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Australia - Broadband - HFC Cable Networks

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Australia - Broadband - HFC Cable Networks

A good proportion of the hybrid fibre coax networks operated by the two major operators in Australia, Telstra and Optus, has been upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0 since 2010 as a way of remaining competitive in the current broadband market. Their investments indicate their support for consumer demand for faster broadband services. The roll out of the National Broadband Network will have considerable repercussions to their business case, given that customers in NBN areas will be migrated to the new fibre network.

The other main player is TransACT, operating a hybrid fibre coax network in Ballarat, Geelong and Mildura, with all of these regions also having received a million dollar upgrade to the higher-speed 100Mb/s. Since the acquisition of TransACT by iiNet in late 2011, these networks will now be integrated in the company's overall infrastructure plans.

There are fewer than one million cable broadband subscribers, accounting for less than to 8% of the total broadband market in Australia. However, most of these subscribers are high-end users providing relatively high ARPU for the cablecos.

In this report BuddeComm provides an overview of the hybrid fibre coax networks run by the operators. It also gives background information on technologies, together with market statistics in both the text and in tables and charts. The report assesses the potential market growth of hybrid fibre coax networks in the years leading to the deployment of the National Broadband Network.

Key developments:

NBN transition developments; fibre; DOCSIS upgrades to 3.1; calls for HFC wholesale access services; ABS data to June 2013; market developments to October 2013.

Companies mentioned:

Companies mentioned in this report include AUSTAR, Optus, FOXTEL, Telstra, Neighbourhood Cable, TransACT.

1. Synopsis
2. Technology
2.1 Hybrid fibre coax (HFC)
2.2 The DOCSIS standard
2.3 The next development for DOCSIS
3. Market statistics and estimates
4. Austar United Communications Ltd (AUSTAR)
4.1 Overview
5. BES/e-wire
5.1 Overview
6. TransACT
6.1 Overview
7. Telstra
7.1 Background information
7.2 network upgrades
8. Optus
8.1 Overview
8.2 Network upgrades
9. Industry analysis
9.1 Do we need infrastructure-based competition?
9.2 Moving on from the HFC of the past
9.3 No long-term future in HFC cable broadband
9.4 HFC to be decommissioned as NBN rolls out
9.5 From HFC to fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
9.6 Open access policy
10. Related reports
Table 1 Cable broadband subscribers by major operator and annual change 2002 - 2013
Table 2 Cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies 2009 - 2013
Table 3 Optus financial data 2012 - 2013
Table 4 Optus financial data by sector 2012 - 2013
Table 5 Optus on-net broadband subscribers 2012 - 2013
Chart 1 Overview of cable broadband subscribers by operator and annual change 2002 - 2013
Chart 2 Overview of cable subscribers versus other broadband technologies 2009 2013
Exhibit 1 HFC network status

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