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nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial explained (HFC)
nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial explained (HFC)
Con Georgiopoulos avatar
Written by Con Georgiopoulos
Updated over a week ago

All types of nbn™ broadband access network connections that utilise a physical line running to the premises are considered Fixed Line connections.

What is nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)?

An nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection is used in circumstances where the existing ‘pay TV’ or cable network can be used to make the final part of the nbn™ access network connection. In this circumstance, an HFC line will be run from the nearest available fibre node to your premises.

HFC connections require an nbn™ access network device to be installed at the point where the line enters your home. This device requires power to operate and will be installed by an approved nbn™ installer. 

FAQs about nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)

How do you set up and what do you need for a Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection?

For new installations, NBN Co will supply a utility box and install it on the outside of your house, as well as a connection box inside your house. For details on setting up your HFC connection, please see this article.

My order has been confirmed. What should I expect for my installation appointment?

If an appointment is required (Self-Installation is not possible), after we've confirmed your order, an appointment window will be scheduled and confirmed by us via email and SMS. If the time is not suitable, please use the reschedule appointment link in the email or contact us to discuss.

You will receive a call a few days before your installation appointment to confirm that all the requirements are ready – and to make sure that there will not be any access restrictions at the site on the day.

On the day of installation of your Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection, an nbn™ technician will visit your premises to complete the following tasks:

  1. Determine and discuss with you the location(s) to mount/install nbn™ supplied equipment.

  2. If necessary, install a lead-in cable from the street to your property.

  3. Install, activate and test the installed nbn™ supplied equipment.

  4. Clean up after they have finished the installation.

The installation may include ducting and drilling works. If your premises has a communications cabinet, access will need to be arranged with your building or property manager before your appointment. If you know of any nbn™ supplied equipment currently on-site, be sure to let your provider know before the day.

Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) Installation with existing pay-TV or cable internet service:

How long does the HFC installation take?          

A standard installation may take two to four hours. If there are complexities or if the coaxial cable is not connected to the nbn™ utility box (also referred to as a ‘PCD’), the installation may take longer – sometimes up to eight hours.        

Does someone need to be present during the installation of my Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection?

Yes. Someone over the age of 18 must be present at the premises for the entire duration of the installation.         

Can I reschedule my installation appointment?

Yes. If you wish to reschedule an installation, you will need to contact SpinTel at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment to avoid any applicable charges.

Will my installation be completed during one visit?

Technicians aim to have all the required work completed in a single visit. Due to the complex and limiting nature of connecting some types of premises, there is the possibility that your technician may have to schedule an additional visit on another day to complete the installation.        

Where will the nbn™ supplied equipment be installed and can I choose their location?

Before your technician arrives, it is important to consider the possible internal (and external) mount and install locations of the nbn™ supplied equipment (nbn™ connection box and Power Supply Unit) – your technician will help advise where they can be installed. Be sure to discuss the location with your technician before they begin.

Things to consider when choosing the location of your nbn™ supplied equipment for Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connection:

  • No more than 80cm away from a power point – the equipment will need to stay plugged in.

  • A cool, dry, ventilated area (not a damp or wet area such as a kitchen, bathroom, laundry or under a window that opens).

  • Away from busy areas where it could be knocked or damaged.

  • Somewhere easy for you to access and check the indicator lights.

  • In the same building as the main electric meter box or distribution board (i.e. not in a detached garage).

If available, you may request to move the location of your main wall outlet free of charge as part of the installation process – you will then have two functioning wall outlets. The nbn™ connection box will be connected and activated on the new outlet, and the existing (old) outlet will continue to work if needed in the future.

You will be required to approve all aspects of the installation before the technician starts, so take the time to think about the install location(s). If you are not happy with all of the proposed locations or need further assistance, advise your technician that you do not want to progress with the installation and then contact your provider to discuss your options.

Is the nbn™ technician responsible for installing a modem supplied by SpinTel?

No, this step usually involves a simple self-installation – we will supply you with the instructions to complete this step. You will need to connect the SpinTel-supplied modem to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn™ connection box. Contact us if you need any help completing this step.        

I am renting my property, what do I need to do before installation day?

If you’re renting, you need to make your landlord aware that you want to install the required equipment, to ensure they do not object. If you’re not in direct contact with your landlord, contact your property manager or real estate agent. 

To help you prepare for the switch to the nbn™ broadband access network, here is a guide from nbn on what you need to consider.

When will my Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) service be activated? 

When your technician has finished the installation, you should be able to self-install the SpinTel-supplied modem and access your service – connecting the modem we have supplied you to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn™ connection box.

The service activation process:

  1. nbn™ will notify SpinTel that your installation has been initiated.

  2. SpinTel will then provision your service.

  3. Your technician finishes your installation – testing and activating your service.

  4. You can then self-install the SpinTel-supplied modem – connecting the modem to the yellow connector on the rear of the nbn™ connection box.

  5. After a few minutes, the lights on your modem should light up and your service should be active.

If you encounter any issues activating your service, you will need to contact SpinTel for assistance. If you are switching providers, please allow two to three business days for us to liaise with your provider to activate your service.

My technician did not show up and has not contacted me to let me know. What should I do? 

nbn™ technicians do their best to keep every appointment and notify customers if they can no longer make the agreed time. On the rare occasion that a technician is delayed due to the complexities of another installation and misses your appointment, you will need to contact SpinTel to reschedule your appointment. We will likely contact you once we're notified that the appointment has been missed.

If you have a complaint regarding your installation experience, please refer to the Contact us section of the nbn™  website.

My technician has advised me that my installation is ‘non-standard’. What does this mean? 

If the requirements of the installation are ‘non-standard’, your technician will refer you to contact SpinTel to discuss options and/or potential charges that may be involved. There are some cases where you may be required to organise and pay for digging a trench to prepare your premises to connect to the nbn™ infrastructure.

Will installing the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) nbn™ service affect my pay-TV service?

No. If you are connecting to the nbn™ access network and also have a pay-TV service (i.e. Foxtel), your technician will use a splitter to distribute the single connection across two cables; one to your TV or set-top box, and the other to the nbn™ connection box.

To allow full functionality of your pay-TV services, we recommend that you connect your TV or set-top box to your SpinTel-supplied modem via ethernet or Wi-Fi. Talk to your pay-TV provider if you need more assistance with this setup.

Can I remove or relocate my nbn™ supplied equipment?

Guidelines on the removal or relocation of nbn™ supplied equipment can vary depending on the situation. If you’re planning on removing or relocating your equipment due to renovation, demolition or a move of premises, before you do, please contact SpinTel for more information.        

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