Nearly two months after pausing orders on new hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) services due to a global shortage of the necessary chipsets, NBN Co has started receiving new shipments of HFC modems and plans to begin taking new orders from 24 May.
In late February, the National Broadband Network (NBN) builder said it new HFC service orders would begin again by at least June. Now that a new supply of HFC modems has started trickling through, NBN Co looks set to make good on its promise.
However, the order restart date and the recommencement plan underlying it does come with a qualification – the continued deliveries of stock, which NBN Co started receiving throughout March, with further scheduled deliveries expected in the months ahead.
Meanwhile, the company is working through its approach for the recommencement of new orders and will communicate its detailed plan to internet retail service providers (RSPs) on 8 April 2021.
“We are confident that we will receive regular deliveries of new HFC modems in the weeks and months ahead to enable the resumption of new HFC connections from 24 May 2021,” Brad Whitcomb, NBN Co chief customer officer, said.
“We appreciate customers’ patience during this global chipset shortage that has temporarily delayed some new HFC connections to the NBN network,” he added.
NBN Co said that during the general pause on new orders, it made special provisions using available HFC modems held in reserve to continue to connect premises occupied by medically vulnerable customers.
In this effort, it has worked with retailers to connect more than 230 vulnerable customers since 2 February 2021, with the company continuing to offer priority service to vulnerable customers.
The network builder has also continued to reconnect HFC services for customers who have moved into premises that have been disconnected from the network and for customers living in, or working at, premises where the disconnection date had passed and where no legacy service was available.
More than 47,000 premises have been reconnected to the NBN via HFC technology since 2 February.
NBN Co said it is now using the first new deliveries of HFC modems received in March 2021 as well as the limited stocks in its warehouses for reconnection orders, in addition to premises without a legacy phone or internet service and medically vulnerable customers.
There are currently approximately 31,000 such premises with reconnection orders in progress and NBN Co expects to work through as many of these orders as possible prior to taking new orders on 24 May 2021, the company said.