NBN Question (HFC)


We're getting the NBN over HFC at my house. I know my existing Telstra Cable modem has a coaxial line in for the cable service, and NBN will be provided over this (via the HFC connection).

My question is, what modems are compatible with HFC NBN? Was going to sign up with aussie broadband the other night but didn't know whether I needed to buy a modem with them or not. Do their modems have HFC in or am I misunderstanding how HFC NBN works?

Tried googling this and couldn't work it out…


  • +7

    NBN will give you a free 'HFC modem' during installation.

    You only need a wifi router to connect lan cable to the 'HFC modem'

    • +2

      Thread closed.

    • So everyone on HFC has to run two devices? Is there a model number of what you usually get? Or just random

      • Yer small portable HD sized hfc box and whatever router you get from RSP/ISP or buy yourself.

      • the "modem" is an NTD (network termination device) to be installed by NBN

        standard issue is Arris CM8200

        you can't just swap it with other random cable modem from shop

      • So everyone on HFC has to run two devices?

        Correct. You get the HFC modem (called 'Network Termination Device', 'NTD' or 'nbn connection box'), which remains the property of NBN.

        You then have a separate router (either provided by your ISP, or your own). You own this and have control of it.

        Is there a model number of what you usually get?

        There's a couple of different models NBN hands out, but you don't have a choice. They're all the same. You can't actually interact with it (e.g. you can't login to it and see line stats) as it's NBN's property. It's just got one HFC cable going in, and one Gigabit network cable going out to your router.

        Arris Touchstone CM820 is one example NBN is using. But as I said, it doesn't really matter.

        You can't pick your own one - you must use the one NBN provides you (it won't work with any other ones).

        Setup guide (this is hotsed on Internode's website, but it's the same for all ISPs): https://www.internode.on.net/pdf/products/nbn/nbn-hfc-user-g...

        • So at what point do you get this modem? When you first order the NBN through a provider?

          I'm in Beenleigh and the NBN is available for "preorder". Keen for the faster upload speed as I do a lot of development. Thinking about preordering with Aussie BB

          • @misterpotatomato: the modem is to be installed by NBN = when NBN is available and you've placed order with ISP

            punch in your address below and check ETA


          • @misterpotatomato:

            So at what point do you get this modem?

            When you make your first order for an NBN service.

            Depending on the present state of your house (e.g. what cabling you already have installed), they'll either send it to you in the mail for you to plug in yourself; or they'll arrange a time for a NBN installer to come out and do cabling work. If someone from NBN comes out to you, they'll bring a modem with them.

            Because the NBN modem is the property of NBN and is attached to the address you live in; if you ever move house, you need to leave the NBN modem there for the next owner/tenant to use. The NBN modem will not work at any other address.

  • +1

    You can probably use your existing “Telstra Cable Modem” as it is both a modem and router. Instead of plugging in the coaxial line you would connect it to the Ethernet cable from the NBN modem that will be installed.

    The installer may be able to assist you with this. There should be an “internet” port on the Telstra Modem/Router.

    • -3

      You can probably use your existing “Telstra Cable Modem” as it is both a modem and router.

      No, you can't. It won't work. NBN HFC will only operate with HFC modems provided by NBN.

      • Thats not what he said. He's saying the OP can use the Telstra Cable modem as just a router.

        • Thats not what he said. He's saying the OP can use the Telstra Cable modem as just a router.

          Indeed he did, my apologises - I misread the post.

  • OP if I were you I'd go buy a nice shiny new router, rather than trying to re-use the Telstra cable modem. Just less hassles.

    I have NBN HFC and got a new TPLink AC3150 and love it. You dont even need to put in any credentials with AussieBB, just plug and play once your NBN is activated with them.

    You might have some mucking around to do with the Telstra modem as just a router. But up to you.

    Also, the upload speed is worth every penny!

    • i think it's more to ISP

      ABB is IPoE with no VLAN tagging required, hence simples - plug & play.

      • Yeah thats what I meant :) I Just wrote it badly.

  • NBN should be selling directly to customers to avoid the pointless private sector which has been nothing but inefficient and hopeless. Because it has no other option to be anything else with all the additional costs and widespread duplication of everything to serve a smaller group of customers than a state owned monopoly.

  • You must use the ntd nbn provide at the time of install as they configure the MAC address and program the device for the Cisco Arris nodes

    You’ll plug your choice of router into the Lan port of the ntd and using your Wan port of your router to provide internet

    Depending on who you go with (strongly recommend Aussie broadband due to better peak speed and easier authentication) you will need to either enter credentials for PPP AUTH or just connect and go

    Most people I know have had improvements going to nbn HFC over cable with Telstra due to more upload and better back end systems

    Some suburbs still have congestion issues Telstra never bothered to fix, a small percentage of HFC installs have issue but most are good

    The upload speed utilising more channels is the best part and you’ll usually see pings and speeds equal to Telstra or better on Aussie BB

  • I thought all nbn over hfc had been put on hold due to problems with service.

    • It was on hold until last October (for me at least, that was when I got connected)

  • I currently have Telstra cable, with their Telstra Cable modem (I believe it's the Netgear C6300BD). I have wifi switched off and let my Apple Time Capsule do the wifi (connected via ethernet). This setup works well for me (Telstra modem is tucked away near the coax outlet, Time Capsule is positioned in the living room with good reach throughout the place). When I move to nbn HFC, would either of the following setup work (I don't care too much about Telstra Air or VOIP)?

    nbn connection box (Arris) <-> Apple Time Capsule (preferred)
    nbn connection box (Arris) <-> Netgear C6300BD <-> Apple Time Capsule (so keeping the current hardware, perhaps with some change of settings in the Netgear C6300BD?)

    That way, I could potentially sell the supplied Telstra NBN modem (prefer to reuse what I have, not to create more waste).

    • +1

      I have it setup to connect the NBN box to Time Capsule directly and it works great, no need for another router in between.

      • I read something about the need with some nbn providers for 'VLAN Tagging' (TPG) and that Apple routers don't support this?

        • +1

          I’ve used it with MyRepublic and AB, haven’t had any issues.
          Sorry can’t comment on TPG