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What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

Starter Poster
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎13-06-2014

What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

by fblunsdon Starter Poster
Message 1 of 4 (515 Views)

Hi

 

What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

We have been offered HFB at our address. Apparently it was installed 2 months ago even though we have seen no workers in the area. We rang vodafone and they said it is HFB but I don't know what the difference is.

 

Regards,

Fiona

 

Senior Contributor
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎07-08-2008

Re: What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

by Senior Contributor shadow Senior Contributor
Message 2 of 4 (499 Views)

HFB is Vodafone's Cable TV network, it was built in the late 1990's in the Kapiti / Wellington area and it was called Saturn back then. Around 2000 it became TelstraSaturn then not long later it became TelstraClear. Think it was expanded into parts of Christchurch around the same time.

 

The part of the network that enters the house is the Coax Cable part, but the backhaul of the Cable Network is fibre hence its called an HFC Network or Hybrid Fibre-Coax network.

With the cable network you are connected to a "node" and you share the capacity of that node which is why the activity light on the cable modem is always flashing even when you are not using the net. Vodafone have recently upgraded the nodes on their Cable network to support a technology called DOCSIS version 3.1 which allows maybe around 700-800 megabit of speed over the cable network.

 

UFB is the Government funded FTTP (Fibre to the premises) network that is still being built and will end up in most small towns by around 2024 under the UFB2 project recently announced. The link to the house is fibre optic from the exchange/distribution cabinet and doesn't suffer the problem of copper where the link gets slower the longer the line. Plus you are not sharing bandwidth with everyone on your street!

 

Vodafone are branding their Cable Network as FibreX, I'm guessing to sell the network as being as good as Fibre.

 

If I had to pick between the two it would most def be Fibre (UFB) being the newer technology and designed from the ground up to be as fast as it is.

I'm having to use Cable where I am due to having to wait till July 2019 for Fibre to be put down our street.

 

Hope this is helpful.

Starter Poster
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎13-06-2014

Re: What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

by fblunsdon Starter Poster
Message 3 of 4 (451 Views)

shadow wrote:

 

The part of the network that enters the house is the Coax Cable part, but the backhaul of the Cable Network is fibre hence its called an HFC Network or Hybrid Fibre-Coax network.

With the cable network you are connected to a "node" and you share the capacity of that node which is why the activity light on the cable modem is always flashing even when you are not using the net. Vodafone have recently upgraded the nodes on their Cable network to support a technology called DOCSIS version 3.1 which allows maybe around 700-800 megabit of speed over the cable network.

 


Thanks for your reply. Does that mean if everyone on our node is using the internet at the same time we could end up with the same or less speed than we have now on VDSL?

We are in the same position as you, having to wait until 2019 for real Fibre Smiley Sad

 

Regards,

Fiona

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Senior Contributor
Posts: 447
Registered: ‎07-08-2008

Re: What is the difference between UFB and HFB (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)?

by Senior Contributor shadow Senior Contributor
Message 4 of 4 (447 Views)

In theroy yes but not that likely. 

Got to remember when on the internet you are not actually using bandwidth all the time, e.g while you are reading this reply I suspect your connection will be sitting idle until you go to another site.

 

HOWEVER one big problem the Cable network faced last year was the introduction (officially) of Netflix to NZ then we ran into the scenaio where everyone was hammering the net at the same time so from rough 3pm'ish to 11pm the cable network slowed (in my case) to around half the speed ADSL should offer, for some people it was even worse.

This was fixed however as Vodafone upgraded all the nodes and installed technology to allow the network to cope with the influx of Netflix use.

There is a huge thread on Geekzone.co.nz regarding the Cable congestion (search krapi cable congestion) and shows how bad things got then suddenly better as the nodes were upgraded.

 

The comments I saw over on Geekzone that the new nodes have tons of spare capacity so shouldn't run into this problem again except some folk in Island Bay are having issues.

 

Latest thing with the Cable network that has me confused is the TV side of things, they have an iOS (apple) app they are not going to do any further updates on, once iOS 11 is here it won't work anymore.

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