MyRepublic flags significant setbacks for start-up telcos over HFC pause

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MyRepublic flags significant setbacks for start-up telcos over HFC pause

MyRepublic has flagged potentially significant setbacks for start-up telcos when the NBN stops orders over its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network this week.

NBN Co will stop new HFC orders for the next six to nine months in order to improve service for ISPs and end users following complaints from customers that they could not reach internet speeds that they were advertised.

MyRepublic's ANZ managing director Nicholas Demos told CRN that the pause would cut 22 percent of the start-up telco's new orders. On the bright side, Demos added that it could be the first step by NBN Co in acknowledging issues with the network's multi-mix technology.

"I think that's the first acknowledgement where things aren't quite where they need to be. It's bad for us as a new entrant because all of our customers are new, we don't have an existing base. 22 percent of our orders now are HFC. As of next week, that's being turned off. We're going to instantly lose 22 percent of the orders we're taking, so it's having a dramatic effect on us," said Demos.

"With the incumbents, it doesn't affect them as much because all they're doing is lifting and shifting existing customers to existing technology to the NBN. They're not losing customers, they're actually keeping customers on existing technology with existing price points."

MyRepublic, which launched in Australia 12 months ago, has so far signed up 60,000 customers to its NBN services, with Optus wholesale as an aggregator. The company launched with the goal of promoting all of its customers to the fastest speed tier available to them. Demos said that 98 percent of its customers chose to purchase 100 Mbps bundles.

In June, MyRepublic selected Wollongong as its first "gigatown", offering 1Gbps plans for $130 per month to the NSW city.

Chief executive Malcolm Rodrigues told CRN that MyRepublic was preparing to launch its own mobile service towards the end of 2018, and is currently eyeing up potential network operators to partner with. He also said that the telco is looking to launch a range of in-home products to improve connectivity, such as high-end routers and wi-fi mesh products.

The Singapore-based company so far has 250,000 customers in Asia-Pacific, which covers Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia.

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