New measures were announced in December to provide consumers with more information and extra protections as they choose an internet plan and transition to the NBN.
Almost 7 million homes and businesses are now able to order an NBN service, and over 3.3 million premises are already connected, but in recent months there have been complaints from consumers about slow speeds, poor receptivity and uncertainty about connection plans.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will implement new rules to address these issues and help consumers make informed decisions when choosing a provider.
NBN service providers will be required to provide more information about their plans to potential customers. This will allow consumers to easily compare information on speeds, data allowances and pricing between providers.
Providers will be required to report complaints from their customers to ACMA, and ACMA will publish the results. NBN Co, the agency responsible for the NBN rollout, will also be required to report on performance. This includes their connection timeframes and installation success. In a number of cases, customers have reported that after connection they had no internet access, requiring a second visit from installers.
ACMA will undertake further research into modem quality, potentially leading to the introduction of technical standards, or a modem performance rating scheme. NBN Co will establish a consumer experience dashboard to publicly report NBN connection, fault repair and service delivery performance.
Retail providers will be required to undertake a line test at the time of connection to ensure a functioning and quality service, and a speed test at any time if requested by a customer. Consumers can also be reconnected to a previous service until they are able to successfully connect to the NBN.
A total of $8.7 million will be provided to the ACMA over three years to implement these measures, beginning early this year.
For more information on how to connect to the NBN, see the NBN webpage or visit NBN Co’s website www.communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/national-broadband-network.