National broadband network (NBN)

Australia newsAustralian politicsInternetNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

NBN’s speed slowed by reliance on copper network, its CEO admits | Technology

no thumb

The national broadband network’s reliance on copper has led to a higher fault rate and slower internet speeds but helped deliver the network faster and cheaper, its outgoing chief executive has said.

In a position paper released on Friday, Bill Morrow is frank about the challenges of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology and use of the copper network, a signature policy of Malcolm Turnbull in his time as communications minister.

Labor’s original design for the NBN planned to deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to 93% of Australian homes and businesses, but NBN Co changed course when the Coalition, upon winning government in late 2013, directed it to use a mix of technologies.

Sign up to receive the top stories in Australia every day at noon

Morrow credits use of the existing copper and pay TV networks with “a faster network build and a lower cost-per-premises”, but adds that it has had consequences, including limitations on the maximum speed when compared with “the previous fibre-based model”.

A third-party review by Vertigan found minimum peak speeds of 15 megabits per second (Mbps) would be “adequate for most households now and into the near future”, and the copper-based FTTN network is “sufficient until the demand exceeded these levels”.

Morrow said the use of copper in the last 1km of the network has “increased [the] fault rate and operating costs versus the all-fibre alternative”, but added the increased fault rate was “felt to be within reason”.

“These incremental costs are factored into the improved economics and are a small fraction of the incremental costs to build fibre to every home,” he said.

A third consequence of ditching fibre-to-the-premises in favour of a technology mix is a longer co-existence period, where the network uses the same lines as legacy voice and broadband services.

During that period the FTTN network delivers maximum download speeds of 12Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps, compared with maximum download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 5Mbps afterwards.

Pre-existing infrastructure “is sometimes worse than anticipated”, Morrow said, but the solution is a “reasonable trade-off” for the faster rollout and lower cost.

Morrow acknowledges the profitability of NBN Co is being squeezed by retailers seeking to compete on price by using other networks, including mobile services, to better serve end-users.

He states NBN Co charges the same wholesale price for high-density low-cost-to-build areas, which then subsidises low-density high-cost-to-build areas, creating an incentive for retailers to bypass the NBN in high-density areas.

“Our business plan today assumes a healthy amount of competition but some are questioning whether it is enough,” Morrow said.

Still, 74% of households are expected to connect to the NBN, he said.

Earlier this month a report by the telecommunications industry ombudsman revealed complaints about the NBN soared by more than 200% over the last six months of 2017 compared with July to December 2016.

It found there were 22,827 complaints lodged between July and December 2017 about the broadband network, including 14,055 about service quality and 8,757 about delays in establishing an NBN connection.

A spokeswoman for NBN Co said that of the 22,827 complaints about services delivered over the NBN, less than 5% (1,052) were sent to NBN Co to resolve.

In the position paper Morrow blames customer complaints on the complexity of the build and its unprecedented pace, and also points the finger at retailers. He argues that “we end up with too many, albeit the minority, who are dissatisfied with their experience” in part due to “an often confusing demarcation between responsible parties”.

Morrow said NBN Co is “technology agnostic” and wanted to “get to every Australian as soon as possible at the least possible cost and make sure it has a minimum performance level both now and with upgrades going into the future”.

NBN has also announced 1.5m homes and businesses who are not already connected to FTTN will get new fibre-to-the-kerb technology over the next two years, which is faster because it uses less of the copper network.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsCoalitionNational broadband network (NBN)

NBN complaints surged by more than 200% in second half of 2017, report finds | Technology

no thumb

Complaints about the national broadband network soared more than 200% over the last six months of last year, according to a new report from the telecommunications industry ombudsman, with rising customer dissatisfaction about phone and internet services prompting a new government review.

With the NBN Co chief executive, Bill Morrow, due to address the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday, the latest report from the TIO finds there were 22,827 complaints lodged between July and December 2017 about the broadband network – 14,055 about service quality and 8,757 about delays in establishing an NBN connection.

Given consumer complaints about the NBN, fixed line and mobile services are all on the rise, with almost 85,000 complaints recorded in total over the reporting period, the Turnbull government has produced terms of reference for a review into current consumer safeguards in the telecommunications sector.

The communications minister, Mitch Fifield, said the TIO’s latest six-monthly update showed “the existing model for complaints handling and redress is not working”.

“Customers are continuing to experience poor service and are unable to get their service provider to satisfactorily resolve issues,” Fifield said. “Telcos need to lift their game”.

The minister said the government had already directed the Australian Communications and Media Authority to work to give consumers a better experience during the NBN transition and imposed a complaints handling standard.

“It is now time to look at the effectiveness of consumer protections across the board”.

While the latest snapshot of customer dissatisfaction builds on a wealth of criticism about the national broadband project, NBN Co points to a 16% decline in the rate of complaints in the closing months of 2017 as evidence that it is addressing highly publicised problems in the roll-out.

The NBN Co’s chief customer officer, Brad Whitcomb, said the complaints were made in the midst of “one of the biggest deployment years in the company’s history, with NBN Co increasing the number of activated premises on the network in the six months to 31 December 2017 by 39%”.

Whitcomb said the total number of complaints made to the TIO about services delivered over the NBN network equates to 0.67% of total activated services on the NBN access network. He said that, of the 22,827 complaints, less than 5% (1,052 complaints) were sent to NBN Co to resolve.

Morrow will use his speech on Tuesday to unveil new research on the economic impact of the NBN and polling about customer attitudes. The research compares areas where the NBN access network rollout is more than 90% complete with areas where the rollout was less than 10%.

The outgoing chief executive is expected to tell the National Press Club the new research by management consultants AlphaBeta indicates the NBN network generated an additional $1.2bn of economic activity in 2017 by “helping create new jobs, new businesses, better productivity”.

According to a speech extract, Morrow will say: “This is exciting because it excludes the economic stimulus of the NBN rollout itself – things like capital investments, financing and the workers need to build the network have not been counted in this $1.2bn.

“By the end of the rollout, this ‘NBN-effect’ is predicted to have multiplied to $10.4bn a year. This represents an extra 0.07 percentage points to GDP growth, or 2.7% of the estimated GDP growth rate in 2021.

“By the end of the rollout, the NBN effect is forecast to have helped create 31,000 additional jobs”.

Morrow will also point to evidence the NBN is creating economic opportunity for women who want to work from home. He will say women with access to NBN connections are becoming self-employed at twice the overall rate of self-employment growth in NBN areas.

“In percentage terms, these results are stunning,” the NBN CEO will say. “The number of self-employed women in NBN regions grew at an average 2.3% every year, compared to just 0.1% annual average growth in female entrepreneurs in non-NBN areas.

“If this trend continues, up to 52,200 additional Australian women will be self-employed by the end of the roll out due to the NBN effect.”

Morrow was brought in as CEO of NBN Co in 2014 from his post as CEO of Vodafone Australia, where he had overseen a turnaround of the telco. He replaced the inaugural NBN CEO, Mike Quigley, who clashed with Malcolm Turnbull when he was the then Coalition opposition’s communications spokesman.

He told staff at the beginning of April he would move on from the role by year’s end.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

NBN Co boss Bill Morrow to quit before the end of the year | Technology

no thumb

The NBN chief executive, Bill Morrow, will quit his role by the end of the year, ending four years heading the rollout of the national broadband network during which he oversaw a massive change of direction in the nation’s largest infrastructure project.

Morrow said in a note to staff that it was “with a heavy heart” that he was leaving.

“At times my role at NBN has been challenging, relentless and, yes, sometimes frustrating, but never has there been a time that I wasn’t proud to be a part of the NBN team,” Morrow said in the note.

Morrow was brought in as CEO of NBN Co in 2014, coming across from his post as CEO of Vodafone Australia, where he had overseen a turnaround of the telco. He replaced the inaugural NBN CEO, Mike Quigley, who clashed with Malcolm Turnbull when he was opposition communications spokesman.

While the government has praised Morrow’s leadership, he endured a number of difficulties with the rollout of the network, including soaring levels of complaints and plummeting public support for the government’s model of using fibre-to-the-node and existing hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks.

A Guardian Essential poll in October found that more than 50% of Australians believed the national broadband network would fail to meet the country’s future internet needs and almost 40% blamed the Turnbull government for problems.

Forty-three per cent believed Labor’s NBN plan, which involved fibre-to-the-premises outside of rural areas, a more costly and time-consuming process that would have resulted in higher speeds, was the better plan for Australia. The Coalition’s switch to fibre-to-the-node was favoured by just 24% of respondents.

NBN Co was also forced to suspend the rollout of the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network in 2017 after complaints from customers.

The network has also suffered from a low rates of take-up with consumers failing to show enthusiasm. A draft report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released last year found that while about six million Australians had access to the NBN, only about half had taken it up.

Morrow was also at the helm in 2016 when NBN Co asked the Australian federal police to investigate leaks from the company to the federal opposition and journalists. That investigation culminated in AFP raids on the offices of Senator Stephen Conroy and the home of a Labor staffer during the middle of the federal election campaign.

The leaks had embarrassed the government by showing the costs of the NBN rollout had blown out during Turnbull’s time as communications minister and as a result of the move to fibre-to-the-node.

The NBN chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, said Australia had been fortunate to have Morrow lead the NBN project.

“While we will be sorry to see him leave, Bill has built a resilient, performance-driven organisation which will build on his legacy,” Switkowski said.

The federal communications minister, Mitch Fifield, and finance minister, Mathias Cormann, thanked Morrow for his leadership of the NBN project, saying it had met all operational and financial targets during his tenure.

“The extended notice provided by Mr Morrow will enable the NBN Co board to undertake a thorough domestic and international search for his successor, and facilitate a smooth transition within the executive leadership team,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

With Australian Associated Press

Source link

read more
Australia newsInternetNational broadband network (NBN)TechnologyTelecommunications industryTelecoms

NBN delay to 250,000 households a ‘teething problem’, minister says | Technology

no thumb

The government and Telstra have defended NBN Co’s suspension of its rollout of the HFC network. About 250,000 households that were to receive the NBN over the next six months will now have to wait after the company halted the rollout of services through pay TV cables.

On Monday the company said it was suspending the rollout of the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, to “improve customer service”, conceding that “too many were not having the experience they deserve when connected”.

Five paragraphs into the press release, headed “NBN Co takes customer experience improvement program to new levels”, the company said all new orders for NBN over the HFC network would be paused while incremental field work was done to improve the service for current users.

Telstra welcomed the announcement, despite it appearing to send its share price to a five-year low on Tuesday, the Australian reported. There is also a yet-to-be-calculated impact on Telstra’s compensation receipts for customers who transfer to the NBN.

“The NBN are putting the customer experience ahead of the rollout schedule,” Telstra’s chief executive, Andrew Penn, said. “And that is the most important thing because clearly there has been some pain with the HFC technology.”

About 370,000 of the 1m households ready to receive the NBN through HFC connections have done so.

The HFC cables were laid in the 1990s for pay TV services, and formed a key part of Malcolm Turnbull’s reworked NBN plan, to replace that of the Labor government.

The federal communications minister, Mitch Fifield, defended the NBN Co delay as a “teething problem”. On Sky News this week he conceded there were issues to work through in the early rollout period of any NBN technology, but they were “very fixable”.

Fifield said customers could still get 100Mbps on current services, and could “potentially” get gigabits per second on the HFC.

Earlier this month, Telstra announced it would refund up to 42,000 customers who had signed up for extra-speedy services the company conceded it was never able to deliver.

Telstra had self-reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which confirmed the undeliverable service promise through its own investigation.

When asked about recent complaints of slow speeds, Fifield said there were issues with interference on the spectrum shared by Telstra and Foxtel, but NBN had a fix for it, and that some joints between the street and house cables needed to be replaced.

Fifield told the ABC people affected by the delay were still able to get fast non-NBN broadband through HFC cables.

He joined the NBN Co chief executive, Bill Morrow, in maintaining the NBN network would be completed and 8 million Australians connected by 2020 – 3 million of which are expected to be through HFC.

Those who were scheduled to receive the NBN through HFC will now have to wait until the NBN Co updates its map. They have been assured that other services will not be withdrawn in the interim.

Even before the HFC-related delay, complaints about the NBN had skyrocketed and were expected to increase further.

The most recent annual report form the telecommunications ombudsman revealed complaints about the service had risen to more than 27,100 from 10,400.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsBusiness (Australia)InternetNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

NBN Co warns of delays after suspending rollout of HFC network | Technology

no thumb

Hundreds of thousands of Australians could be forced to wait months longer than expected to be connected to the national broadband network via pay television cables.

NBN Co on Monday announced it was temporarily suspending the rollout of the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network to “improve customer experience”. It warned of delays of six to nine months in new areas.

“While the good news is that we are working on a better experience for the internet providers and end users, the improvement efforts will take additional time,” the NBN chief executive, Bill Morrow, said. “We remain confident of reaching our goal of completing the build and connecting 8 million Australian premises by 2020.”

Nearly 1m premises are ready to connect via HFC, with 370,000 having already done so.

Morrow said too many Australians were not having the experience they deserved when getting connected over the HFC network and some were not experiencing its full potential.

Internet providers have been told of the changes and the NBN website will be updated in coming weeks so people can check their address to see if there are any changes to their connection date.

Source link

read more
Australia newsBusiness (Australia)Consumer affairsConsumer rightsInternetNational broadband network (NBN)Telecommunications industryTelstra

Telstra offers to refund 42,000 customers for slow NBN | Technology

no thumb

Telstra has offered to refund 42,000 customers for slow national broadband network speeds, following an investigation by the consumer watchdog.

The telco will offer remedies to those who purchased internet services through both Telstra and Belong brands between September 2015 and November this year after admitting it breached consumer law by promising NBN speeds that it was not capable of delivering.

“All businesses have a responsibility to ensure that claims about the performance of their products or services are accurate,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman, Rod Sims, said.

One of the affected services was a “Super Fast Speed Boost” plan, which advertised maximum download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and maximum upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps (100/40 Mbps).

In reality, many of Telstra’s fibre to the node and fibre to the building customers were not even capable of receiving the maximum speeds of a lower-speed plan, Sims said, adding: “In essence, people were paying more to get higher speeds that they just weren’t able to get.”

Telstra will offer affected customers a range of remedies, including refunds, the option to change speed plans, and exit from contracts without paying a fee.

Telstra went to the ACCC to notify it of issues relating to some, but not all, of the affected customers, which the ACCC investigation subsequently uncovered.

“We are pleased that Telstra proactively reported this serious problem to the ACCC and has cooperated in creating a remediation plan for affected customers,” Sims said.

“However, we are mindful this is not just a Telstra problem; it is an industry problem where consumers are often not getting the speeds they are paying for.

“We will continue to investigate other retail service providers selling broadband plans over the NBN and take enforcement action where appropriate.”

Telstra has made a commitment to check the attainable speeds of all new service connections within four weeks. If speeds do not match the advertised offer, it will offer the customer a remedy.

Source link

read more
Australia newsBirdsInternetNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

Beak performance: cable-chomping birds add to NBN headaches | Technology

no thumb

Australia’s $36bn national broadband network, already under attack from underwhelmed customers, has found a new and formidable enemy – cockatoos are chewing through cables across the country.

Repairing the damage wrought on the broadband system, including replacing steel-braid wires that the pesky parrots have gnawed, has already cost $80,000, NBN Co said on Friday.

The company estimates the bill could rise sharply as more damage is uncovered and more cables are rolled out in the national telecommunications infrastructure project, which is not due to be completed until about 2021.

“They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across,” NBN Co project manager Chedryian Bresland said in a blog post on the company’s website on Friday.

“Unfortunately, they’ve developed a liking to our cables … these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm.”

Yellow-crested cockatoos are prolific in Australia and known for their voracious appetites for everything from fruit crops to wooden window frames.

Much of the cable chomping has occurred in grain-growing regions in Australia’s southeast.

“It would have to be an acquired taste, because it’s not their usual style,” Gisela Kaplan, a professor in animal behaviour at the University of New England, said.

“Cockatoos usually go for wood, or strip the bark off trees, they don’t usually go for cables. But it might be the colour or the position of the cables that’s attracted them,” she said.

The broadband network has come under fire for poor service and slow speeds. Customer complaints have risen nearly 160% this year, according to government figures released last month.

Australia’s average internet speed of 11.1 megabits per second ranks 50th in the world, according to the most recent State of the Internet report by Akamai Technologies, an IT company specialising in internet speed technology.

NBN Co is installing protective casing, which it says will protect the wires from birds in the future.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsInternetMalcolm TurnbullNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

ACCC to review NBN after ‘high number’ of consumer complaints | Technology

ACCC to review NBN after ‘high number’ of consumer complaints | Technology

The consumer watchdog will review the standard of service NBN Co delivers to retailers amid an influx of customer complaints about connecting to the network.

The announcement came on the same day a Senate committee heard Malcolm Turnbull’s private Sydney home is not connected to the national broadband network, despite it being available in his street.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the public inquiry would consider whether regulation is required to improve consumers’ experience.

“We are very concerned about the high number of complaints from consumers around poor customer experiences, particularly in relation to customers connecting to NBN services and having faults repaired,” the ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said the NBN would be hooked up to the PM’s house ‘as soon as possible’. Photograph: David Moir/AAP

He said what happens at the wholesale level often flows through to the retail level and affects the customer experience.

“One of the main focuses of our inquiry will be whether there are appropriate incentives for NBN Co to remedy service failures, along with the adequacy of compensation available to wholesale customers, to ensure consumers in turn are provided appropriate redress when things go wrong.”

Unless improvements are made now, a significant proportion of consumers will be affected by issues as the NBN rollout continues, the ACCC said.

A discussion paper will be released in December allowing those interested to provide feedback, and submissions are due in the first quarter of 2018. The inquiry is expected to be completed by December 2018.

Also on Thursday, a Senate committee heard the prime minister’s private Sydney home was not connected to the national broadband network.

The committee heard Turnbull’s Point Piper home has an ADSL connection and telephone line. But, despite the NBN being available in the street, it is not yet connected.

The Lodge in Canberra has an ADSL line but the NBN is not available. However, Kirribilli House in Sydney has NBN available but is not yet connected.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said NBN would be hooked up to Point Piper “as soon as possible” and Kirribilli “in the near future”.

Turnbull has encouraged Australians to take up the NBN, despite describing it as a Labor “train wreck” which the Coalition government had to get back on track to save taxpayers’ money.

Earlier this week, the launch of the ACCC’s draft report into the communications industry showed consumers were concerned about NBN connection and activation problems, as well as fault rectification and slow internet speeds.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsInternetMalcolm TurnbullNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

NBN a mistake, says Turnbull, blaming Labor for ‘calamitous train wreck’ | Technology

no thumb

Malcolm Turnbull has labelled the national broadband network a mistake and blamed Labor for leaving the Coalition a “calamitous train wreck” of a project while responding to concerns from the NBN Co chief executive that it may not pay its own way.

Bill Morrow has suggested that competing technologies may hamper the commercial viability of the NBN in the lead-up to an ABC Four Corners investigation, airing Monday night, into the digital divide between premises that get faster fibre-to-the-premises rather than fibre-to-the-node connections.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Morrow said the NBN Co collected $43 a month from retailers who sold the NBN into homes but needed $52 to recover its costs.

“We, NBN and the board, are betting that future applications are going to bring more value into homes, that they are going to need more bandwidth or more data and that the retail service providers will pay us more,” he is quoted as saying.

But 4G wireless networks compete with the NBN and do not attract a $7.09 a month levy that the government charges fixed-line NBN competitors.

“As soon as competitors eat into these margins through enhanced antenna technology, we’ve got a problem,” he said, suggesting that the government may have to subsidise the NBN or “regulate to protect this model”.

In the 2018 NBN corporate plan, the NBN is predicted to make a return of between 3.2% and 3.7% in the long term.

Labor seized on Morrow’s comments, calling on the government to launch an independent audit of the assumptions underpinning the financial forecast.

“The Australian public deserves to know whether the multitechnology mix can stand on its own two feet,” the shadow finance minister, Jim Chalmers, and shadow communications minister, Michelle Rowland, said in a statement. “If today’s comments are any guide, the NBN CEO is not so sure.”

At a press conference in Canberra on Monday, Turnbull claimed Labor had wasted billions on the NBN and the Coalition had “done the best we can getting that project on track”.

“If we had gone down Labor’s route of fibre to the premises, it would have taken, say, another eight years to complete and another $30bn,” he said.

“Now, it is challenging. At the moment, it is estimated to deliver a return of around 3% [which] is enough to keep it … as a government asset, but it certainly is not a commercial return that the stock market would expect.”

Asked if the project was a mistake, Turnbull said “yes”, adding that it was a “big mistake” for Labor to have set up a new government company rather than splitting Telstra’s retail and network operation and have the private network company build the NBN.

Turnbull said there was “no plan” to impose any restrictions on mobile data. He noted that average data use on a mobile plan was about 15 gigabytes a month, compared with 150 for NBN customers.

He noted Bill Morrow’s comments about apartment buildings using enhanced antennas to get wireless internet, but did not address whether the fixed line levy would be extended to these services.

“Look, it is a competitive environment, but I just want to repeat we are doing everything we can to ensure the NBN delivers a great service,” he said.

Turnbull acknowledged a spike in consumer complaints about the NBN, and accepted there have been “real problems both with the installation experience and with people not getting the speeds that they believe they’re paying for, or that they have paid for”.

“One complaint is one complaint too many,” he said, promising to aim for “100% satisfaction” despite the fact it cannot be achieved.

Turnbull said that Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will put 4,000 monitors in place to monitor broadband performance.

On Monday the NBN released figures showing that the most expensive premises to connect to the network could cost tens of thousands of dollars, which Morrow told ABC’s AM illustrated “how difficult it is” to run the NBN without taxpayer subsidies.

Morrow said he NBN faced the “paradox” of being a user-pays financial model despite the fact that some premises were more expensive than others and 2m of 11m “will never make a financial return”.

He said the NBN’s business model relied on cross-subsidising the cost of connecting 2m difficult-to-wire premises with more profitable connections in low-cost city areas.

Morrow said that cross-subsidy allowed NBN to make “a very modest return yet still get everybody access to fast broadband and keep the prices reasonable”. He said he was confident the NBN would stay within its $49bn funding.

Asked if the NBN was a white elephant, Morrow conceded there was a “sensitivity” in assumptions depending on whether people would pay for increased speeds for internet uses that require them, such as watching TV on Netflix and Stan.

Source link

read more
Australia newsAustralian politicsCoalitionMalcolm TurnbullNational broadband network (NBN)Technology

Malcolm Turnbull says he expects more complaints about NBN | Technology

no thumb

The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has conceded complaints about the national broadband network will increase as more people are connected, with the latest figures showing complaints about internet services have more than doubled in a year.

New figures from the telecommunications industry ombudsman show complaints about the the internet now exceed those about mobile and fixed line services.

Total NBN complaints, including those about delayed connections, soared from 10,487 to 27,195, according to the annual report released on Wednesday.

“The picture the complaints show is we are frustrated when we cannot rely on technology to stay connected, to be informed and to do business,” the ombudsman, Judi Jones, said. “Sharing high-quality videos immediately, holding an online meeting or watching Netflix on the way home is now the norm and part of our daily routine.

“Complaints about services delivered over the national broadband network more than doubled and, while this is somewhat to be expected given the accelerating rollout, the increase is a cause for concern.”

16,221 complaints were recorded about faults in services delivered over the national broadband network. This is 6.7 fault complaints per 1,000 premises activated.

11,224 complaints were recorded about connection delays, a rate of 8.3 per 1,000 premises activated.

One of the problems has been service providers offering cheap internet packages that do not meet customers’ needs, leading to slow speeds and services that drop out.

But the figures also show there is still an ongoing problem with the rollout as well. Customers often find themselves caught between NBN Co, which is undertaking the infrastructure rollout, and their retail service provider with whom they have the contractual relationship. Sometimes third-party contractors are involved in the actual installation.

Some of the smaller providers saw massive jumps in their complaint rates. Southern Phone, for example, received 2,068 complaints, a year on year increase of 266.7%.

iiNet also saw its complaints jump by 79%.

Not surprisingly the three major carriers, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, received the most complaints but these were up by a third of more year on year.

Telstra received 76,650 complaints, a year on year increase of 43.5%. Optus received 28,766 complaints, a year on year increase of 31.2%. Vodafone received 10,684 complaints, a year on year increase of 37.5%.

It was residential customers who bore the brunt of the problems with the NBN with 88% of complaints coming from this customer group.

Turnbull acknowledged it was never good enough to have complaints and said he was working with the minister and management to improve the experience for customers.

“It is a bit like television. If you’ve got hardly any viewers, you won’t get a lot of complaints,” he told the Nine Network. “[Customers] are rolling on and around 30,000 to 40,000 a week. Clearly you are going to get more complaints.”

Complaints about mobiles also continued to increase.

“We are very concerned about the significant, across the board, increase in complaints for landline, mobile and internet services,” the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network’s deputy chief executive, Narelle Clark, said.

“This reverses the previous downward trend in complaint levels. We are therefore calling on all providers to lift their game and act to immediately improve customer service and the consumer experience.”

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

Source link

read more
1 2
Page 1 of 2