NBN customers left without internet, phone during transition

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NBN customers left without internet, phone during transition

Sometimes for weeks.

One in three households that try to switch their internet or phone services over to the NBN are left without connectivity during the process, with some waiting weeks for activation.

The finding is contained in the first snapshot of NBN user experiences by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“The most frequent reason for lack of service during connection was ‘technical issue with installation’, reported by 65 percent of those left without a home phone and 63 percent of those left without internet,” the ACMA said.

Only around one in five cases was resolved within 24 hours. Between 22 percent and 26 percent of users faced between one and three days offline.

At worst, 25 percent of home phone users and 28 percent of internet customers faced being disconnected for over a fortnight.

Around 12 percent of users spent over a month without internet and/or phone after being disconnected from their ADSL service, the ACMA found.

The most common reason customers wound up having to contact NBN Co directly - rather than their retail service provider - was due to delays in connecting to the NBN or to resolve faults or technical issues.

One in three households that connects to the NBN winds up lodging a complaint with either NBN Co or their RSP within the first year. Most had complaints resolved within a week.

The sample size of the research is a shade under 1900 premises. The ACMA said it plans to release more in-depth research in June.

The ACMA, NBN Co and the ACCC are all pursuing various initiatives and regulatory projects designed to improve the experience of NBN users before, during and after connection to the NBN.

The ACMA announced back in December it would put in place stronger rules to improve consumers’ experience in migrating to the NBN. It has now begun consultations on the first set of proposed rules, with more on the way.

This week, NBN Co also began publishing a customer experience report to show how it was tracking against metrics before, during and after activation.

In a statement, NBN Co said that its priority was "improving customer experience".

"We’ve been working hard with retail providers and industry to identify causes and implement solutions for the factors we’re responsible for," the network builder said.
 
"Our most recent data and shows that 89 percent of installations are done right first time, 92 percent of installations are completed on time, and 85 percent of faults are repaired on time.
 
“We know there’s work to do and have a strong program in place to achieve this.”

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