NBN - The Australian Small/Medium Business Experience

A recently released report indicates a significant percentage of Australian small and medium businesses didn't find a switch to the NBN smooth sailing.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s "NBN consumer experience: Households and businesses—the end-to-end journey" report follows on from a snapshot provided earlier this year of households.

NBN issues and Australian business Image: OpenClipart-Vectors

1,153 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with between one and 199 employees that were connected to services delivered over the NBN were interviewed between late January and late February this year.

The survey report indicates 40 per cent of businesses experienced a period without a phone and/or internet service during migration. Furthermore, 14 per cent of businesses reported they lost one or both services for a period of more than a week during migration to the NBN.

Of those who experienced loss of service, 11% lost phone and 15% lost internet connectivity for more than a month.

The report points out that a number of factors increased the likelihood of businesses losing service during connection. These included having other services such as POS connected, businesses not understanding preparatory steps or the steps involved with connecting.

At least two thirds of businesses losing service during the connection phase resorted to using an interim service.

It will come as no surprise the impacts experienced by businesses losing internet connectivity were significant in many instances. 57 per cent classified the impact on their business as ‘major’, while 21 per cent described it as ‘moderate’.

Post-migration, 40 per cent of businesses said their internet service was better than pre-NBN and 40 per cent the same. 18% found their internet service to be worse.

71 per cent of businesses experienced at least one type of issue or fault after connection and around a third reported speed issues and service outages. At the time data for the report was collected, 37 per cent of businesses considered their complaints unresolved.

The full ACMA report can be downloaded here.

"Improving the NBN consumer experience is a key priority for the ACMA," says the Authority. " This research provides important evidence that has been used to inform recent telco rules to deliver better consumer outcomes and will continue to inform ACMA education and regulatory activities."

The ACMA began releasing for comment the first of new proposed rules for protecting consumers moving to the NBN in March this year and started enforcing new telco rules for NBN migration earlier this month.

The National Broadband Network isn't always the only connectivity game in town - there are NBN alternatives, including Lightning Broadband's internet solutions for business.

Posted: 30 Aug 2018

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