The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently announced its final set of rules to improve the experience for Australians shifting to the National Broadband Network (NBN) were in effect and the Authority is now turning more of its attention to industry compliance.
A series of rules have been rolled out over the last 6 months relating to ensuring consumers are provided with appropriate information, an interim service in case of delays connecting to the NBN, confirmation of NBN service functioning satisfactorily and swift resolution of complaints.
With regard to the latter, it seems there are still problems on the industry side even though complaints-handing rules have been in place since July 1.
“Our preliminary findings indicate that telcos still have a long way to go to comply with these new complaints-handling rules,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin. “Formal investigations into a number of providers are ongoing and we will publish a report on these once finalised.”
The new rules have certainly been needed.
Last month, the ACMA released a report based on the results of surveys carried out late last year and early this year that indicated 40 per cent of businesses shifting to the NBN experienced a period without phone and/or internet service during migration. 14 per cent of businesses reported they lost one or both services for a period of more than a week during migration.
34 per cent of households reported a period without a home phone and/or internet service during migration and 16 per cent lost one or both for more than a week.
It’s little surprise then that many Australians were and continue to be hungry for NBN alternatives. A number of non-NBN internet service providers (ISPs) have sprung up in the last couple of years. Among these ISPs is Lightning Broadband, which delivers services using broadband technology including direct fibre and hybrid 5G fixed wireless internet.
Ms. O’Loughlin states the ACMA will remain focused on the safeguards and protections it has implemented for Australians migrating to NBN services.
“The ACMA has been working hard on behalf of consumers to address issues of concern before we reach the peak rollout period for the NBN,” said Ms. O’Loughlin.
According to the latest available statistics, NBN services had been activated at 4,346,538 premises across Australia as at September 20.