Telcos To Act On NBN Nightmare Migrations

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With the nationwide rollout half over, NBN and its cohorts finally concede they need to do more to help Australians trapped in broadband hell.

NBN and internet retailers play the broadband blame game when it comes to real-world download speeds, but there's also a major accountability gap between NBN, the retailers and the government when it comes to dealing with connection faults and delays. This lack of accountability has left some Australian homes and businesses without fixed-line broadband or phones for months at a time.

NBN and the retailers point the finger at each other, while complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australian Communications and Media Authority, and Communications Minister Mitch Fifield all fail to cut through the red tape. Australians like Scott Moffat can testify to this, as one of many people whose NBN nightmare was only resolved after investigations by Fairfax Media.

The telco industry's band of usual suspects have finally sat around a table this week and publicly admitted they need to do better. They committed to tackling the key NBN migration issues for consumers including confusing information, handballing customer complaints, lead times for connections and rescheduled appointments.

Other commitments include:

  • Joint industry support for NBN's process improvement initiatives under the multi-pronged 'Focus on Customer Experience' project
  • More useful and practical information for consumers to explain how to connect to the NBN and what to do if services aren't meeting expectations
  • Contractual changes to support appointment-keeping, installation completions and complaint handling

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery, but it remains to be seen whether this new-found "Focus on Customer Experience" translates into action considering that complaints have fallen on deaf ears for so long.

We're already seen a revised telecommunications industry guide setting out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in delivering a smooth transition to an NBN-based service. Even so, the ACCC and ACMA can't confirm whether their efforts will include addressing the Catch-22 Cease Sale regulations which have left some homes in limbo – preventing them from going back to legacy broadband services while they await NBN repairs.

After this week's round table, a Ministerial CEO forum will report to the government on progress within three months, but heads should roll over the fact that all involved were prepared to pass the buck on these issues for years.

How has the NBN rollout progressed in your area? How could all involved do better?



    I live in a brand new estate and haven't even been able to get to the point of getting the NBN connected. The technicians came out, couldn't feed the fibre down the street and then left. That was a month a go.

    I've since been waiting on 'civil' to come out and fix a collapsed or blocked pipeline that's stopping fibre from being fed down the street to my house.

    Almost every one else in my estate has internet but I'm stuck running off of a mobile internet connection in an area where you're lucky to get 1 or 2 bars.

    Well I'm sure glad they can admit there is an issue. So far my NBN installation experience with TPG has been:
    1) Complete online signup process in early May
    2) Installation appointment made, technician a no show.
    3) Subsequent appointment made after waiting a couple of weeks. Technician once again a no-show,.
    NOTE: On both no-show appointments 1 days productivity was lost due to staying at home waiting as requested
    4) Phone call with TPG resulted in finding out that Appointment 1 no-show was due to there being no technicians available, and Appointment 2 no-show was due to insufficient bandwidth at the location. (So they did technically turn up, but never thought to move further than the street to communicate with us)
    5) Currently still waiting for the wheels of TPG to turn enough to follow up - no contact for a couple of months now.

    On the plus side, I now have a very shiny new wifi router that is being used as a monitor stand. I guess I'm just getting sick and tired of trying to convince less "tech-savvy" people that the NBN will get better.... every single dinner I am asked, and my speech is starting to wear thin. I want to love it, I really do.... but getting it to my house is proving hard enough.

    TLDR - I could have told you from one customer experience that you have a problem.

    Opposite side of the street can connect to the NBN, my side of the street is SOL.
    NBN claim it's still under construction but I haven't seen any work being done since my town went live back in March.

    Moved to FTTP 2 years ago. Biggest issue I have had initially was getting a big enough plan (Going from 5mb/s to 50mb/s makes the data go a lot faster so had to up the plan) and then waiting 2 days for a replacement modem to arrive after a storm.

    Moral of the story is they should never have brought FTTN into the picture.

    I finally had my service activated a couple of weeks ago, 4 months after signing up with iiNet.
    First issue was the 3 missed tech appointments with no communication from anyone letting me know they weren't showing up. Tech eventually showed up for the 4th appt and was in and out in 20 minutes but then the real stuff-around started. There was some issue with activating my service, I was never able to find out exactly what, but I would ring iiNet at least weekly and they would call NBN Co and each time seemingly no one at NBN Co had looked at my order, despite promises of escalation. This cycle lasted literally months! I tried to raise complaints with NBN Co and they were like "thank you for your enquiry...." so I raised a complaint with the TIO who couldn't even assign the complaint to NBN Co. They assigned it to iiNet who weren't awesome but clearly weren't the problem either.
    Eventually I randomly power cycled my NBN modem, as I was doing every now and then, and the service worked. iiNet didn't know the service was supposed to be active and when they called NBN Co again, neither did they.
    In my experience NBN Co is absolutely the problem, they're flat out impossible to deal with as a customer (by design), and appear to be far from transparent even from the perspective of the RSP. The structure is clearly set up by a politician so that they're accountable to no one.
    All that being said, my service is decent and I'm getting very close to advertised speeds. Just really glad that process is behind me.

    I'm on ADSL2 and won't get NBN until 2019, I hope they get their act together by then.

    the issue is that ISP's cancel the adsl service in advance, in my case this caused major issue
    my changeover to NBN failed because someone terminated my pair on the wrong part of the frame at the node, which meant when they activated my port they were not activating mine at all, I told my ISP (internode) that I still had ADSL2+ service, they told me it was NBN VDSL, i said that wasnt possible as I hadnt installed a new modem yet AND I had telephone service still, they said it was normal I tried to explain to them that it wasnt

    next day service died, a week later NBN fixed the issue, but I was without service for a week and pretty pissed, internode did give me a month free service and $100 credit but I understand others have not been this lucky

    at the time when I was calling internode twice a day and they had hold times of 12+ hours it was a complete joke

    Having read all the issues regarding NBN I'm loath to connect even though its been available in my area since April, sitting on the fence, I am going to wait the obligatory 12-18 months to see if any improvements at all across the NBN network before being forced to change when the existing network gets canned, besides we pay way to much for crap service in Australia.

    Last edited 29/08/17 11:27 am

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