The wait for NBN customers who have been given the run-around by their ISPs is certainly coming to a middle. NBN is turning its attention to what it calls "aged tickets" — customers that have been waiting too long to get connected.
In the latest NBN blog post, it boasts about reaching 3 million activations (houses that are online with the NBN as opposed to those that are simply "connected") at a rate of more than 40,000 per week.
Hitting 3 million activations is an impressive ramp-up, as NBN hit its first million back in May 2016 and then crossed the two million mark only six months ago in April. More importantly, NBN is now focusing its efforts on the people left behind.
In terms of getting connected, we’re focused on what we call ‘aged tickets’ within the nbn system – customers who’ve been waiting too long to connect to the nbn™ access network.
These aged-tickets happen when there's "something out of the ordinary" with a connection using an abandoned car blocking a civil works site as an example. An example that would seem extraordinary to anyone who hasn't lived in Canberra, where abandoned cars are annoyingly commonplace.
Now NBN is "working flat out to resolve aged tickets older than four weeks out of the system." How? We'll just have to wait and see.
Processes are being put in place to try and stop these aged-tickets from piling up again, working with their contractors and providers so that everyone knows what is going on at each premise.
Getting ahead of these aged-tickets is an important part of a smooth roll-out. People waiting for a technician are not people who can be included in any activation milestones, something NBN is well-aware of as it continues to spread across Australia.
All to often people are forced to sit on hold with their ISP to try and find out what is going on with their connection, only to be told that nobody knows or that it's someone else's fault. It's an endless source of frustration.
There has been plenty of back and forth between NBN and ISPs, each placing the blame at each others feet, as things go wrong. That doesn't matter to the customer who just wants their net connected.
NBN are definitely aware of this and its ultimate aim "is to stop customers getting ‘ping-ponged’ between nbn and RSPs to solve a problem". (RSP is the current NBNspeak for an ISP, since the NBN can handle more than just a simple internet connection.)
To do this, NBN "want[s] to give our delivery partners in the field the tools and resources to get that activation done right first time as much as possible." These tools and resources probably don't include a tow-truck for abandoned cars but, hopefully include ways to manage the more common causes of delays.