The ACCC Might Regulate NBN Wholesale Services

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The NBN is around about half done, but that also comes with a massive jump in complaints to the TIO over the last year. The ACCC is on the case, and it might end up regulating the standard of services agreed on between NBN and the retail service providers (RSPs) that deliver you your high-speed broadband.

The ACCC's Rod Sims makes the point that a lot of the customer complaints made in the TIO's latest apocalyptically bad results aren't due to issues directly related to the RSPs providing end-user NBN services. They're problems arising from the agreements made between NBN Co and the RSPs that muddy the waters on responsbility and make it unclear who should fix problems when they arise.

“Many of these complaints relate to matters set out in wholesale service level standards. We will examine whether the service levels that are currently in place are appropriate and effective. This is important as what happens at the wholesale level often flows through to the retail level and affects customer experiences.”

Most of the complaints to the TIO were related to installers and engineers missing appointments, connection problems and ongoing faults with already connected premises -- and both NBN and the ISPs handball problem cases to each other as the wholesale service level agreements do not clearly lay out which of the parties is responsible for rectification work.

Labor MP Michelle Rowland unsurprisingly welcomed the ACCC's move: "The company has become a law unto itself and this not sustainable. Retail providers are accountable to their customers and the TIO -- but it's not clear who NBN is accountable to."

The end result will be, at the very least, a discussion paper released in December, and the inquiry itself will conclude in December of next year. [ACCC]

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Comments

    The third circle of hell has opened when a government regulator has to step in over the top of the ombudsman to sort out a government enterprise like the NBN.

      Don't jump the gun - this is just a (no doubt multi-million dollar) enquiry as to whether they should consider stepping in.
      Yet again I'm left wondering how I get a job on one of these "enquiries" that manages to cost so much - must be a good gig.

    Campbell, I contacted Rae on Twitter dm's which has some inside information in relation to this and the future of technician scheduling.

    There are two sides to maintenance -- the M side (main pair; exchange) and the O side (NBN's side). Telstra handles exchange to pillar, NBN pillar to MDF. All M side work is Telstra, and all O side work is NBN. Any pair gain systems are done by both concurrently (after both T and NBN have been out individually first), as NBN Co never hired any PGS trained techs.

    The first appointment for the order is the jumpering/NTD installation (NBN), the second appointment is equipment installation (Telstra) (sunny day scenario).

    Last edited 02/11/17 4:54 pm

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