Government finally taking NBN complaints seriously

ACMA is set to investigate issues with the National Broadband Network.

ACMA to tackle NBN complaints

It appears as though the complaints about the National Broadband Network (NBN) are finally being heard in Canberra.

Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced this week that the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) would commission research to obtain data from customers to find out how they had fared before, during and after they connected to the NBN.

Twenty-one industry participants in the NBN build — including retailers, wholesale providers and the NBN Co — would be notified about the need to supply data on fault handling, connection timeframes, keeping appointments, porting of telephone numbers and other similar issues.

"This information will be used to identify where customer issues most commonly arise and how those issues can be either avoided or resolved more quickly," Mr Fifield said. "It will also help reduce the passing of customer complaints between retailers and NBN Co."

The initiatives have come from a working group led by the Department of Communications and the Arts including ACMA and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Internet Australia (IA), the peak not-for-profit group representing internet users welcomed the news of the ACMA review.

IA executive director Laurie Patton said there are two problems the Government needs to tackle in order to fix the NBN.

“They're using inferior technology employing ageing copper wires that just can't deliver, and their wholesale pricing regime is flawed. All up, this means customers are being served up a product they clearly don't like,” Mr Patton said.

“Senator Fifield is to be commended for acknowledging that this project has serious problems.

“Customer complainants are continuing to rise the more they roll out their inferior, trouble-plagued network.”

While the review has been welcomed by many, it is staggering that it has taken so long for the ongoing complaints about the system to be taken seriously.

Many customers are suggesting that their internet speeds are slower on the NBN than their old ADSL connections.

These complaints should have been addressed before the inefficient system continued to be rolled out and certainly should be addressed before people are forced off their existing internet networks, many of which deliver speeds the NBN in its current form can only dream of achieving.

What do you think? Are you connected to the NBN? Are you happy with the speeds you are getting? What problems have you encountered?

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    COMMENTS

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    mike
    3rd Aug 2017
    10:27am
    I voted for the Liberals for the last 40 years, then Hockeyl called disabled rorters whilst he filled his back pockets with several multiples of rorted travel allowance, and destroyed the retirement plans of hundreds of thousands who WORKED and saved for their retirement. Julia Gillard had the best NBN system planned, but ABBOTT couldnt carry on with a Labour incentive, so he had to change it for a system JUST as expensive, but totally useless. Is it any wonder I NOW vote for Pauline, and ME a former Liberal voter
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    4:25pm
    Whilst I suspect there may be better choices than the Pauline Inc. I do applaud that you see the writing on the wall.
    I think it was Turnbull who knew how to do the NBN. I recall wireless was his main option. A pity the PM knows nothing about physics though. There is a reason why fibre optics is being used everywhere else in the world rather than wireless........which is speed limited. But never let the facts get in the way of a good propaganda campaign at election time.
    Now the bastards which butchered the real NBN have exceeded the original cost estimate and, surprise surprise, it is still Labor's fault.
    Just make sure when the 'we have changed' campaign gets going you do not listen. It will once the bastards work out they are out and my worst dream is that ordinary Australians will be milked again.
    libsareliars
    4th Aug 2017
    10:54am
    Spot on Mick, the LNP have totally wrecked the NBN - shame on them.
    BrianP
    3rd Aug 2017
    10:57am
    The NBN company set up is a rort in itself.

    Due to price hikes from NBN to internet providers, internet providers are cutting down the speeds they are supposed to be providing to customers at various times of the day. Crappy corrupt system ripping people off as usual nowadays.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:34pm
    Perhaps but the speeds are better than broadband ever was and the cost is about the same or slightly less.
    The corrupt system you talk of is the coalition propaganda campaign sold to the public via the media outlets controlled by their funders. Corruption works on mates helping mate: you scratch my back and I'll provide the funding to give you a job for life!
    Didee51
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:06am
    I have just built a new unit and it has cost me over $1000 in fees to get connected and a lot of time on the phone trying to sort it out. This includes a $600 contribution fee to the development of infrastructure. Not happy!
    Suze
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:08pm
    Call yourself lucky your phone is operational ...it could always be like the internet connected to the node and continuously be dropping out.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:35pm
    Tell us what you would get for the unit if you sold it tomorrow?
    bobby
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:41am
    I was connected to Bigpond with Telstra.In May I decided to connect to the NBN. On 12 May, NBN came to hook me up. They found a problem with the connection from the street and promptly left saying someone would come an fix it. To date it has not been fixed and I have been off the internet all this time. Telstra is still billing me for the internet. I have complained but no-one wants to know about it. I am a pensioner, very ill and feeling desperate.
    shirboy
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:25pm
    Bobby change to Optus they are great at getting things done. I have been with them for about 15 years & I would not have anything to do with SCROOGE Telstra.
    Triss
    4th Aug 2017
    4:48pm
    More or less the same thing happened to me, Bobby. I made myself accept that they are a shambles and I would have to ring and get the over charge refunded. It used to take me nearly an hour usually but they did refund the the charge - every month - and after six months they got my bill right.
    On my bill there's a little section that says "Contact us" which put me through to the Philipines but they did help.

    3rd Aug 2017
    1:08pm
    As I understand the NBN, end users don't deal with the NBN. End users sign up with an ISP which has purchased broadband from the NBN. Any promises about speeds, availability and reliability are made by the ISP, not the NBN. By all means have an inquiry into the NBN but in doing so, the ISP's must also be included.
    MarLin
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:04pm
    Spot on, OM - although in my ISP's case (Telstra), they weren't exactly forthcoming with that info and sat back doing nothing while I tried unsuccessfully to get NBN to fix our woeful internet connection problems. Only when I went to the ombudsman (TIO) did the ISP get involved, albeit ineffectively.
    Which then highlighted another issue - many of the high-priced modems required to squeeze some bandwidth from your neighbours are not designed to take a home phone connection, which is mandatory with NBN (if you want a home phone).
    The other issue that is mostly overlooked because of the insane focus on "speed" (largely pushed by ignorant media) is lack of bandwidth - again, something the ISP is responsible for, not NBN. It's no good having superfast download speeds for one minute of the day if your ISP isn't giving you sufficient bandwidth to connect to the internet (especially in apartment blocks) for the remainder of the 24 hours! It should be bandwidth first, speed second - NOT the other way around!
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:36pm
    Probably spot on OM. If the ISP does not have enough bandwidth then in peak periods speeds have to drop. It's a pretty clear relationship.
    Thanks for bring this up OM.
    Lookfar
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:09pm
    I think it would be helpful to the process to ask 21 unhappy customers also, - "Twenty-one industry participants in the NBN build — including retailers, wholesale providers and the NBN Co — would be notified about the need to supply data on fault handling, connection timeframes, keeping appointments, porting of telephone numbers and other similar issues."
    At least 21 unhappy customers..
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:38pm
    Try googling 'ProductReview NBN' and see what comes up. I have not looked at the NBN but given some of the track records of ISPs like Optus you may find a heck of a lot more than 21 unhappy customers.
    What does the government do about this? NIX!!!!!
    Older lady
    3rd Aug 2017
    5:38pm
    Not got nbn in my area yet. And don't want it. Unless they fix it.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    9:46pm
    Perhaps ACMA should find out what ISPs do to their customers and why they change providers. After our own horrific experience with Optus we will never deal with this company again. ACMA of course has no interest in this. That leads to the next question: WHY?
    PlanB
    5th Aug 2017
    4:18pm
    Have had it in the area for over a year now but everyone that I have spoken to that does have it does not have a good thing to say about it -- one bloke had been off air with Land line and internet for 5 weeks -- 3 TIMES --and so many have drop outs all the time and spend their time on their mobiles wasting many hours trying to get the NBN up and running over and over again
    GeorgeM
    5th Aug 2017
    9:35pm
    Yours and many other comments (including the article itself) indicate we have ended up with a disgusting result for an "advanced" country!

    I think they should STOP THE ROLL-OUT, REVIEW and FIX ALL PROBLEMS, before allowing NBN / ISPs to stuff up more people.
    PlanB
    6th Aug 2017
    10:14am
    I am with you 100% George
    bobby
    9th Aug 2017
    3:04pm
    Hi Plan B

    "one bloke had been off air with Land line and internet for 5 weeks" -- " I have been off for 3 months now, I know how he must feel. Now I can't get Telstra to stop charging me for Bigpond every month.

    I complained to the ombudsman. What a waste of time. Nothing gets done!
    PlanB
    11th Aug 2017
    11:46am
    Bobby you poor bugga, I feel your pain and frustration
    rod
    8th Aug 2017
    10:39pm
    I had 34mbps before nbn then had 23.4 when connected to nbn instead of 25 and now 1 month later I have 3mbps download speed. NOT HAPPY - Rod
    Mez
    11th Aug 2017
    11:11am
    Am in a newly built area where it only has iinett and iprimus with Opticom as the organisation that provides the connection.
    Also am renting and am wondering as to whether I or the owner has to fork out the cost of connection.
    Could someone please give me some information on this?
    I have a pocket wifi by Vodaphone which has internet for both my phone and laptop computer but in order to have a landline so as to obtain more internet data, I would have to have the NBN for which there are dangling blue wires at the front door and inside there are several sockets in tge walls for it.
    PlanB
    11th Aug 2017
    11:59am
    Mez sorry I can not tell you for sure so I do hope that you can ring someone or someone on here may be able to help you
    Fair Go
    28th Sep 2017
    4:29pm
    Had practically NO internet and intermittent land line for 6 months before NBN finally connected up. Bounced backwards between my provider and Telstra with neither taking any blame. Finally contacted Ombudsman who said my provider has to fix "the problem". It was not them and after a lot of convincing the Ombudsman, they finally complained to Telstra and threatened a fine, and lo and behold, next day my Internet returned, albeit very slow. Since being connected, I have a speed of 24 mbpm and I am only paying for 25 as I can't afford any more, being a pensioner. Have been getting that speed since connection, about 2.5 months now. Sometimes have problems with email though. Not good enough for a so-called "first world country", at least that is what we are told we are!
    PlanB
    28th Sep 2017
    4:46pm
    It is a bloody disgrace -- I have been in touch with Mitch Fifleil -- the bloke in charge of the communications -- wrote a letter about 6 months ago -- never even had a reply from that -- rang again 2 days ago and they were going to get them to get in touch with me NOTHING as yet -- why don't we ALL ring and email the people in charge of this disgusting NBN and DEMAND that something be done -- there are more of us than there are of them -- Mitch Fifield
    They have taken us back 100 years -- no phone or internet if you have a power out -- ! Thats just NOT good enough!


    http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=D2I

    http://www.minister.communications.gov.au/mitch_fifield


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