Fifield to launch root-and-branch review as NBN complaints surge

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield . Photo: Alex Ellinghausen. Complaints about the National Broadband Network increased 204 per cent in the six months to the end of 2017, compared the same period in the previous year.

Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said “the complaints figures are simply too high” and a root-and-branch review was required.

The findings come from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman most recent report.

Mr Fifield said despite the fact the Ombudsman had failed to break down the source of complaints between the NBN and the private retail service providers which sell access to the network, the government review was needed to improve service deliver and handling of customer complaints.

“Without this context and information about which party is responsible for resolving customer complaints, organisations lack accountability, which, as today’s Ombudsman complaint numbers how, leads to poorer outcomes for consumers of telecommunications services,” Mr Fifield said.

There are 3,385,937 premises activated on the NBN, according to the most recent figures, with 942,804 new premises connected in the the six months to the start of 2018.

The National Farmers Federation has issued a call in the lead-up to the Federal Budget in Mayguaranteed access to high-speed broadband and reliable mobile coverage forfor rural, regional and remote residents.

“All Australians are guaranteed access to voice services. However, for many of our most remote farmers this is their only line of communications,” NFF president Fiona Simson said.

“To deliver what are regarded as contemporary services this guarantee must extend to high speed broadband services.”

Labor’s regional communications spokesman Stephen Jones said the government had had been slow to respond to customer service issues.

He said the rate of NBN complaints, which had increased 204pc in second half od 2017, had doubled compared the rate of new connections, which rose 105pc over the same period.

“Regulators and the Ombudsman need to ensure parties in the supply chain are accountable for their performance. The time for delaying action is over”, Mr Jones said.


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