The NBN and the consumer experience: scope and status | ACMA

The NBN and the consumer experience: scope and status

The ACMA is putting in place a package of measures—within its regulatory responsibilities—to help improve consumers’ experience in migrating to and using the National Broadband Network (the new Network).

These measures will:

  • ensure consumers get the information they need to make informed decisions about the service they require on the new Network and to choose a telco and plan to match
  • provide confidence to consumers that, at the time of connection, they will have a working service on the new Network and are not left without either their old service or a new service
  • provide confidence for consumers that their complaints will be effectively managed by telcos if problems arise with a service on the new Network.

These actions complement work by:

  • the ACCC in monitoring and reporting on broadband performance, providing guidance to industry on broadband speed claims, and conducting an inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards
  • NBN Co’s Future of Customer Experience program and publishing of metrics relating to the services it delivers to phone and internet providers, and the physical connection of homes and businesses to the new Network infrastructure.

What we're doing

The following table will be kept up-to-date with ACMA actions and their status. Subscribe to our Telco matters e-bulletin for updates.

Action  Status 
Building our understanding 
Industry information gathering Information obtained from telcos across the supply chain for the new Network. Published 21 December 2017
Residential households and business survey  Information obtained from residential households and small businesses about their experiences in migrating to and using the new Network.

Snapshot of early insights from the residential households survey published 15 March 2018

Full research report, including insights from the small business survey, to be published in June 2018

Customer information review  Review of information provided by all telcos offering services over the new Network to customers via their websites, including information on critical information summaries. Expected to be published in late March 2018
Modem quality study  Quality of modems and other performance matters that may impact consumers’ experience of the new Network to be examined. Expected to be completed in the second half of 2018
Making new rules 
Consumer information

Deals with the problem of consumers not having the right information to consider what they need for a service on the new Network, or to choose a telco and new plan.

A Consumer Information Standard will specify the minimum information that telcos must provide, including about the services they supply on the new Network, before consumers sign up.

To be released for consultation in April 2018 
Connection assurance

Deals with the problem that some consumers do not get a working service on the new Network at the time of connection, and in some cases are left without either their old service or a new service.

A Line Testing Service Provider Determination will require telcos to test a new connection is working effectively, and enable consumers to request a test of the speed achieved on their new broadband service.

A Service Continuity Standard will enable consumers, if they are unable to get a working service on the new Network and their old service has been disconnected, to obtain an interim service, or if necessary, be reconnected to their old service.           

To be released for consultation in April 2018  
Handling of complaints

Deals with the problem that complaints made by some consumers about their migration to, or use of, services on the new Network are not managed effectively.

A Complaints Handling Standard will specify the processes that telcos must follow in handling complaints from their customers. It will also require wholesale providers, including NBN Co, to assist both retail-level telcos and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in handling complaints.

Complaints Handling Record Keeping Rules will require telcos to report data about the complaints they receive to the ACMA, so these can be monitored.        

Consultation paper released 15 March 2018  
Intensifying our enforcement and education efforts 
Monitor and enforce compliance To ensure new and existing rules are effective and consumers and businesses are protected, the ACMA will actively monitor telcos’ compliance with rules, and may take enforcement action in the event of non-compliance.  Ongoing 
Education and awareness  To enable businesses and consumers to understand their rights, and telcos to understand their responsibilities and obligations, the ACMA will intensify its education and awareness activities.
For consumers, the ACMA will be providing new materials to assist consumers and businesses to get the best out of their services on the new Network.
From June 2018 

 Read our Q&As on telco complaints-handling.

Last updated: 15 March 2018