Although the NBN represents a change in the network used to deliver fixed-line telecommunications services, existing telecommunications safeguards and protections will continue to apply to services provided over the NBN.
USO (Universal Service Obligation)
Telstra can fulfil its obligation under the USO to supply a standard telephone services over the NBN. In fulfilling this obligation, Telstra will supply the first standard telephone service to each premises following a valid request. A standard telephone service can be supplied using wireless and fixed line technologies on the NBN.
The Customer Service Guarantee (CSG Standard)
The CSG Standard outlines minimum performance standards for the connection and fault repair of standard telephone services. If the CSG Standard applies, and a service provider does not meet the timeframes specified in the CSG Standard, compensation must be paid to the affected consumer. Migration of your service to the NBN may not be covered by the CSG Standard.
The CSG Standard can apply to landline telephone services provided over the NBN—however, not all providers will provide a service covered by the CSG Standard. Service providers are also able to ask you to waive your rights to receive a service. More information is available on the ACMA’s CSG Standard page and the Waiver of rights under the CSG Standard page.
Emergency call service
All providers of standard telephone services, including standard telephone services provided over the NBN, are required to provide free access to emergency call services. Triple Zero (000) is the number for the emergency call service in Australia. People who are deaf or have a hearing- or speech-impairment may contact the TTY (teletypewriter) emergency service by dialing 106 (or by contacting the National Relay Service). 112 is a secondary emergency number in Australia that can be dialed from mobile phones. More information is available on the TripleZero website at TripleZero.Gov.Au
Special telecommunications equipment and services to facilitate ease of access
People who are deaf, or have a hearing- or speech-impairment have a right to telecommunications services and certain types of disability equipment to facilitate ease of access. If you use special equipment to access a telecommunications service, you should check with your service provider and/or the equipment manufacturer whether your equipment will work with an NBN service. Services such as the National Relay Service will continue to operate over the NBN. More information is available in the ACMA’s Telecommunications equipment for the disabled fact sheet.
Priority Assistance is a rapid connection and fault repair service for telephone services of people who have (or are living with a person who has) a diagnosed life-threatening condition that is at risk of rapid, life-threatening deterioration. Telstra is required to offer Priority Assistance as part of its carrier licence condition for telephone services provided over the NBN. More information is available on the ACMA’s Priority Assistance Information page.
The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code
The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code applies to all internet and telephone service providers, including those who are providing services over the NBN. The TCP Code requires service providers to adhere to minimum levels of conduct with consumers for the provision of services, contracts, billing and complaints-handling. More information on the TCP Code is available on the ACMA’s website.
How to make a complaint
If you have a complaint about your telephone or internet service, you should first contact your service provider. If you are unable to resolve your dispute directly with your service provider, you may contact the TIO. The TIO is a free independent dispute resolution service that aims to assist individuals and small businesses to resolve disputes with their internet or telephone service provider. You can contact the TIO on its website or by calling 1800 062 058.