Your right to a working service | ACMA

Your right to a working service

We’ve introduced new rules to make sure that you’re not left without a telco service when moving to the NBN. These new rules mean that everyone involved—your telco, wholesaler providers and NBN Co—must work together to manage your move to the NBN with as little disruption to your telco services as possible.

What if something goes wrong?

If there is a disruption to your telco services when you are moving to the NBN, your telco needs to offer you an alternative arrangement or access to an equivalent service type (i.e. internet and/or phone) while they sort it out.

This may include:

  • an NBN back-up service (such as 4G mobile) through your telco-supplied modem
  • reconnection of your previous service
  • an interim service such as a mobile 
  • compensation
  • credit for mobile data
  • payment to an alternative provider for a mobile data service.

The action they take will depend on your NBN connection type, if you are changing companies or remaining with your existing telco, and whether:

  • you are keeping your telephone number
  • the disconnection of your existing service occurred at your request, or in error
  • certain alternatives are available to your telco.

If you are without a working NBN service for more than three working days and your telco hasn’t already spoken to you about one of the above options, you should ask them which applies to you.

What will it cost?

If you are reconnected to your old service, you shouldn’t be charged more than you were paying before you were disconnected. And your telco can’t charge you a fee for reconnecting you.

If you are receiving an interim service, the cost must not be more than the monthly plan fee for the lowest speed tier plan offered by your telco. And once your NBN service is working, your telco is responsible for covering the cost of returning any equipment used to deliver the interim service.  

Getting your NBN service working

NBN Co tells your telco whether a move to the NBN has been successful or not. However, a successful move to the NBN network does not guarantee a working service.  

Once your telco is aware the move has occurred, they will test the service to confirm that it is working. Where a service is not working, your telco and NBN Co must work together to identify and fix the issue.

If it takes longer than three workings days to get your service going, your telco should offer access to a working service while they sort things out, unless you have agreed to an alternative arrangement with your telco.

Testing will continue until a service is working, unless you have been given a modem in connection with the supply of the NBN service and you haven’t connected and turned the modem on.

What happens if there’s a long delay in getting my NBN service working?

If it takes more than 20 working days to get your NBN service working, your telco must develop a plan specifically for you, directed at getting your service working as soon as possible. Your telco must give you a copy of that plan.

In the small number of cases where that plan doesn’t result in your service working, your telco will need to undertake a technical audit. This audit must identify why the plan didn’t result in getting your service working, set out the steps required to get your service working and identify measures to avoid similar problems in the future.

Line speed capability

If your NBN service is delivered by FTTN, FTTC or FTTB (see our technologies page for more information) then your telco must verify the maximum speed that your line is capable of delivering. If you’re not sure what technology your NBN service uses, ask your telco.

However, you should be aware that the telco is only checking whether the network can deliver the required speed to your modem. Other factors such as in-home cabling and equipment may impact the actual speed you receive.

If your telco discovers the network can’t deliver the relevant speed, they have five working days to contact you and let you know the maximum speed you can receive. They also need to offer you the opportunity:

  • to move to a lower speed tier plan that reflects the attainable speed at a lower price
  • to exit your contract at no cost.

These protections only apply when you are moving a service to the NBN. If you have problems with your NBN service after it is connected and working, you will need to report the matter to your telco to be dealt with under regular fault repair and complaints channels.

Last updated: 14 March 2019