Response to TIO Annual Report 2016-17 > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield

Response to TIO Annual Report 2016-17

18 October 2017

The NBN is Australia’s largest infrastructure project, delivering fast broadband to all homes and businesses across Australia by 2020.

In 2016-17, the number of premises ready to connect to the NBN increased 97 per cent to 5.7 million. Another 1.3 million homes and businesses connected to the NBN bringing the total number to 2.4 million – an increase of 121 per cent.

The rollout is on track and on budget with 35,000 households connecting to the network every week.

The TIO report shows that overall complaints about the NBN represent just 1 per cent of the 2.4 million users connected to the NBN. (27,000 complaints out of 2.4 million connected NBN users at June 30, 2017)

·         The rise in complaints remains broadly in-line with the rate of the NBN rollout. (121% increase in premises connected to the NBN, compared to a 159% increase in complaints). 

·         The #1 source of industry complaints overall was customer services issues, which has nothing to do with the rollout of the NBN.

·         The #2 source of industry complaints was billing and payment issues, which has nothing to do with the rollout of the NBN.

·         One of the main NBN-related complaint was in relation to connection delays, which demonstrates Australians want to connect to the NBN as quickly as possible.

The Government is working closely with NBN Co and retailers to ensure the processes for switching to the network are meeting consumers’ needs.

The Government is already:

·         Helping Australians get what they pay for under their internet plan by introducing Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) monitoring of broadband performance at the retailer level.

  • Having Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) gather objective data on the consumer experience to help target industry improvements.
  • Increasing understanding of consumer experiences before, during and after migration to the NBN through research being commissioned by the ACMA.
  • Releasing a revised telecommunications industry guide setting out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in delivering a smooth transition to an NBN-based service.

This compares with Labor where only 50,000 premises were connected to the NBN after two terms of Government.

Labor’s fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) NBN policy would have cost $30 billion more and taken six to eight years longer to complete, and would have increased broadband bills by up to $43 per month.

Under Labor, the NBN missed every rollout target it set for itself. Under the Coalition, the NBN rollout is ahead of schedule and on-budget.