Parliament House Canberra
18 October 2017
E & OE
Fifield, his phone works, but there are a lot of complaints, a lot more complaints
to the telecommunications Ombudsman about the working of the internet and
the overwhelming number of complaints that the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
receives relate to retailers as opposed to the NBN. What we’re seeing is that
complaints about the NBN are rising pretty much in line with the rollout of the
NBN. One of the reasons why there weren’t complaints about the NBN under our
predecessors was essentially no one had it. We now have the NBN available to
about six million Australians, about three million Australians have connected
to the NBN. It’ll be 75 per cent by the middle of next year and all done and
dusted by 2020.
you happy with 160 per cent increase in complaints about the NBN?
NBN complaints are increasing in line with the rollout of the NBN. In the last
financial year, the NBN was made available, a 100 per cent increase on the
previous period. Now, what we’re seeing is a couple of sorts of issues. The
migration to the NBN network. And that’s something will only have to do once.
The other sort of issues is people’s expectations in relation to speed. And we
have a number of things in place to address that including the ACCC embedding
probes in people’s residences so that they can report on the real speeds that
people are experiencing.
in getting connected are the biggest issue. Is the Government doing enough to
people connected? I mean this is an essential service.
NBN is being connected at a rate of 40,000 premises a week. As a result of the
approach that we’ve taken the NBN will be completed by 2020 which is six to
eight years sooner than would have been the case under our predecessors.
you happy though with this level of complaint? Is this something the Government
is comfortable with given its causing so much angst in the community?
never want to diminish the experience of any individual or business that isn’t
all that it should be. NBN is working hard to reduce the complaints. NBN, from
those areas that they have responsibility for, are getting it right the first
time on about nine out of ten occasions. But obviously we want to improve upon
that. A lot of the reasons that people are putting forward for their issues
with NBN relate to retailers rather than the NBN itself.
is an essential service, you know we use it for medical things, for education,
all those kinds of stuff, does it need to be treated like power and water?
internet is an essential service. People expect it to be there. Just like they
expect water and electricity to be there. Under our predecessors, the NBN was
essentially something that existed only in theory. As a result of our approach,
the NBN is now available to more than half of the nation. It’ll be available to
75 per cent of the nation by the middle of next year. And everyone will have
access by 2020.
of the complaints have certainly been about speed and reliability, you know
people saying that ADSL too was faster and more reliable. What do you say to
them to those who have those complaints? Are you doing enough?
will have a mandated minimum speed of 25 megabits per second. And 90 per cent
of the fixed line footprint will be able to access speeds of at least 50
megabits per second. So it’s a high speed network. It’s fit for purpose. Where
people have issues in relation to speed, they should contact their retailer. It
might be an issue that they’ve got the wrong modem. It might be an issue with their
in-house wiring. Or it might be that retailers need to be doing more to ensure
that they purchase the capacity that their customers need.
you’re confident that there’s nothing structurally wrong with it, it’s not the
copper wire that you’re putting in that’s the issue?
is fit for purpose. The approach that we’re following with the multi-technology
mix is one that is used in the United States and in Europe, using the
technology that makes sense in an area to see the NBN rolled out fastest and at