ACCC calls for wholesale NBN insights

Christian Edwards
(Australian Associated Press)


The consumer watchdog wants to hear the views of stakeholders as part of its inquiry into national broadband network wholesale service standards to help it decide whether regulation is needed for the sector.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s discussion paper seeks feedback on the service levels that NBN Co, the network builder, commits to in its wholesale contracts, and on fault fixing and appointments, plus service providers’ access to rebates or compensation when NBN Co fails to meet its commitments.

“These standards are a key part of the commercial arrangements between NBN Co and internet service providers (ISPs) that affect NBN customer experiences,” the ACCC said in a statement on Monday.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the watchdog is concerned that complaints about connecting to the NBN, including missed appointments and having faults repaired, will continue to grow unless improvements are made now.

“This inquiry will consider whether there are appropriate incentives for NBN Co to remedy service failures,” Mr Sims said.

“We will also look at the compensation made available by NBN Co to ISPs (internet service providers), which are responsible for providing redress directly to consumers when things go wrong,” Mr Sims said.

In November, the watchdog launched its inquiry into the wholesale service contracts with ISPs like Optus and Telstra and looking at whether regulation is necessary to improve consumer experiences.

The ACCC said it welcomes stakeholders’ perspectives on other, broader issues relating to NBN wholesale service experiences, with submissions due by February 16.


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