ACMA proposes new NBN migration rules

11 Apr 2018

Australian telecoms regulator ACMA has introduced new draft rules aimed at improving the experience of consumers being migrated to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

ACMA is consulting on a second set of new rules aimed at protecting consumers moving to NBN services, in the wake of the significant volume of complaints over activation delays, connection faults and inadequate speeds.

The regulations would apply to all providers offering retail services over the wholesale network.

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They would include a requirement to make a one-page key facts sheet available to consumers for each of a service provider's plans, detailing information about plan speeds available and the type of household user profile it would be suited for.

ACMA proposes that the facts sheet would include typical download speeds that consumers can expect to experience during peak times.

The sheet would also be required to detail the remedies a service provider will offer to customers if line-testing of a connection shows that the maximum possible download speed of the connection cannot reach the speed tier of a purchased plan.

The draft code would also make it mandatory for the ISPs to perform a series of line tests following the activation of each service migrated to the NBN. These tests would need to be performed within one working day of activation, as well as when requested by customers.

If a consumer's average evening speed fails to meet the typical evening speeds of a plan, ISPs would have to take steps to remedy the situation such as improving speed, changing consumers to a lower speed plan, or offering cost reductions or refunds as a remedy.

Finally, the new rules would include a service continuity standard aimed at ensuring customers are not left without a working voice or internet service for too long while being migrated to the NBN.

The standard would enable consumers to be temporarily reconnected to their old legacy service in the event of unreasonable delays connecting to the NBN, unless the consumer has agreed to be temporarily provided with an alternative service.

‘These rules will ensure that consumers have the information they need to choose a service plan that meets their needs. They will also ensure that consumers have confidence that their new NBN service will work as promised,’ ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said.

“The migration to the NBN is a complex task for industry and consumers. These rules are designed to address consumer “pain points” in the process. We look forward to feedback on the draft rules we have released today.”

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