Australia's NBN co, the state owned company building the national broadband network, has signed a new agreement with its operator customers designed to improve the quality and timeliness of its wholesale services.
The new wholesale broadband agreement (WBA) requires NBN Co to meet enhanced service performance commitments for activations and fault restoration, including a new two-hour service level for hand-offs from NBN Co to retail service providers.
Providers will be eligible for a rebate when NBN Co doesn’t meet target fault restoration timeframes, and NBN Co has agreed to proactively implement corrective action where we fail to meet performance objectives.
Under the new WBA, NBN Co also plans to trial a new appointments system to allow NBN end-users to schedule appointments directly with its field technicians without going through their service provider.
“We are pleased to see the finalization of the third iteration of the WBA after more than two years of negotiations and discussions with our customers, the phone and internet providers,” NBN Co chief customer officer for residential Brad Whitcomb said.
“WBA3 is central to our commitment to improve the consumer experience on the NBN access network, alongside industry. The agreement reflects the evolution of our business and also feedback from providers on how we can deliver better experiences on the network.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), a body representing Australian telecoms customers, had a lukewarm reaction to the announcement.
“While ACCAN welcomes the update to this agreement, which appears to address some difficulties expressed by [retail service providers], we do not believe this document provides protection for consumers,” the body said in a statement.
“Consumer safeguards must be updated to include timeframes for connection and fault repair, as well as provisions for compensation when things go wrong.”