Friday, 26 June 2015 14:26

Consumers better protected under revised Telstra NBN migration plan Featured

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The consumer watchdog, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) says consumers will be better protected from premature disconnection of their phone and Internet services when Telstra migrates its telephone and Internet services to the National Broadband Network (NBN) under a revised plan.

The ACCC announced today it has approved the revised plan by Telstra for the progressive migration of its telephone and Internet services to the NBN.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the revisions to the Telstra Migration Plan reflect the revised commercial agreements between Telstra, NBN and the government, and the move to a multi-technology mix NBN.

While noting that the plan will better protect consumers from premature disconnection of their phone and internet services,” Sims cautioned consumers that they should act early “when it is time for their region to migrate as connecting to the NBN is not automatic.”

“If you want to keep your landline phone and internet services, you should place an order for an NBN service by the disconnection date for your region as your current services will eventually be permanently disconnected.”

Sims says one of the revisions to the Migration Plan is to extend time allowed for the disconnection of services being used to support fire alarms or lift phones that have been registered with NBN.

The ACCC says it encourages those responsible for fire alarms and lift phones to register their services with NBN in order to receive this benefit.

The watchdog also notes that the need for further amendments to the migration and disconnection arrangements “may become apparent as operational experience is gained.”

The revised Telstra plan also modifies some of the migration and disconnection arrangements that are intended to promote service continuity, but Sims said the ACCC’s role in approving the revised Migration Plan was limited to assessing whether it is consistent with the legislative requirements - meaning the ACCC did not have discretion to seek improvements that went beyond those requirements.

Sims also said the ACCC was not requested to approve the revised commercial agreements between the parties. Rather, the government authorised the revised commercial agreements for the purposes of the restrictive trade practices provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

“This is similar to the approach taken by the previous government with respect to the original agreements.”

The ACCC has urged consumers to learn how the NBN rollout in their area will affect their phone and internet services, and to find out more on how the rollout and Telstra’s Migration Plan will affect you. To check that, residential consumers should go to www.accc.gov.au/consumers/national-broadband-network, and small business operators www.accc.gov.au/business/business-rights-protections/moving-to-the-nbn-for-small-businesses  

As reported by iTWire today, the revised agreement between NBN and Telstra has received final approval, with the NBN now set to begin to take ownership of Telstra's copper and HFC cables and use them to deliver broadband services to homes and businesses.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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