Thursday, 18 October 2018 05:37

NBN Co claims decrease in some categories of complaints

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NBN Co claims decrease in some categories of complaints Pixabay

The NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, has welcomed what it says is a drop in the number of complaints about retail services offered over the network in the second half of the financial year 2017-18, compared to the first half of the same year.

In a statement, the company said there had been nearly a third less complaints regarding "connection or changing provider" and a 7% decrease in complaints about service quality.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman released its annual report on complaints on Wednesday morning.

The TIO report said a total of 14,589 complaints were recorded in 2017/18 about establishing a connection to the NBN. Between 1 January and 30 June, complaints per 1000 premises added to the NBN decreased from 9.2 to 9.0.

It also said 27,008 complaints were recorded in 2017/18 about service quality on the NBN. Between 1 January and 30 June, complaints per 1000 premises added to the network decreased from 4.1 to 3.2.

NBN Co said this decrease followed efforts to improve the customer experience, including:

  • New wholesale discount pricing bundles to help retailers deliver higher speed plans with increased bandwidth;
  • Pausing the sales of HFC services to allow necessary optimisation works to help improve the quality of the network and reduce faults;
  • NBN Co and retailers working together to complete installations more efficiently;
  • Improving the ability to install NBN equipment correctly the first time through better customer communications and in-field training; and
  • Introducing new tools to help better diagnose and understand the cause of faults on the network.

Citing its own data, the company said of the complaints made to the TIO about retail services delivered over the NBN network in the year, only 5% were sent to the company to resolve.

NBN Co chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb said: “The rollout of the NBN access network represents one of the biggest and most complex transformations in Australia’s history. It’s a huge undertaking, so it’s pleasing to see the collaboration between NBN Co and the wider industry to help improve the customer experience is starting to bear fruit.

“Over the past year in particular, we focused our efforts to improve those aspects of the customer experience within our control, keeping the consumer at the forefront of our decisions.

“The outcomes of these efforts can be seen in our latest monthly progress report which shows 94% of installations of NBN equipment in our control was completed right the first time compared with 86% a year earlier.

“In September 2018, 97% of all orders were connected within agreed timeframes with retail service providers, up from 92% this time last year.

“Average bandwidth congestion on the network (excluding Sky Muster satellite) has also decreased significantly to 38 minutes per week per service compared with more than four hours a year ago per week per service, despite some fluctuations during this period."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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