The Service Continuity Standard, a new set of telecommunications industry rules, has been set to take effect on 1 September 2018.
This is the second of three sets of National Broadband Network (NBN) migration rules to be imposed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which were first revealed on 21 December 2017.
A draft for this standard was detailed in April, which at the time stated that carriage service providers selling NBN services might have to reconnect consumers to their legacy systems while the migration to the NBN takes place.
"Our research also showed that about 16 per cent of households reported being left without their home internet and/or phone service for more than a week when moving to services provided over the NBN," ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said referring to ACMA's research released in March.
"Being without a service for a week or more is almost unimaginable to most of us. To help avoid these situations, the ACMA has made a Service Continuity Standard."
The standard requires telcos and NBN Co to not disconnect existing services until a new NBN-based service is working, where that is feasible.
However, where there is no working service the standard sets time frames around reconnecting customers to their old service or offering them an interim service while their new NBN-based service is fixed.
Starting on 21 September these standards will be enforceable by ACMA and if a telco breaches an industry standard, the ACMA can commence court proceedings seeking remedies such as injunctions and civil penalties of up to $250,000.
Back in May, Australian communications industry body the Communications Alliance claimed that the proposal was unlikely to be effective. In fact it said industry argues that the proposed Service Continuity Standard should be refocused away from reconnecting consumers to legacy networks.
Instead, the industry body said, the proposed rules should look toward maintaining continuity of service through interim alternative services, such as mobile-based broadband, while the permanent NBN connection is completed as a matter of urgency.
The next standard to have a start date announced is the Consumer Information Standard which is designed to improve quality and consistency of information provided to consumers about NBN services.
In June, ACMA reinforced the date for the Service Quality and Continuity rule which takes effect on 1 July.