NBN faults still provoke ire despite 36 per cent fall in service complaints

NBN faults still provoke ire despite 36 per cent fall in service complaints

Overall number of telecommunications complaints fall by 25 per cent

Credit: NBN Co

Complaints about National Broadband Network (NBN) faults and satellite services are still rising in Australia despite an overall decline in complaints about the network as a whole.

In the December 2019 quarter, NBN broadband fault complaints per 10,000 services in operation (SIO) increased by 11 per cent as issues related to its broadband connections rose 10 per cent. 

More starkly, complaints about the NBN's satellite service to regional Australia saw a dramatic rise of of 59.6 per cent. 

On the whole, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported 283,000 complaints about telco services, a fall by more than a quarter from the 2018 period.

Around 70 per cent of these stemmed from mobile and NBN services collectively, the former seeing 136,248 and the latter 62,730.

Within the NBN itself, issues related to  about fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) connections saw the steepest fall of 66 per cent between December 2018 and December 2019. 

In addition, fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) complaints also saw falls of around 45 per cent. Across the board, total NBN broadband complaints fell by more than a third. 

Meanwhile, the average time taken to resolve customer complaints also fell from six days to four, across the September and December quarters.

The figures were welcomed by the Communications Alliance, although the telco industry body warned of future hurdles as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in Australia.

“This much stronger performance by the Australian telcos is good news for consumers and mirrors the reduction also being experienced in complaints to the industry ombudsman,” said Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for the industry, of course, as demand for telco services has grown rapidly and required telcos to augment and reconfigure networks to ensure that customers stay connected and can use their services for personal and professional needs.”

In light of the pandemic, the NBN Co increased data allowances for Sky Muster services for regional and remote customers from 31 March.

It has also agreed to waive charges for additional capacity of up to 40 per cent to network retail service providers (RSPs) for at least three months.

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