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Consumers At Risk Over Lack Of NBN Service Guarantees

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has voiced its concerns about the lack of service guarantees consumers have over their NBN connection.

In its latest report, Australia’s peak consumer communications group has affirmed the lack of NBN guarantees – and potential area monopolies – leaves users at risk.

ACCAN asserts minimum “connection, repair and reliability standards” must apply. The group has brought its concerns to the ACCC, as part of its inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards:

“It is important that minimum connection, repair and reliability standards apply. While consumers deal directly with retail service providers it is important that incentives and accountability measures apply to the body responsible for delivering each element of the end-to-end services”

“Therefore, it is important that minimum connection, repair and reliability standards apply. While consumers deal directly with retail service providers it is important that incentives and accountability measures apply to the body responsible for delivering each element of the end-to-end services”

“Consumers currently do not have guarantees in relation to connection, reliability and repair timeframes for broadband and this puts their services at risk”.

The advocacy group is pushing for enforceable service level agreements (SLAs for NBN users. However, the NBN Co has warned stricter service level standards will impose addition costs, which retailers may pass on.

In its ACCC submission, ACCAN states whilst some legal consumer guarantees exist, there is limited case law which demonstrates how they work in practice.

ACCAN points towards the significant number of NBN-related complaints made over the past year, which “demonstrates that the current arrangements are not working”.

The group affirms existing wholesale service standards do not adequately protect consumers, and changes must be made.

Further information is available on ACCAN’s website here.

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