NBN Co Guarantees Payments To RSPs For Faults
NBN Co has agreed to pay a swag of new fines to retail service providers as part of an enforceable undertaking (service level) agreement announced by the ACCC.
This includes paying $25 every time they miss an appointment, make a late connection or have to fix a service fault, the agreement states.
On top of that, NBN Co will also be required to “simplify the process for RSPs to receive rebates and remove some conditions for claiming rebates”.
The updated service level agreement represents a major move on behalf of the ACCC for RSPs, first mooted in its NBN wholesale service standards inquiry last year.
The industry watchdog had been slow to move on the inquiry’s recommendations, despite RSPs continually complaining about the compensation, or lack of thereof from NBN Co every time it breached an SLA.
Now, according to a statement released by the network operator, it will pay the $25 rebate for missed appointments “automatically … without RSPs needing to claim” and will also automatically pay “the existing $25 rebate for missed activation and fault repair timeframes to NBN Co’s wholesale customers in 100 per cent of instances, subject to standard exclusions.”
NBN Co made a lengthy submission over the subject to the ACCC, which in the end was largely ignored. It now has three months to amend its standard wholesale arrangement to reflect the terms of the undertaking.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said one of the conditions for the rebates should be that the money flows onto the end user and isn’t merely pocketed by the RSP. “Under the undertaking, NBN Co will require the RSPs to continue to take reasonable steps to ensure customers receive a benefit from the improved rebates the service providers will receive from NBN Co.”
“This could mean customers could receive rebates from RSPs or other benefits, such as providing a substitute service while a fault is being fixed.”
NBN Co has also committed to improve its reporting to RSPs, including levels of congestion on its fixed wireless network, so they can more easily track the operator’s performance to hopefully improve services for their customers.
The ACCC’s wholesale service standards inquiry remains ongoing.