LABOR’S NBN SERVICE GUARANTEE TO SUPPORT WA BUSINESSES

Staying connected is vital for a business to be successful, but time and time again bungled NBN installations are costing Perth businesses.

As well as the financial impact of an unreliable internet connection, businesses often have to spend time dealing with issues that should be a simple fix – time that would be much better spent focusing on their work.

Stephen Jones, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, and Patrick Gorman, Member for Perth, today met with local business owners that have been forced to switch to satellite connections after bungled NBN installations.

In 2016-17, there were almost 5000 complaints about NBN faults in Western Australia to the Telecommunications Ombudsman, while almost 2000 complaints were made about connections. 

Overall, there was a 50% rise in complaints about the NBN from 2015-16.

Labor will deliver a better experience for NBN consumers with a plan to establish an NBN Service Guarantee that will set regulated timeframes and wholesale service standards for:

  • Fault rectification
  • Installations
  • Missed appointments

The NBN Service Guarantee will be enforced through financial penalties that will apply if service standards are not met.
 
To properly safeguard consumers, penalties will increase in response to excessive downtime, with appropriate compensation caps to apply.
 
If NBNCo doesn’t meet these standards they’ll be liable and the impacted consumer will be fairly compensated – it’s that simple.
 
A Shorten Labor Government will also establish stronger penalties to protect small businesses on the NBN, because we understand the stress and financial harm caused by the loss of telephone or internet services.
 
This policy builds on the strong advocacy of consumer groups, and the initiative of the ACCC in instigating an inquiry into wholesale service standards, despite the ongoing apathy of the Turnbull Government.
 
Labor will also expand the remit of the ACCC under this policy to ensure there is a single line of oversight for NBN wholesale standards and the retail pass through.
 
These reforms have been designed to target underlying incentive structures that too often leave Australians stuck in a frustrating blame game, with no-one willing to take responsibility.
 
Our policy will make NBN more accountable to retail providers, so that retail providers can in turn be more accountable to their customers. We will place the consumers back at the centre and give them fair rights – that is what Labor Governments do.
 
Labor in government will work with the ACCC, NBNCo, ACMA and other key stakeholders to set appropriate penalty amounts.
 
Having more uptime, less downtime, and greater accountability is an important step towards delivering a better NBN for all Australians.