Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for the telecommunications industry to help improve how customers are moved from the existing copper network over to the National Broadband Network (NBN), as the government admits some customers in the first 15 NBN rollout areas have yet to be moved onto the network.
As part of the 2011 Telstra and NBN Co agreement, Telstra will stop supplying services over its copper network once a designated area has been declared 'ready for service' on the NBN.
The 18-month notice window for residents to be disconnected from the copper in the first 15 NBN sites opened in November 2012, with the original deadline to get residents off the copper and either onto the NBN, or onto a wireless alternative set for May this year.
Despite a marketing blitz by both NBN Co and retail service providers in those areas, a consultation paper released by Turnbull yesterday indicated that there were still issues with getting customers, particularly those with medical alarms, Eftpos and other devices onto the NBN.
The consultation paper (PDF) revealed that three months since the deadline there were still some premises in the first 15 locations "still subject to the migration process", as a result of missed appointments, poor coordination and communication between NBN Co and retailers, and inadequate resources to finalise the construction required to allow premises in those areas to connect to the NBN.
In a bid to fix issues in the process before adding complexity to the migration with the inclusion of HFC and fibre to the node connections in the NBN, the paper states it is seeking to set out a migration policy clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of NBN Co, Telstra, and the retailers in getting customers onto the NBN smoothly.
Turnbull has called for feedback on the paper, with submissions due on September 26.
Following the release of the consultation paper, the industry representative group, Communications Alliance, will hold a forum with industry to develop processes and solutions for the migration of customer onto the NBN.