ACCC asks Telstra to be precise in NBN migration timing

The competition watchdog has told Telstra that it will need to cut down the length of time it takes to inform retailers of an incoming service disruption for customers transferring over to the NBN.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has told Telstra that it will need to reduce the amount of time it is allowed to notify a wholesale customer of a pending outage for their retail customer transferring over to the National Broadband Network (NBN) from four hours.

In 2012, NBN Co switched to an opt-out method of installing fibre to the premises across the country. To reduce the work involved, it developed a "pull-through" method that sees NBN Co disconnect the existing copper or hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cables and attach them to a fibre cable that is then pulled through the existing conduit.

The copper or HFC services can then be reconnected if required, but NBN Co has said that the pull-through method is only to be used when NBN Co can't install the cable through the existing conduit any other way, and only once the customer in the premises has ordered an NBN service.

Telstra, as the wholesale network operator overseeing migration to the NBN, must obtain consent from the ISPs before using the pull-through method, and then advise the ISPs before the migration is about to occur. On Friday, the ACCC told Telstra to revise its migration plan to reduce the time it is allowed to indicate when an outage is likely occur for a pull through, and thus reduce the expected outage time for a customer.

"These timeframes are not sufficiently prompt to facilitate the management by wholesale customers of the migration of their customers in a way that minimises the period of any service outage caused by a notification event, for example via the timely provision of interim call diversion services," the ACCC said.

"The timeframes do not provide, to the greatest extent practicable, for equivalence between Telstra's retail business units and Telstra's wholesale customers in the timing of the receipt of notifications of notification events."

Telstra has 40 business days from Friday to amend its migration plan.

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