NBN Co to offer compensation for missed appointments

ISPs will be compensated when NBN Co misses an appointment to hook up a new customer to the service, executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski has revealed.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

NBN Co has added built in compensation offerings to retail service providers in its wholesale broadband agreement in cases where NBN Co misses an appointment to connect a customer to the National Broadband Network.

The issue has been a consistent problem within the industry for many months, with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reporting a significant number of customers complaining about missed appointments to the TIO in places where the NBN has been rolled out.

The TIO itself wouldn't confirm a correlation between the two, but industry representatives have previously indicated to ZDNet that NBN Co is renowned for continually missing appointments to connect the NBN.

iiNet held out on signing its wholesale agreement with NBN Co, in part, because it was still liable for paying for NBN Co missing booked appointments.

Speaking today at the Communications Day Summit in Sydney, in his final speech before shifting to the role of NBN Co's non-executive chairman with CEO Bill Morrow now on board, Dr Ziggy Switkowski said that NBN Co was continuing to roll out fibre to the premises to minimise impact on the move to the new multi-technology model, and to research how to improve the rollout.

He said this included improving NBN connection appointment waiting times from 30 days today, to 14 days by October, and offering compensation to retail service providers (RSPs) for missed appointments.

"[RSPs] tell us we need to vastly improve delivery against ourselves," he said.

"If for whatever reason we miss an appointment, we will compensate the retail service providers. These commitments are not idle promises; they are cemented into our contracts with our RSPs — the companies that pay our bills that ultimately generate our revenues."

NBN Co had taken a much more collaborative approach with suppliers, delivery partners, and its customers, Switkowski said.

"We will be successful if the telecoms industry thrives, and our end user customers value more services," he said.

To that end, he said NBN Co's chief operating officer Greg Adcock was working with construction partners to address outstanding claims.
Telstra's group executive of regulatory affairs Tony Warren this morning noted that NBN Co had substantially improved its handling of NBN migration from the copper network onto the fibre network, but said the Communications Alliance needed to step up to play a bigger role in ensuring an end-to-end smooth transition for customers onto the new network.

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