A final set of rules designed to help customers move to the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). In unveiling the new rules, the regulator claimed that it had sought to formalise the process after research had found that almost one in six households moving to an NBN-based service had been left without a working connection for more than a week, while almost one in ten had seen an interruption of more than two weeks.
Under the new rules, Australian operators will be required to: conduct a line test to check their customer’s new NBN service is working after installation; verify that any existing copper line used to connect a customer to their new NBN service is capable of delivering the maximum data speed specified in their chosen plan; and offer an interim service or make another acceptable arrangement to customers where their new NBN service is not working and cannot be fixed within three days. These new rules will be directly enforceable by the ACMA and, where breaches are found, allow the regulator to commence court proceedings seeking remedies such as injunctions and civil penalties of up to AUD10 million (USD7.4 million).
Commenting on the development, ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin was cited as saying: ‘These new rules will give consumers greater confidence that their telco will make sure their new NBN service will work as expected and provide options if their connection doesn’t work.’