The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, has expressed disappointment at the paltry compensation amount proposed in the NBN Co’s undertaking to the ACCC.
NBN Co will commit to a rebate of $25 for every late connection, fault rectification or missed appointment, which will be payable to the customer’s retail service provider (RSP).
In a survey of its members conducted earlier this year, the Chamber found that delays and disruptions in the rollout of the NBN were costing NSW businesses, on average, more than $9,000.
To make matters worse, the offer from NBN Co relies on the goodwill of the RSP to pass it on to the customer, and so far we are yet to see any RSP make the same binding commitment to the ACCC.
“The delays and disruptions are not solely caused by NBN Co. They relate to a lack of accountability, responsibility and cooperation between the parties involved in the provision of broadband services, which include RSPs,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“It seems these parties are simply not incentivised or forced to work together, and only a strong compliance, performance and reporting regime underpinned by enforcement provisions, which include civil penalties and compensatory guarantees, will work,” Mr Cartwright said
The Chamber has recommended a National Broadband Service Guarantee, a central plank of the Chamber’s submission to the ACCC’s Inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards.
The introduction of a National Broadband Service Guarantee would protect business and residential consumers and ensure all those in the broadband supply chain are held to account for this essential service with appropriate pecuniary and compensation measures.
“Without an enforceable National Broadband Service Guarantee imposed on these parties, it is difficult to assure business and residential consumers that they would see an improvement in the delivery of broadband services and resolution of faults and service failures going forward.
“Poor installations, drop-outs and missed appointments for connections/fault rectifications are crippling for business and something needs to be done urgently to put the onus back on all of the parties supplying broadband services to deliver what they promise by assuming responsibility and better coordinating their efforts. If not, they need to make good to the affected businesses,” Mr Cartwright said.