NBN Co may re­veal speeds

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - JENNIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

AUS­TRALIANS might fi­nally dis­cover what down­load speeds they can ex­pect un­der the Na­tional Broad­band Net­work af­ter the com­pany be­hind the roll­out re­vealed it was “con­sid­er­ing” re­leas­ing se­cret house­hold speed es­ti­mates hid­den from the pub­lic.

NBN Co’s dis­clo­sure comes just a week af­ter Tel­stra and Op­tus ad­mit­ted they had un­fairly charged NBN users for in­ter­net speeds they could not pos­si­bly re­ceive.

Both com­pa­nies will is­sue re­funds to tens of thou­sands of NBN users.

NBN Co chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Morrow, speak­ing at the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial re­sults up­date, said he recog­nised some con­sumers were still ex­pe­ri­enc­ing frus­tra­tion when con­nect­ing to the na­tional net­work and “it’s go­ing to take months to iron out much of the is­sues”.

To al­le­vi­ate frus­tra­tion around in­ter­net speed ex­pec­ta­tions, Mr Morrow said the com­pany was con­sid­er­ing whether to pub­lish its list of “the­o­ret­i­cal” in­ter­net speeds each house or busi­ness in Aus­tralia could achieve, which could range from a top down­load speed of 25 megabits per sec­ond to four times that.

The in­for­ma­tion is presently only dis­closed to in­ter­net ser­vice providers, and is checked once a prop­erty is con­nected to the NBN.

“(Pub­lish­ing this in­for­ma­tion is) some­thing we have been con­sid­er­ing dis­cussing with the govern­ment, and even with the (re­tail ser­vice providers),” Mr Morrow said.

He said NBN Co was more likely to step in and pub­lish the in­for­ma­tion if in­ter­net providers did not “vol­un­teer to do this” them­selves.

Both Tel­stra and Op­tus were forced to is­sue re­funds to thou­sands of Aus­tralians be­ing charged for NBN speeds they could not pos­si­bly achieve due to the tech­nol­ogy con­nected to their homes fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion.

Tel­stra will is­sue re­funds to 42,000 of its in­ter­net users stung with higher charges, while an Op­tus spokes­woman said the com­pany was “tak­ing ac­tion to pro­vide ap­pro­pri­ate reme­dies” to cus­tomers the ACCC had iden­ti­fied as be­ing over­charged.

NBN Co re­vealed al­most 6.1 mil­lion premises were ready to con­nect to the net­work by the end of Septem­ber, though only 2.9 mil­lion premises were ac­tively us­ing the NBN, and av­er­age rev­enue per user was stag­nant at $43 per month.

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