Se­nate eyes re­gional NBN con­nec­tions

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News -

Fur­ther con­cerns have been raised about NBN ser­vice providers sell­ing pack­ages to cus­tomers by spruik­ing speeds unattain­able to most re­gional Aus­tralians.

A Se­nate re­view into re­gional telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions has rec­om­mended mea­sures be taken to en­sure truth in ad­ver­tis­ing and re­port­ing about qual­ity of NBN ser­vices.

It found many Sky Muster cus­tomers were re­port­ing nearim­pos­si­ble con­nec­tion and reg­u­lar ser­vice drop-outs in peak times, de­spite be­ing promised up to 25Mbps up­load/5Mbps down­load speeds.

The re­port stated there was a “sig­nif­i­cant dis­con­nect” between ad­ver­tis­ing about the per­for­mance of Sky Muster, com­pared with the lived ex­peri Govern­ment ence of many users.

“Many Sky Muster cus­tomers have told the com­mit­tee that the ser­vice falls well short of their needs and ex­pec­ta­tions.

“We be­lieve this is largely be­cause prob­lems at the re­tail ser­vice provider level or at the in­di­vid­ual premises are not picked up when NBN Co re­ports about the sta­bil­ity of the broader net­work.

“Con­sumers on the fixed-wire­less net­work ex­pe­ri­ence sim­i­lar is­sues.”

A re­view by Aussie Broad­band of 1600 cus­tomers high­lighted in the re­port found cus­tomers av­er­aged less than half their or­dered speed, and were only likely to ex­pe­ri­ence near-full speed between 2am and 5am.

Re­gional Ser­vices Min­is­ter Brid­get McKen­zie said the would aim to re­spond to the rec­om­men­da­tions early next year.

“The re­port makes a com­pelling case that the ben­e­fits of in­creased dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity for the re­gions are im­mense,” she said.

“The (Fed­eral) Govern­ment is tak­ing the com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tions very se­ri­ously.

“We are ex­am­in­ing op­tions and work­ing with stake­hold­ers to see how to best re­spond to each rec­om­men­da­tion, and en­sure mean­ing­ful im­prove­ments for re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote Aus­tralians.”

The re­port found bet­ter re­gional dig­i­tal con­nec­tiv­ity would boost Aus­tralia’s agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion by $20.3 bil­lion, and lead to fur­ther growth in the tourism in­dus­try.

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