Regulator mulls NBN penalty
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is mulling whether NBN Co should pay a financial penalty when it delivers a poor experience to customers on the fixed wireless portion of the National Broadband Network.
The prospect of a penalty is in the regulator’s latest discussion paper on how to improve customer experience on the NBN. The paper is part of the ACCC’s wholesale service standards inquiry, launched at the end of 2017, which has already seen NBN Co agree to compensate telcos for every missed appointment or late connection and fault repair.
According to the regulator, a rebate could be a useful measure in ensuring NBN Co provides the necessary capacity on the fixed wireless network.
“While we acknowledge that NBN Co is taking steps to address congestion, we consider that the provision of a rebate that would be payable based on each enduser on a congested cell would incentivise NBN Co to ensure there is sufficient capacity on the network on an ongoing basis,” it said.
NBN Co has allocated an extra $800 million to fix congestion issues on the fixed wireless network, which has been unable to meet the growing demands of consumers. The ACCC acknowledged in its paper that there were still issues on NBN Co’s end that needed to be ironed out.
“We share stakeholders’ concern that NBN Co may continue to charge for the higher speed products during remediation, even for lines that are not capable of providing that speed.”
Submissions on the ACCC discussion paper are due by February 15, 2019.