New NBN Co contract with service providers promises better experience

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Australian national broadband network wholesaler NBN Co has signed a new contract with phone and internet providers that it says is designed to improve the quality and timeliness of its wholesale services.

The third version of the Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA3) requires NBN Co to meet enhanced service performance commitments for activations and fault restoration that will help further improve the experience of consumers on the NBN access network.

Those commitments include a new two-hour service level for hand-offs from NBN Co to retail service providers (RSPs), proactive corrective action when NBN Co fails to meet performance objectives, and a new rebate for providers when target fault restoration timeframes are missed.

NBN Co will also be trialing a new appointments system whereby consumers will be able to reschedule appointments directly with a field technician without the need to contact their provider.

Brad Whitcomb, NBN Co’s chief customer officer of Residential said the new WBA is the product of more than two years of negotiations and discussions with customers, telcos and ISPs.

“The agreement reflects the evolution of our business and also feedback from providers on how we can deliver better experiences on the network,” he said. “The success of NBN Co depends on the success of our customers – the telephone and internet companies. This is particularly the case as the rollout is one of the biggest and most complex infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Australia.”

NBN Co has been increasingly hammered by critics over everything from delays and cost overruns to installation problems and slower than advertised internet connection speeds.

The company also said it has taken further initiatives to improve consumer experience beyond the WBA, which include more installation training for field technicians, advanced fault detection via big data and machine learning technologies, enhanced case management with RSPs and a national marketing campaign explaining how the NBN arrangement works.

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