NBN Outage in Southern Riverina Was Poorly Handled by NBN Co

June 15, 2017
man using cellphone


Southern Riverina residents experienced phone and internet connection outage while the National Broadband Network (NBN) was doing their upgrades.


Upgrades are a normal activity to be done by any company. However, this upgrade appears to have bypassed an important protocol on customer service—perform announcements. According to reports posted on social media, residents of Jindera were not informed of NBN Co’s “planned service outage”, thus leaving them in the dark.


On the other hand, retail service providers were already notified of the upgrades to be done last May 3, according to an NBN Co. spokesperson.


“Well in advance of the mandatory 10 business days’ notice required by the wholesaler, to ensure adequate time to inform retail customers”, the spokesperson said via The Border Mail.


In contrast to this, Jindera residents claim that they only first heard about the upgrades when they were already experiencing connection dropouts.


“NBN carried out planned works on the Jindera fixed wireless tower last week… some premises serviced by the facility would have experienced a planned service outage,” she said via The Border Mail.


“Services were restored the morning of May 24. These works were necessary for the overall sustainability and usability of NBN’s fixed wireless network.”


Even though NBN Co exerted “effort” in upgrading connections in the area, Jindera resident Greater Hume Shire Councillor Matt Hicks described the service “still a bit scratchy”.


“It’s been very hit and miss, a bit disappointing,” Councillor Hicks said via The Border Mail. “Apparently they tried to upgrade services but if we get a bit of crook weather it becomes quite unreliable, I think we’d have been better of to stick with ADSL.


“The smart move would have been to make sure it worked properly first,” he added via The Border Mail.


This fiasco clearly shows that not all upgrades produce improvements. According to figures released by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), the once-in-a-lifetime upgrade of telecommunications technology in Australia has contributed to an increase of complaints.


The said figures from TIO revealed that by the second half of the year, there were already 65,760 complaints from individual and small businesses. This number of complaints went up by 33.8 percent, which was higher compared to the second half of last year.


Moreover, these complaints are all about internet services, which have the biggest growth in complaints with 53.6 percent, followed by mobile phones and landlines.


Bottom line is that complaints that have something to with the crappy NBN have increased by 117.5 percent.


Ombudsman Judi Jones said the main issues filed by customers revolve around customer service, billing and payments, faults and complaints handling. However, she could not pinpoint the root cause analysis.


“What we know is that these services are very important to people’s social and business lives and we have higher expectations because we’ve moved on from the days of the dial-up modem,” she said via The Border Mail.


“There’s a lot of changes in the industry as well – roll out of the NBN, new entrants, and existing providers changing their offerings.”