ACMA publishes nbn migration standards

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 22 June, 2018

ACMA publishes nbn migration standards

ACMA has published two new industry standards aimed at improving the experience of migrating to the nbn.

The regulator has instructed nbn retail service providers to step up to ensure customers are not left without service during the migration process, and to provide better information to customers.

The new Service Continuity Standard will require service providers and nbn co not to disconnect existing services until a new nbn-based service is working, wherever feasible.

Where there is no current working service the standard sets time frames around reconnecting customers to their old service or offering an interim service while the nbn-based service is repaired.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the company’s research shows that 16% of households reported being left without a home internet and/or phone service for more than a week during the nbn migration.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Information Standard will require service providers to offer a key facts sheet that explains the different plans offered, and to remind consumers to check that critical services such as medical and security alarms are compatible with the nbn prior to the migration.

The new standards will come into effect on 21 September. ACMA will have the power to commence court proceedings against providers breaching the standards and seek remedies including injunctions and civil penalties of up to $250,000.

Telecommunications industry body the Communications Alliance welcomed the new standards, noting that the regulator took on board a number of suggestions from the industry.

“In particular, we are pleased that the ACMA has recognised that it is not sensible to go down the path of reconnecting legacy services in circumstances where fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) or fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) experience initial connection issues,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

“This is because these connections use the same copper infrastructure that previously supported legacy services such as ADSL2 — making it impossible to restore the old service and fix the new one at the same time.”

But he noted that meeting the short implementation deadlines will be a major challenge for the industry.

Image credit: © HABERBERGER

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