Month-long delays and poor connections are common experiences for businesses joining the NBN, according to a survey by the State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
The survey revisited questions first asked in the Chamber’s 2017 NBN survey, to assess whether reforms and changes to the NBN rollout had delivered an improved experience for business customers.
‘Our first survey painted a picture of poor performance, delays and user dissatisfaction, but it’s pleasing to see improvements in all major categories,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“However, in key areas such as connection time and business disruption during switchover, considerable room for improvement remains,” Mr Cartwright said.
“It still takes longer than a month for one in five businesses to get their internet up and running after switching to the NBN, which is not acceptable in an increasingly digital business environment.
“38% of businesses connected to the NBN described the connection process as ‘very disruptive’ or ‘disruptive’.
“The most commonly identified factors behind business disruption were: the amount of time taken by the connection and set-up process; time off-service during switchover; service drop- outs after connection; interruptions to telephone service; problems with technicians; and lack of coordination between telcos and NBN staff.
“Though NBN performance has picked up since its dismal 2017 showing, it still lags behind the levels of service businesses expect and a modern economy requires.
“A $50bn programme should aspire to better than mediocrity.
“The NSW Business Chamber is encouraging businesses to undertake an NBN connection guide (overleaf) before deciding what’s best for them.
“With around a third of the business community still to connect, NBN service providers must not neglect improvements to the switchover process. However, as the rollout phase draws to a close, improving speed and connection reliability should take greater importance” Mr Cartwright said.
Media Contact: Damian Kelly 0401 773 825
The NSW Business Chamber’s Five point NBN Connection Guide:
- Find the right Retail Service Provider (RSP) for you and your business Research which RSP (e.g. Telstra, Optus, TPG, etc) can best accommodate your business and its operations. Take a stocktake of what services and equipment your business needs to run and how they will run and operate on the NBN. Discuss how to minimise the disruptions to your business and make the process of migrating to the NBN as easy as
- You have to sign up…. eventually Once NBN Co has announced that your area is ready for service you will have 18 months to move your service to the NBN network (and your current service is permanently disconnected). Take this time to carefully consider your options and don’t feel rushed to sign anything before you’re ready. You can talk to your current service provider for more information regarding disconnection dates.
- You need permission first If you are planning to migrate to the NBN and you are not the owner of your business premises you will need to get permission from the owner for the installation of NBN equipment. Make sure you do this before you decide to arrange to be
- Protect your business When migrating to the NBN it’s a good idea to keep your current connection active (e.g. ADSL, Cable). Once your current service is disconnected it cannot be reactivated. When migrating to the NBN, installation delays or service faults can happen and it’s a good idea to have a back-up. Without a contingency in place your business could be left without internet for extended periods of time and facing expensive mobile data
- Check your equipment is NBN ready Your existing equipment and devices such as fax machines, security alarms and Eftpos/Credit Card machines may not work on the NBN and will need to be tested by the provider of the equipment (e.g. your bank or security company) beforehand. Your equipment provider is responsible for testing and ensuring their services work on the NBN. If you have any questions regarding how your equipment will operate on the NBN get in touch with your equipment provider to ensure it is NBN ready.