24 June 2018

With The Hon Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition. 

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australian small businesses and households get a fairer go by establishing penalties on NBNCo for underperformance – allowing for consumer compensation if their NBN experience isn’t up to scratch.

The National Broadband Network is a critical project for Australia’s future – but under the Turnbull Government, consumers are paying the price for faults, downtime and poor service.

In 2017, complaints about the NBN alone increased by 204 per cent.

But at the moment there are no meaningful remedies to make NBN accountable for missed appointments and customer downtime.That’s why Labor is acting to support small businesses and consumers by developing clear standards for connection timeframes, fault repair timeframes, and missed technician appointments.If NBNCo doesn’t meet these standards then they’ll be fined and the consumer will be compensated – it’s that simple.

We know that there will continue to be faults on Turnbull’s slower and less reliable NBN – that’s why it is so important to set up a framework to safeguard consumers and incentivise more responsive service.

We can’t have small businesses going weeks without internet and phone services. 95 per cent of Australian businesses have internet access – and internet income is estimated to be worth more than $394 billion annually.And we cannot have members of working families taking four hours off work only for no technician to turn up. Last year, NBN installers missed over 80,000 appointments.

As part of this policy, responsibility for wholesale NBN service standards and the consumer pass through will be consolidated within the ACCC to ensure there is a single line of regulatory oversight.

We’ll work with the ACCC, NBNCo, experts and other key stakeholders to develop and finalise the standards and set appropriate penalty amounts. Penalties will be structured around individual consumer outcomes, with stronger penalties in place to help safeguard small businesses from excessive downtime.

Labor’s policy will mean fewer delays, less downtime and better accountability.

Our NBN Service Guarantee will tip the scales back to consumers and give NBNCo clear expectations – lift your game or you’ll face penalties.

You can find out more here.