NBN speeds to be monitored

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the announcement of a new program that will give consumers greater information on the speeds and experience they can expect from fixed-line broadband services delivered over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting (BPMR) program, to be implemented by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), will source performance data from around 4000 volunteer customers of retail service providers across the country.

“The program will provide consumers with clear and independent information of the actual speeds being delivered by various retailers,” Mr Joyce said.

“By collecting and publishing information about the speed and reliability of broadband packages, consumers will be better placed to choose a plan that is right for them. It will also encourage retailers to compete on the quality of their broadband plans.”

The ACCC will shortly be recruiting householders using the NBN fixed-line network to take part in the program. Further information about how to sign up will be available on the ACCC website shortly.

The NBN is already available in many areas of the New England Electorate including Quirindi, Tamworth, Armidale, Guyra, Inverell, Glen Innes and Tenterfield and is rapidly expanding.

As of March 31 there were 44,398 homes and businesses ready for service in the New England Electorate and of these, 17,039 had an active NBN connection. Connections to a further 13,240 homes and businesses in New England are currently under construction.

Meanwhile complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about internet data speeds increased 48 per cent during 2015-16, making it the single largest issue for consumer complaints during the year.

After appointing a qualified testing provider, the ACCC will commence the program next month, and will provide comparative information for consumers during the second half of the year.