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Don’t forget to switch to NBN

The NBN has been switched on in Tumut, but there is still an element of confusion surrounding the new system.

An NBN spokesperson said if people are experiencing issues with their service, they need to first contact their retail service provider to let them know.

The retailer will run tests to determine the cause of the problem, and if they can’t solve the issue they will contact NBN who will investigate.

“This is because there can often be issues affecting a service that is outside of the NBN network so it’s vital that people let their retailer know that they are experiencing problems to resolve the issue,” they said.

NBN spokesperson Kelly Stevens said the rollout has been desperately needed in regional and rural areas.

“For the first time in history people have a choice of speed, so I’d encourage everyone to discuss their specific internet needs with their retailer and sign up for the package that is right for them,” Ms Stevens said.

“They join nearly four million others across the nation that are currently able to enjoy the benefits of the NBN network, with more than 1.2 million of those premises in NSW.

“Being online has become part of our daily lives, in fact this year it’s expected we’ll spend an additional 22 more days on the internet at home than we did two years ago.

“As Australia’s love affair with the internet continues and we move further into the digital age, fast and reliable broadband will be vital in areas such as business, health, education, entertainment and leisure.”

Ms Stevens said the NBN’s goal is to have eight million connections by 2020.

Residents are reminded that making the switch is not automatic. You can find out whether you are eligible to connect to the NBN network by visiting www.NBNco.com.au/switch

Once eligible to connect, people should contact their phone or internet provider to discuss their needs and make the change.

Homes and businesses still on the Interim Satellite Service (ISS) need to act right now.

NBN will be closing down the ISS on February 28.

Residents and businesses will need to switch existing ISS internet services to an alternative NBN network.

There are currently over 1000 premises connected to ISS across the country that have not taken any action.

State Corporate Affairs Manager Kylie Lindsay said that the switch was not automatic and people needed to act now.

“We have been working with our retail service providers for some time now to notify ISS users that they need to switch over to another NBN service,” she said

“This has included numerous phone calls, direct mail, door-knocking and advertisements in newspapers and online news sites.

“However, despite our best efforts to contact people, we anticipate there will be a number of people left without a service by the end of the month.”

Ms Lindsay said that end users do have a choice, they can switch to fast broadband powered by the NBN network or they can choose to make do with mobile solutions.

Residents and businesses still on the ISS who have not yet placed an order for an NBN service need to take the following steps: Contact your preferred internet service provider and discuss your requirements; Choose a plan that suits their needs; Order their service over the NBN network as soon as possible. NBN has also set up a special ISS hotline to capture any migration issues.

Any residents or businesses that are experiencing any difficulties are urged to contact 1800 726 434 as soon as possible.

Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash has welcomed news the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced further work to help consumers get the information they need to compare NBN broadband plans.

The ACCC’s consultation on fixed broadband speeds found 80 per cent of customers are confused about the speed their plan is meant to provide.

Those customers wanted broadband plan speed presented in a simple, standard way so they could compare plans easily. Some regional customers have recently complained about the speeds being delivered by their plans.

“The NBN is a wholesaler and so doesn’t sell to households – it sells to retail companies, which sell plans on to households and businesses,” Ms Nash said.

“It seems some companies are buying less access – slower speeds – and then selling those plans without clearly stating the speed, or just labelling the plans ‘NBN’ plans without clearly stating the speed. This results in disappointed customers. This is not the fault of NBN.

“Using the term ‘NBN’ to suggest a very fast speed when that’s not what you’re actually selling is unacceptable. I’d also be deeply disappointed if retail companies were trying to deflect brand damage onto NBN if they’ve not passed on the full benefits of NBN to customers. Plans selling NBN cover a range of speeds and pricing and customers need to be able to easily tell which speed they’re paying for.

“If some retail companies are not being clear about the speeds they’re selling to customers then I’m glad the ACCC is involved.”

The ACCC will issue new guidelines and work with retailers to make sure customers are clearly informed about the speed of the plan they are purchasing.

Minister Nash said she would be keeping a close eye on the issue. Customers can check the speed appropriate to them at www.nbnco.com.au/learn-about-the-nbn/speed.html.