Complaints grow

October 25, 2017

Fred Mustica from Home Technical Services has received dozens of calls of help over the past year.

Frustrated Cobram residents have been raging at their computer screens because of their unreliable NBN internet connections.

And they’re not alone, according to a recent telecommunications industry ombudsman report which found the number of complaints about NBN services had skyrocketed year on year by 159 per cent.

Computer support service provider Fred Mustica said he had received dozens of calls for help from exasperated Cobram residents and business owners.

‘‘Many people are telling me their internet is running slower through NBN than through ADSL,’’ Mr Mustica said.

Some of his clients were so fed up with their NBN service that they switched back to their old ADSL connection.

‘‘If I was offered NBN wireless, I wouldn’t switch. I would stay with ADSL as long as possible until I knew it would work properly,’’ Mr Mustica said.

He said it was only a matter of time before the bugs were ironed out and the NBN started working properly.

In the meantime, telecommunications industry ombudsman Judi Jones said she expected to hear many more complaints.

‘‘The picture the complaints show is we are frustrated when we cannot rely on technology to stay connected, to be informed and to do business,’’ Ms Jones said.

‘‘Complaints about services delivered over the national broadband network more than doubled, and while this is somewhat to be expected given the accelerating rollout, the increase is a cause for concern.’’

Responding to last week’s telecommunications industry ombudsman report, an NBN spokesperson said they were working hard to fix the problems.

‘‘We are working with retail service providers and industry as a priority to improve these figures and the overall experience for consumers,’’ the spokesperson said. ‘‘It is important to note that no large-scale construction project has ever been problem-free.

‘‘With a workforce of close to 30000 people digging trenches, hauling cable, climbing poles and going into people’s yards and homes, there are inevitably going to be some issues.

‘‘We need to maintain the balance of getting broadband to people as quickly as possible, while minimising these problems.’’

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