Telecoms Ombudsman praises nbn™ for growing connections faster than complaints

But nbn™ is now the most complained-about-telco, as a percentage of connections

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Australia's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has praised nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), for an increasing number of complaints about the network.

That may sound counter-intuitive, but the Ombudsman says “It is positive that the rate of growth in the number of active services on the NBN is greater than the growth in complaints about services delivered over the NBN.”

But by The Register's calculations, the news still isn't good. We tallied all the fixed and mobile voice and data connections for nbn™, Vodafone, Telstra and Optus as of June 30, 2016, divided them by the number of complaints and spat out a percentage of connections producing complaints.

Here's the result of that effort.

Data as of 30/6/16 Mobile and fixed services New complaints Percent of services complained about
nbn™ 2,900,000 13,406 0.46%
Optus 10,400,000 21,992 0.21%
Telstra 26,300,000 53,731 0.20%
Vodafone 5,500,000 7,830 0.14%

No wonder Ombudsman Judi Jones says “Delays in connections to the network, faults including unusable services, and dropout of services were regularly reported, which is of concern.”

Overall, Jones has mixed news to report because while new complaints about mobile, landline and internet services dropped 9.6 per cent in 2015-16, the trend for the last nine months has been upwards.

Telstra, long portrayed as the customer service villain of Australia's telcos, recorded a 3.2 per cent drop in complaints. The champagne will be flying at Vodafone, as complaints dropped by 59.5 per cent compared to last year.

Optus scored an 18.2 per cent increase, but can feel pretty good compared to iiNet's 48.2 per cent increase in new complaints.

Australians are whinging about their mobile services 36.6 per cent of the time, while internet issues sparked 34.6 of complaints. Landlines accounted for 28.8 per cent of gripes. ®


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