The NBN Co. has promised to rectify a potentially misleading aspect of the “check your address” function on its website.
With the national broadband roll-out in full swing, and the delivery authority engaged in war of words with retailers as complaint levels increase, the NBN said it would change its check function “to help consumers better understand when they can actually order a service and connect”.
The changes will give a yes/no answer for a specific address, rather than the broad generalisations about connection dates.
The current confusion revolves around “ready for service” (RFS) areas. The NBN plans to add the term “ready to connect” (RTC) for an specific address, because when it requires additional work to connect, that takes, on average, an extra six months.
Those properties are reported weekly in NBN’s “unserviceable” figures and the changes will replace the terms “serviceable” and “unserviceable” with “ready to connect” and “not yet ready to connect”.
NBN Co. said that from now on, when people check their address on its website and find it’s not yet ready, it will “make best efforts” to provide an estimated timeframe for connection.
It says it wants to make things clearer because internet providers are launching advertising to encourage residents to connect before an area is declared RFS and there is “some confusion” when individual addresses need further work.
Chief customer officer Brad Whitcomb said introducing the RTC status will make it easier for people to know whether they can connect.
“This will remove some of the confusion experienced to date when NBN declares an area ready for service, but some people are unable to connect until further work is complete,” he said.
“While only a small change, we hope it makes a difference to the experience for end users”.
The move comes after a frustrated developer promised the NBN on his townhouses five months ago finally went public on the delays to the installation, which NBN Co. conceded was “unacceptable”.
The company says it will ” make every effort” to ensure all the required construction work is complete before a premises is declared RTC “so it is very clear to those outside this category that a connection is still up to, on average, six months away”.
This information will be available on the NBN website, and in direct mail to the address involved.