The NBN & the consumer experience: scope & status | ACMA

The NBN & the consumer experience: scope & status

The ACMA has put in place a package of measures—within its regulatory responsibilities—to help improve consumers’ experience in migrating to and using the National Broadband Network (NBN).

These measures will:

  • ensure consumers get the information they need to make informed decisions about the service they require on the NBN, and to choose a telco and plan to match
  • provide confidence to consumers that, at the time of connection, they will have a working NBN service and are not left without a working telecommunications service during their move to the NBN
  • provide confidence for consumers that their complaints will be effectively managed by telcos if problems arise with an NBN service.

These actions complement work by:

  • the ACCC in monitoring and reporting on broadband performance, providing guidance to industry on broadband speed claims, and conducting an inquiry into NBN wholesale service standards
  • NBN Co’s Future of Customer Experience program and publishing of metrics relating to the services it delivers to phone and internet providers, and the physical connection of homes and businesses to NBN infrastructure.

What we've done and what we'll be doing

The following table will be kept up-to-date with ACMA actions and their status. Subscribe to our Telco matters e-bulletin for updates.

Action  Status 
Building our understanding 
Industry information-gathering Information obtained from telcos across the NBN supply chain. Published 21 December 2017
Residential households and business survey  Information obtained from residential households and small businesses about their experiences in migrating to and using the NBN.

Snapshot of early insights from the residential households survey published 15 March 2018

Full research report, including insights from the small business survey, published 22 August 2018

Customer information review  Review of information provided by all telcos offering NBN services to customers via their websites, including information on critical information summaries. Published 3 April 2018
Modem quality study  Quality of modems and other performance matters that may impact consumers’ experience of the NBN to be examined. Expected to be completed in the second half of 2018
Making new rules 
Consumer information

Deals with the problem of consumers not having the right information to consider what they need for an NBN service, or to choose a telco and new plan.

The ACMA has made the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018 (Consumer Information Standard), which specifies the minimum information that telcos must provide, including about the services they supply on the NBN, before consumers sign up.

Consultation paper released 10 April 2018

Consumer Information Standard registered 22 June 2018

NBN migration and service continuity

Deals with the problem that some consumers do not get a working NBN service at the time of connection and, in some cases, are left without a working telecommunications service during their move to the NBN.

The ACMA has made:

  • the Telecommunications (NBN Continuity of Service) Industry Standard 2018 (Service Continuity Standard), which enables consumers who cannot get a working NBN service to be reconnected to their old service if feasible, unless one of certain limited exceptions applies
  • the Telecommunications Service Provider (NBN Service Migration) Determination 2018 (Service Migration Determination), which requires telcos to:
    • conduct a post-migration test to determine whether a consumer’s NBN service is working
    • provide an interim service if a consumer is left without a working telecommunications service during their move to the NBN, unless one of certain limited exceptions applies
    • for NBN technologies that use the existing copper network–confirm that the underlying network infrastructure can support the speed tier specified in the plan sold to the consumer and provide remedies if it doesn’t.          

Consultation paper released 10 April 2018

Service Continuity Standard registered 22 June 2018

Service Migration Determination made 23 July 2018

Handling of complaints

Deals with the problem that complaints made by some consumers about their migration to, or use of, services on the NBN are not managed effectively.

The ACMA has made the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018 (Complaints-handling Standard), which specifies the processes that telcos must follow in handling complaints from their customers. It also requires wholesale providers, including NBN Co, to assist both retail-level telcos and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in handling complaints. The Complaints-handling Standard is not limited to complaints about NBN services.

The ACMA has made the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints) Record-Keeping Rules 2018 (Record-Keeping Rules), which require specified telcos to report data about the complaints they receive to the ACMA, so these can be monitored. The Record-Keeping Rules are also not limited only to NBN services.

Consultation paper released 15 March 2018

Complaints-handling Standard and Record-Keeping Rules registered 7 June 2018.


Intensifying our enforcement and education efforts 
Monitor and enforce compliance To ensure new and existing rules are effective and consumers and businesses are protected, the ACMA will actively monitor telcos’ compliance with rules, and may take enforcement action in the event of non-compliance.  Ongoing 
Education and awareness  To enable businesses and consumers to understand their rights, and telcos to understand their responsibilities and obligations, the ACMA will intensify our education and awareness activities.
For consumers, the ACMA will be providing new materials to help consumers and businesses to get the best out of their NBN services.
From June 2018 
Encouraging better industry practices
Better practice guide for telcos Jointly developed with Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government, the ACMA’s A better practice guide for NBN providers will assist consumers to better choose an NBN plan that meets their needs. Published on 10 July 2018
Compliance tune-ups Presentation notes from the event—jointly hosted by ACMA and Communications Alliance.


Sydney: Thursday 26 July 2018

Melbourne: Friday 27 July 2018 


Read our FAQs on migrating to and using the NBN.

Last updated: 08 February 2019