Businesses are set to become the primary focus of the NBN rollout in response to rising complaints about poor service among customers.
Medium-sized businesses, as well as government and corporate businesses, are the focus of new “enterprise-grade enhancements” from NBN Co, which the government-owned entity said will support firms to access “high-bandwidth applications”.
“We’ve focused our efforts on developing wholesale products and services for residential and small- to medium-sized businesses during the early stage of the rollout. As we increasingly move into metro areas we are accelerating the development of our wholesale product suite to meet the needs of enterprise and government businesses,” John Simon, NBN Co’s chief customer officer – business, said in a statement.
“As Australia continues to move to a service-based economy, we want to enable innovation and help support large and enterprise businesses to take advantage of high-bandwidth applications to increase their productivity and reduce their bottom line.”
The initiatives will include dedicated case management, tailored pricing as well as an enterprise Ethernet product.
What Mr Simon’s statement didn’t say is that it comes amid a soaring number of complaints against the internet company.
The ABC has reported figures from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), which show a 160 per cent increase in complaints made about the NBN last financial year.
“It’s an NBN with disclaimers and the Australian public are being confused by a constant flow of excuses,” said Nicholas Demos, managing director of ISP MyRepublic Australia.
Indeed, complaints on NBN’s social media pages feature many unhappy experiences from users.
“Today marks the seventh day of patchy or non-existent access to what you claim is high-speed broadband, or any other type of internet access for that matter,” wrote one user on Facebook.
“Wish I had kept my old dial up modem ... NBN struggles to load up my facebook [sic] feed let alone stream HD movies ... worse thing I ever [did] was to switch my ADSL 2+ to NBN,” said another.
Smaller alternatives to the NBN have also been cashing in on reliability and speed concerns from the business community.
Listed independent ISP Spirit Telecom saw revenue growth of 29 per cent in the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, while Melbourne-based 5G Networks announced it would also list on the ASX this month to help fund the rollout of its 5G network using cloud infrastructure.
Rollout of the national broadband network is continuing, with active users now sitting at 2.4 million premises nationally.