One of the issues internet providers face when providing customers with an internet service that relies on an nbn connection is that not all nbn connections to the home are created equal – they’re not all capable of delivering the maximum speeds of higher speed nbn plans.
The maximum download speed you can achieve on your nbn connection – the speed to the household – is primarily dependent on the technology type delivered by NBN Co to your property. It’s impacted by a range of factors, including how far away your house is from the closest nbn point.
There’s also no way to tell what maximum speeds you can get on your nbn service until after you are connected to the nbn for the first time. This means you might order a 100Mbps service when you first move, only to find out later the nbn connection is not able to support those speeds.
This mainly affects Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Building (FTTB) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) households. We’ve added some more information about these nbn technology types here and you can see what type you’re on by visiting the My Telstra app under your nbn service.
The common element with these nbn technologies is the final stretch of copper cable that delivers the nbn service to the wall socket inside your premises. This is what is known as nbn’s ‘multi-technology mix’.
Once you’re connected to the nbn, we receive information from NBN Co about the maximum possible speeds at your address. If they’re lower than the speeds of your chosen plan, we need to let you know and give you the option of cancelling your service without cost, moving to a lower plan without cost or staying on the same plan.
If you cancel your service or move to a lower plan, we also need to provide you with a proportionate refund to reflect the period you didn’t receive the full benefit of the plan you’d chosen.
We committed to do this through an enforceable undertaking provided to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in November 2017 in relation to FTTN and FTTB connections, as have a number of other nbn internet providers. We’re also obliged to do this under NBN service migration rules.
We have become aware that we have failed to meet these commitments and rules for many customers. We’re now in the process of contacting all customers who have been potentially impacted to offer them appropriate remedies.
As we became aware of these issues, we reported them to the ACCC and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and have developed a comprehensive remediation programme. This programme started in February 2021 and we’ll contact customers over the next few months.
This is a complicated issue that we are managing proactively, and we are very sorry to have let these customers down. Our continued commitment to our customers is when things go wrong, we pick it up and aim to fix it. We are committed to always acting responsibly, while being transparent and accountable. And this is one of those times.
Since discovering these issues, we have made significant improvements to how we manage communicating nbn speed information to our customers. We’ve introduced a new system for processing the information we receive from NBN Co about customers’ maximum speeds which lets us better match our data with NBN Co’s and detect when there are issues.
We have also recently introduced new capability which for many FTTN, FTTB and FTTC customers lets us provide them with reliable information at point of sale about the maximum possible speeds at their address so they can make an informed choice when they purchase or change plans. We’re calling this pre-qualification process, our dynamic service qualification tool.
For homes connected to the nbn for more than 21 days, we can inform consumer customers of the maximum attainable speeds they can get on their FTTN, FTTB or FTTC connection. This comes in the form of a range of maximum download speeds, and is the best estimate we can make of the fastest possible speeds of a customer’s connection. We also provide information to customers about how the maximum speeds at their address relate to their different options for plans with us.
We will also continue to write to customers once they are connected on their new plan, and if their connection doesn’t support the maximum speeds of their plan, we’ll provide them with the options in line with our obligations mentioned above.
If Dynamic Service Qualification data isn’t available – for example, if their home hasn’t been connected to the nbn yet – then customers on FTTN and FTTB won’t be able to purchase our Premium Speed Plan. Once connected, we’ll let them know what speeds their connection can support, and they will have the option to upgrade to the Premium plan if available to them.
We’re committed to always delivering the best customer experience that we can, so Aussies can better study, work, and be entertained online at home.