Home Technology Regulation ACCC has consumer protections under scrutiny with Telstra NBN migration plan

ACCC has consumer protections under scrutiny with Telstra NBN migration plan

The consumer watchdog, the ACCC, is scrutinising proposed changes to Telstra’s NBN migration plan to assess whether they offer adequate protections for customers to maintain access to the services delivered by the national broadband network, as part of the industry and public consultation process.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced on Friday it was seeking feedback on a discussion paper detailing Telstra’s proposed variation to the NBN Migration Plan to facilitate the rollout of fibre-to-the-curb technology (FttC).

The rollout of FTTC is planned to commence in 2018.

Commenting on the protections for Telstra customers in the telco’s migration plan, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, “Once the FttC technology is ready to be deployed, the migration plan is intended to promote efficient disconnections and minimal disruption in the switchover to NBN-based services.

“It is important that the existing service is not disconnected without the customer’s consent until the NBN-based service is successfully activated.”

In 2015, the ACCC approved a revised migration plan which detailed how Telstra would progressively migrate existing customers’ telephone and Internet services to multi-technology mix NBN services.

And in July 2016, Sims said the changes to its migration plan proposed by Telstra would allow retail service providers more time to complete their migration activities before managed disconnection, “and are intended to promote a more positive experience for customers as they move to NBN services”.

The ACCC is required to undertake a 28-day consultation period on Telstra’s variation to its migration plan, and feedback to the discussion paper released on Friday has to be submitted by 5 January 2018.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).