Some 900,000 Australian households still do not have a home internet connection despite a rise in remote learning, telehealth services and work-from-home arrangements in the last two years, Australia’s Consumer Action Network has revealed. Australian Communications.
His last political position The future of broadband warns that durable provisions safeguarding the interests of Australians are needed to protect consumers.
Australians have endured lockdowns, natural disasters and significant increases in the cost of living since the National Broadband Network (NBN) was declared ‘built’ by the Federal Government.
“Such experiences have highlighted how essential communications technologies are and how important it is that these technologies be reliable, resilient and affordable,” he says. Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) CEO Andrew Williams.
Citing ACCAN research, Williams said that 57% of Australians with the lowest incomes experience difficulty paying for broadband services at home.
“This is unacceptable in a country as rich as ours,” Williams said.
“To ensure that the interests of all Australian consumers are protected, there are a number of conditions that must be met on all fixed broadband networks to ensure that everyone can connect and stay connected, not just those who can afford it. “he suggested.
This would include transparent reporting on troubleshooting, disconnections and localized network performance, as well as the establishment of a subsidized broadband service.
Telecommunications companies must also provide standard customer service guarantees that protect households from poor customer service, such as missing appointments.
ACCAN encourages public Wi-Fi providers and public interest programs to expand their services based on community needs, so that people can access the Internet regardless of their circumstances.
“There is currently no regulated reliability framework for broadband networks. Creating such a framework would help address some of the reliability issues experienced by consumers, particularly if broadband networks are required to report their reliability performance,” Williams said.
“Extending this information requirement to the retail sector would bring the telecommunications sector in line with other public services such as gas, electricity and water, and give people greater confidence when choosing the right provider for them” .
This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on July 8, 2022.
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