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The NBN, service providers and you... what could go wrong?

After this, I finally got connected to a very kind and helpful Telstra Business ADSL service representative who reconnected the landline and ADSL at my old home.

I was a nervous and tired wreck by the end of the day.

My Telstra Business ADSL was moved to my new home about seven days later.

Customers currently make service requests on the phone and many service providers do not provide written confirmation of the service request. Instead the customer is give a reference number, leaving them in the dark about what the service provider is actually going to do.

A clear issue is the lead times for service requests to occur. Most service providers only commit to carrying out a service request at some point in the future – say five to ten days – or at some time in the future dependent on a wholesale service provider, such as Telstra Wholesale.

A wholesale provider owns the infrastructure (e.g. the copper cable from exchanges to your home) and service providers lease access to the infrastructure to provide services such as fixed telephony or ADSL.

Service providers have recently made moves to reduce the time taken for consumers to get access to their services.

A major step forward with the NBN will be the capability to gain access to more than one service provider at the same time.

Initially customers will be able to access one data service provider and two voice service providers (though one is required to be the same as the data service provider).

If the customer utilises a service wholesaler then it will be possible to get access to services from more than one service provider.

You might ask: “How will I ever get the service providers to move their services on the same day if I move to a new home?”

Chaos right?

This upcoming multi-service-provider feature of the NBN needs to be explained and a new industry code of practice needs to be introduced to ensure service providers improve service management practices.

Failure to address how service providers offering services over the NBN are coordinated will see complaints to the ombudsman grow to new heights.

The NBN will provide Australians with a raft of exciting new opportunities. For services providers, it will provide a much-needed chance to improve their customer relations and procedures.

And who wouldn’t welcome that?

Mark Gregory is Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT University

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

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