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NBN Co’s commitment to customer experience driving down rate of complaints

17 April 2018

NBN Co, the company building Australia’s broadband network, is pleased to see a 16 per cent decline in the rate of complaints made to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) during the second half of 2017 about retail services delivered over the nbn™ access network.

Of the 22,827 complaints to the TIO about retail services delivered over the nbn™ access network from July to December 2017, less than five per cent (1052) were sent to NBN Co as complaints to resolve.

This was in the midst of one of the biggest deployment years in the company’s history with NBN Co increasing the number of activated premises on the network in the six months to 31 December 2017 by 39 per cent (942,804 premises)¹.

The total number of complaints made to the TIO about services delivered over the nbn™ network equates to 0.67 per cent of total activated services on the nbn™ access network.

NBN Co Chief Customer Officer, Brad Whitcomb said:

“While the slowdown in the rate of complaints is encouraging, NBN Co acknowledges there is still more work to be done, particularly at this critical stage of the rollout as we balance prioritising customer experience without taking our foot off the construction pedal.

“We will continue to work with industry to improve those parts of the customer’s end-to-end experience within our control to reduce complaint volumes.

“The second half of 2017 represented one of the most significant periods of the rollout in terms of prioritising the customer experience. Alongside retailers, our delivery partners and the wider industry, we established a number of company initiatives to improve the broadband experience for end users.

“We evolved our pricing model to help improve speeds on the network during peak hours. As a result, retailers provisioned more bandwidth on the network, shrinking average network bandwidth congestion down from near seven hours to 18 minutes per week when compared with the same period from the previous year (excluding nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite), as reported in yesterday’s monthly progress report.*

“We also announced plans to pause sales on the HFC portion of the network while optimisation works were carried out. Retail access to HFC services will progressively be made available from late April. 

“In addition, we have made significant improvements to our processes and systems to minimise complaints. As a result, our right-first-time metric for installation of nbn equipment has climbed overall in recent months, and we are now just below 90 per cent.**

“All of this achieved at a time when, as at 31 December 2017, more than 95 per cent of Australian households and businesses were either in design, under construction or were able to order a service.

“We’re pleased to see these initiatives and industry collaboration having a positive impact on customer satisfaction as well as tempering the volume of complaints made to the TIO.

“The rollout of the nbn™ access network is one of the most complex and transformative projects in Australia’s history and we remain committed to working as quickly as we can, without jeopardising the experience of getting Australians connected,” Mr Whitcomb said.

The nbn™ network is now more than halfway built with around one in three Australian homes and businesses already connected. NBN Co remains on track to complete the rollout of the network by the end of 2020.


* The metrics used relate to services NBN Co delivers to phone or internet providers and the physical connection of homes and businesses to nbn™ infrastructure. The metrics do not cover services supplier by providers to end users, nor end user experience with internet providers. The ‘average network bandwidth congestion’ metric is the average number of minutes of bandwidth congestion per week / per service. This is calculated across all bandwidth purchased by all phone and internet providers across the entire network (VCVB congestion).  Please note that while bandwidth congestion is caused by the level of provisioning of capacity by the phone and internet provider, there are also other types of congestion which may occur on the nbn™ access network. See the Fixed Line Network congestion metric for an example of this.Please note that while bandwidth congestion is caused by the level of provisioning of capacity by the phone and internet provider, there are also other types of congestion which may occur on the nbn™ access network, such as the ‘Fixed Line Network congestion’ metric.

** The ‘installed right the first time’ metric measures the percentage of homes and businesses that have their nbn™ equipment installed without additional work from NBN Co the first time the installation is attempted.

Notes to editors

  1. In the six months to the 31st of December 2017, NBN Co increased activations by 942,804 premises, bringing us close to 3.4 million (3,385,937) total active premises on the nbn™ access network.
  2. In the same period, NBN Co added 1.4 million premises to the network footprint, bringing us to 7.1 million Ready For Service (RFS). Almost 6.1 million of those were Ready To Connect (RTC), representing more than one in two homes and businesses across the nation able to access high-speed broadband.
  3. The nbn™ access network is wholesale only. NBN Co supplies services and infrastructure to phone and internet providers, who sell plans to end users.
  4. NBN Co's monthly progress report is designed to give Australians a clearer understanding of the company is taking action to improve customer experience.
  5. For information on the metrics and their descriptions please visit

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