Low-speed internet? NBN boss says 'We're not the police'
WITH customers still confused about exactly what speeds they can expect when signing up to the NBN, the man responsible for the project has thrown fuel on the fire, saying the NBN is "not the police".
The country's top consumer watchdog recently clamped down on retailers such as Telstra and TPG advertising vague "up to" speeds for its broadband packages.
Meanwhile the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is also rolling out a broadband program to give consumers a better idea of the typical speeds and performance provided by each RSP (retail service provider) throughout the day.
The telcos - a few of which have recently admitted to overcharging customers for unattainable speeds - have also signalled their intention to be more forthcoming with information over expected speeds.
NBN Co. last week said it would consider publishing secret household speed estimates to reduce consumer frustration.
But NBN boss Bill Morrow appeared before the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee on Thursday and was noncommittal about the NBN's role in the drama.
The NBN is a wholesaler and, ideally, wants to be out of the customer's mind.
"[We were] never designed and set up to have that kind of interface with the end user," he said, according to Fairfax.
Mr Morrow said the company had carried out studies regarding the "mass confusion" among consumers about the services being provided. "Part of the reason is they think NBN is their entire provider," he said.
Ultimately, it is the RSP who is responsible for providing the public with information about what speeds they can expect from the broadband packs they sell.
"I can see where the RSPs are starting to respond to this ... and I think they are the ones best placed to communicate with their customers and share this sort of information," he said.
"We're not the police. We provide a service to RSPs."
However, if the telcos drag their feet for too long, Mr Morrow said he would look into what type of information NBN Co. can publicly disclose as confidentiality agreements govern much of the relationship between NBN Co. and the many RSPs it deals with.
For instance, the NBN is prohibited from released data about how much CVC (effectively, the amount of bandwidth) telcos are purchasing for their end-users - a lack of which is seen as a major source of congestion issues.
"If there are no restrictions, and if the RSPs do not publish the [speed] information, then I intend to," Mr Morrow said.