But NBN Co argues costs would be passed on to RSPs.
Australia’s consumer advocate ACCAN has argued for the introduction of enforceable service level agreements on the national broadband network to ensure users are guaranteed a minimum level of service.
ACCAN made the argument in its submission to the ACCC’s current consultation on NBN Co’s wholesale broadband agreement with retail service providers.
The consumer group said the so-called WBA3 agreement does not adequately protect consumers as its focus is on network management rather than consumer demand.
There must be incentives and accountability measures on NBN Co to deliver a certain level of service even though it does not deal directly with end users of the network, it said.
“Consumers may have no choice in the network that services them as NBN is, in effect, a monopoly,” ACCAN said.
“Therefore, it is important that minimum connection, repair and reliability standards apply.
“Consumers currently do not have guarantees in relation to connection, reliability and repair
timeframes for broadband and this puts their services at risk. ”
ACCAN said it was difficult for consumer to enforce their rights without a clearly codified framework, especially when issues occur at the wholesale level.
“Improved consumer protections policy is required to adequately manage the tension between wholesale and retail performance,” it said.
“Creating lines of accountability from the wholesale provider to the retailer and thence from the retailer to the consumer is more likely to create a network responsive to consumer needs.”