Poor NBN Connections are Costing Small Business Thousands

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Delays and disruptions in the rollout of the NBN are costing NSW businesses, on average, more than $9000, according to a survey by the State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.

More than 850 businesses from across NSW took part in the survey, the first time the NSW Business Chamber has asked its members about this specific issue.

“It’s a concerning state of affairs when our members are spending their hard earned money to upgrade their internet” said Jane Laverty, Regional Manager Northern Rivers, NSW Business Chamber.

“Much more needs to be done to improve the experience and level of service provided to businesses connecting to the NBN. Expectations are not being met and for many of our businesses who operate from a regional area this lack of reliability is a major issue.” Mrs Laverty said.

“Even where members have been able to connect to the NBN, slow speeds and poor levels of customer service by both wholesale and retail telecommunication providers have been consistently reported.

“The Chamber’s NBN and telecommunications survey found that due to disruptions, investment in new equipment and lost business, on average connecting to the NBN was costing businesses up to $9000.

“These costs are unsurprising given 39% of businesses also reported having to wait more than 4 weeks to have their NBN service up and running, which is simply unacceptable.

“It’s critical that all businesses do their due diligence before making the big switch to the NBN. That’s why we’ve developed a five point guide (below) for businesses to consider before making the change.

“Reliability also remains a key concern for businesses post connection, with 42% of businesses responding to the survey saying their NBN service was unreliable.

“Other findings in the survey indicate that both fixed and mobile phone services remain an area of frustration for many businesses, especially those in regional and rural areas.

“Telecommunications can be a great leveller for regional and rural communities providing businesses with fast and reliable internet connections that can help create jobs, improve growth and attract investment.

”While we are seeing significant new investment in telecommunications, improvements to the quality of customer service and communication to customers would help ensure a far better experience for business owners,” Jane Laverty said.

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