The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Opposition that it would introduce an NBN Service Guarantee if elected.

The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has today welcomed the announcement by the Federal Opposition that it would introduce an NBN Service Guarantee if elected.

The NBN Service Guarantee has been championed by the NSW Business Chamber since its inclusion in the Chamber’s submission to a public inquiry into the NBN wholesale service standards.  It would see the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) charged with holding NBN Co to a high level of accountability, introducing penalties and compensation for under-performance.

In response to business concerns about the rollout of the NBN across the Illawarra and the South Coast, the IBC convened a forum with affected businesses and federal members of parliament the Hon. Sharon Bird MP and Stephen Jones MP late last year to discuss the impact of NBN deficiencies on businesses.

IBC Executive Director Adam Zarth welcomed the news, saying that the Federal Opposition’s announcement recognised the financial impact that delays and disruptions are having on businesses, as well as consumers.

“Small businesses, particularly in our region, rely on the NBN to do business in the digital economy, and too often they are let down by unreliable services and significant delays in having faults fixed,” said Mr Zarth.

“The service guarantee we’ve proposed would be overseen by the ACCC, who would be charged with holding NBN Co accountable for the impact that an inefficient NBN service and lack of support for businesses is having.”

“More than 43 per cent of businesses we surveyed last year across the Illawarra and South Coast were waiting more than four weeks to get internet access after a NBN service is installed, and a similar percentage were dissatisfied with their NBN service.”

Wollongong locksmith Richard Knowles said: “Anything that encourages the delivery of better services and sets service standards must be a good thing.”

Berrima small business owner Steve Horton said that it was great to see the concerns of small businesses be heard with this initiative being adopted by the Federal Opposition.

“We’re still having problems here in the Southern Highlands, where I’m trying to build a new website in the midst of slow data speeds. This is compounded by the fact that my EPTPOS machine is still dropping out regularly,” said Mr Horton.

Media Contact: James Newton 0417 135 858