Small business NBN connections costing thousands

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.

Of the businesses that responded to the survey on the Mid North Coast, 73.3 per cent of them have had issues with connecting to the NBN.

“It’s a sorry state of affairs when our members are spending their hard earned money to upgrade their internet connection only to be left high and dry without internet for weeks at a time,” said Kellon Beard, regional manager Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.

“Much more needs to be done to improve the experience and level of service provided to businesses connecting to the NBN,” Mr Beard 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 60 per cent of the businesses on the Mid North Coast that have connected have waited more than three weeks to have their NBN service up and running, which is simply unacceptable,” Mr Beard said.

“It’s critical that all businesses do their due diligence before making the big switch to the NBN.

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

It’s critical that all businesses do their due diligence before making the big switch to the NBN.

“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 telecommunications customers would help ensure a far better experience for business owners,” Mr Beard said.