Rumours of serious delays caused by a shortage of technicians have been confirmed with NBN Co admitting it is 'missing' 469 appointments every day.
469 missed appointments every day...no surprise to consumers
It will come as no surprise to many consumers who have already tried to connect to the NBN, to learn that hundreds of appointments every day are ending in technician no shows.
In my own case it took over a month, and three separate days of waiting at home before a technician appeared. As he explained, "all the NBN technicians are independent contractors. Some people only like to work 7 to 3 and then they finish for the day."
This is a problem when NBN Co is scheduling appointments from 7am to 5pm, and some jobs take longer than others.
I'd just like to add that my NBN technician did an outstanding job, including returning at 8pm in the evening to ensure everything was working correctly. But three days off work, and a month with no cable internet was a challenge! For a business it could be a catastrophe.
Serious risk of delayed migrations
NBN Co’s technicians are now ‘missing’ 469 appointments a day, though in about one-third of cases the technician is early or late but still completes the work.
NBN has confirmed that between 1 July 2018 and 20 February 2019, the total number of missed technician appointments was 114,093 - a shade under 470 a day.
NBN Co classifies as a missed appointment a situation where the technician doesn’t attend the premises within an agreed window of time. These windows are broad - between 4.5 hours and 5 hours.
NBN Co said that while most appointments are simply missed outright, it said that in one in three cases, “the technician turns up earlier or later than the stipulated time and still completes the job on the day.”
Already in some regions there is a delay of 4-12 weeks to secure a technician appointment. This situation is at risk of worsening and becoming more widespread as the deadline for ISDN disconnection approaches on 30 September, just mere months away.
Know your deadline and allow at least 6 months
VoicePlus is advising customers to allow at least 6 months to migrate off ISDN.
If a business premise is in an nbn-ready area, ISDN can be disconnected from September 2019 and IT managers will need to act immediately to mitigate risk.
VoicePlus technical solutions executive, Asif Mahmud, says he is urging business on ISDN lines to understand when their services will be disconnected and give themselves enough time to migrate.
"The migration process can be time-consuming, with decision-making about a new solution, upgrading of equipment, and implementation.
"If your business premise is in the first batch of disconnections at the end of September, action needs to be taken now to protect business continuity.
"There is only upside - financial and operational - to migrating now. The downside is major business disruption if migration does not occur before the ISDN disconnection dates, and with the NBN technician shortages, the threat is real."
Best Practice Guide for Australian companies
VoicePlus has prepared a Best Practice Guide to share the knowledge required to successfully navigate the enforced ISDN disconnection and migrate to a new technology.
- when your ISDN lines will be disconnected
- your choice of alternative technologies
- whether you will need to buy a new phone system
- how not to lose your phone number
- how to migrate in 3 easy steps
- the top five things that can go horribly wrong
- whether you should use a managed migration service
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