Australia launches public consultation on delayed NBN transition

The Australian government released a Migration Assurance Policy consultation paper yesterday to collect opinion from the public and industry representatives on how to best handle the country’s transition from legacy copper to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The paper, whose submission deadline for responses is on the 26th of September,  outlined the purpose of the consultation: “The migration of services to the NBN has implications for a wide range of stakeholders including customers, retail service providers and application service providers, and requires engagement with, and commitment from multiple industry stakeholders.”

As previously reported by, the transition process has so far been delayed for various reasons, which the paper acknowledges: “To date, there have been challenges in migrating end-user services from Telstra’s copper network to the fibre to the premises NBN and there are likely to be challenges in migrating end-users to the multi-technology NBN, which includes fibre to the node (FTTN) and hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) solutions. Experience has shown that for a successful migration that results in the best outcomes for consumers, certain fundamentals, such as industry participation, needs to occur early in the process.”

The paper outlines some of the challenges that have come up: “Key issues have related to customer migration processes, lack of role clarity, other operational matters (including serviceability), information management and communications coordination.”

The paper goes on to say: “The process of migrating an end-user’s services to the FTTP network has presented a unique and challenging set of circumstances for all stakeholders involved. This has resulted in less than satisfactory outcomes such as missed appointments, poor coordination and communication between NBN Co and RSPs…”

So far the transition from legacy copper to NBN in Australia has been somewhat chaotic but this is hardly surprising with the view that the project was commenced with a board where apparently no one had any previous telecoms experience.

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