How to deal with NBN issues

If you have an issue with your NBN service, you can make a complaint to get the issue resolved. For common NBN issues, the best approach is to complain to your internet service provider, rather than directly to the NBN Co.

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What’s the issue?

Who is responsible for NBN issues in my area

A huge number of Australians access the internet through the national broadband network. But different companies are involved in making that happen:

  1. NBN (or NBN Co) is a government enterprise that was set up in 2009 to build and run a broadband network in Australia. NBN Co is responsible for managing the broadband infrastructure and acts as a wholesaler, which means that NBN Co does not sell internet services directly to consumers.
  2. Telecommunications retailers or internet service providers are the businesses that offer NBN plans to consumers. The biggest telcos are Telstra, Optus and TPG, but there’s over 100 retailers that connect consumers to the NBN.

Understanding the different roles of NBN Co and telcos is essential if you want to make a complaint to resolve an issue with the national broadband network.

What do you need to know?

Different types of NBN issues

Before you make a complaint about an NBN issue, you should work out what type of issue you have. The type of NBN issue you have will impact how you make a complaint and who you make a complaint to.

In general, your telco retailer is responsible for these types of NBN issues:

  • Performance of your NBN service, like slow internet speeds and dropouts. (In one case, we were able to help Ajust user Kyle with his slow internet issues).
  • Connecting to the NBN.
  • Fees, charges, billing and payments for your NBN service.
  • Issues relating to your NBN plan, like what’s included or how it’s advertised.

If you experience one of these NBN issues, you should make a complaint to your telco service provider.

NBN Co is responsible for these types of issues with the national broadband network:

  • Property damage.
  • Damage to NBN equipment or problems with installation of NBN equipment.
  • Bad conduct by a contractor of the NBN Co.

For these issues, you can make a complaint to the NBN Co.

Just a bit more

If you’ve made a complaint to your telco provider or NBN Co and you’re not happy with how it’s going, you can escalate your complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. The TIO offers free and independent dispute resolution services for telco complaints.

Keep in mind that the TIO expects consumers to try to resolve their issues with the telco before using the TIO’s dispute resolution services. So you should make an attempt to resolve your telco complaint first.

What can you do?

Complain to your telco first about NBN issues

When things go wrong with their NBN service, many consumers jump online to search for something like “NBN complaints”. The result is that they find information about making a complaint to NBN Co. But the most common NBN complaints – like internet speeds, connection problems, fees and billing – are all things that you should take up with your internet service provider.

In our experience, it can be frustrating for consumers to make a complaint to NBN Co. It can take the NBN Co a few days or more to respond and often they just send a template response telling the consumer to contact their internet service provider. So for lots of NBN issues, the best approach is for the consumer to make a complaint to their own telco retailer first, rather than making a complaint directly to the NBN. For example, for complaints about slow internet speeds, the telco retailer can try to fix the problem with the consumer. If that doesn’t work, the telco can contact NBN Co on behalf of the consumer, to report a network fault or ask NBN Co to send out a technician to resolve the issue.

Different companies are responsible for issues you may experience with the national broadband network. For lots of common NBN issues, a great starting point is making a complaint to your internet service provider. If you need more help working out where to send your complaint, you can try using Ajust. We ask the right questions about your NBN issue, so we can send it to the right place for you. It’s free for consumers and only takes a few minutes to get started.


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Read about the issues consumers are facing. Have a different issue? You can still make a complaint.

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