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The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has launched its ‘Get Connected’ consumer resource which includes a mapping tool and a series of useful steps for consumers who are struggling to get an ADSL connection while they are waiting for NBN to arrive in their area. Issues accessing ADSL services have become a common complaint for consumers, particularly those who move into new areas.

The mapping tool helps consumers to understand the reasons that may be preventing them from getting an ADSL service. For example, if there are few ports available at the local exchange, if the neighbourhood is too far from an exchange or if the exchange is not ADSL enabled. The NBN will be connecting all areas and offering fast broadband connections for consumers. However, some consumers may be waiting months or years for the NBN to reach them. This mapping tool and accompanying useful steps will help them to make a decision about what services would meet their needs in the short to medium term.

“The mapping tool will be useful for consumers moving into a new house to check if there are issues with broadband services before they move and also to consumers who will be waiting a long time for an adequate service,” said ACCAN CEO, Teresa Corbin. “We often hear from consumers who have moved into a new area only to find out there are no ADSL services available to their new home.”

The steps outlined in the Get Connected resource provide consumers with actions they can take to get a service, by checking if there is an ADSL waiting list with their service provider or checking if other providers can provide services to them.

“We are seeing a lot more consumers who are unable to get any connection and are told there is no waiting list and have no affordable and suitable alternative options available to them,” said Ms Corbin. “We hope these resources will empower consumers to get the broadband services they need. We know there is a lot of confusion and consumers don’t understand what to do.”

ACCAN is calling on providers to maintain and increase investments where it is needed. Investing now will make a big difference for consumers, while providing a sufficient return for the providers.

“We urge the industry to increase transparency to consumers on what alternative services are available. We found it difficult in the underlying analysis to identify service coverage and availability. Greater visibility would help consumers who are struggling to get connected to know where to turn.”

The mapping tool is based on the ACCAN commissioned research – ADSL Availability. Download the report on the ACCAN website.

This article is a reprint of an ACCAN media release published on the 16th September 2016. You can read more on ACCAN here