Slow data tops internet complaints

In this day and age, even the slightest delay in loading a cat video is enough to get our backs up. So it’s little surprise that slow data speed was the top reason internet users complained to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) between July and September 2015.

The TIO received 1,663 new complaints about slow data speeds during the period, 8.5 per cent fewer than in the previous quarter, but 66.3 per cent more than at the same time last year.

Consumers reported a range of issues about slow data speeds, as Acting Ombudsman Diane Carmody explained: “The causes of slow data speed can vary, and may include the distance from the consumer’s house to the exchange and congestion during peak hours when more people try to use the internet.”

Canstar Blue’s annual review of broadband providers saw Westnet rated highest for connection speed. It received a five-star review from customers, while iiNet, Internode, Telstra and Optus scored four stars. Dodo, iPrimus and TPG were given three stars.

Overall complaints to the TIO – totalling 26,023 – were down 16.5 per cent in July-September 2015 compared to the previous quarter and 14.8 per cent fewer than at the same time last year.

Mobile service complaints continued to decrease, with fewer complaints about mobile coverage. The TIO received 785 of these complaints, less than half those received during the same period last year. Investment in network performance by the major telcos has contributed to a four-year trend of reduced coverage complaints, the TIO’s quarterly report says.

Complaints about services delivered over the National Broadband Network (NBN) increased 4.6 per cent compared to the previous quarter to 2,262. Delays in connecting new NBN internet services, one of the most common issues reported to the TIO, dropped more than 14 per cent to 447.

“It’s encouraging to see that as the rollout of the network speeds up, we are receiving fewer complaints about one of the main issues consumers have been reporting to us for more than a year,” Ms Carmody said.

Consumers who have a complaint about an NBN service can raise it with their retail service provider. If they cannot resolve it, they can contact the TIO.

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