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Check your deal with ISP: NBNCo chief -

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SABRA LANE: The National Broadband Network (NBN) has notched up a major milestone this month, with the service now available to more than half the population.

But it continues to be dogged by problems.

While some people love it, many don't: complaining their connections aren't fast enough or it's just the same as what they used to experience - only that now they're paying a lot more money for it.

The company's CEO, Bill Morrow, joined me a short time ago to discuss it.

Bill Morrow, thanks for talking to AM.

The NBN is available to about half the population now, but actually, how many people have signed up with a service provider to get connected?

BILL MORROW: We have already 2.5 million end users that we refer to as the homes and the businesses that are out there that go through their telephone or internet company and connect through NBN.

SABRA LANE: About 15 per cent of people who are hooked up to the NBN are unhappy with the service. That is thousands of potential angry voters at the next election. What are you doing about it?

BILL MORROW: Well, politics is not necessarily my responsibility, nor for my interest.

What I am interested in is making sure that everybody has a good experience when they're using their fast broadband services.

We work with the telephone and the internet companies to be sure that it's an end-to-end seamless solution but it doesn't always go that way.

And so we know some people aren't getting the service that they need and that they deserve and we're working on the improvements for that.

SABRA LANE: I tested my NBN connection, actually, last night and I was only getting 12 megabits per second: a long way from the 25 that is the benchmark. And I know that a lot of people can't access things like Netflix on the NBN?

BILL MORROW: Well, I think this is really a perfect example and this is all about awareness.

Most of the issues that we hear about, or concerns or complaints with their fast broadband service, has to do with their expectations of what they thought they were going to get, versus what they've signed up for.

So even you, for example - and I don't know your details - but if you're getting 12 megabits per second, I'm assuming that your telephone and internet provider actually signed you up for a 12 megabit per second service. And we see a lot of this: that consumers don't have the conversation with their telephone company to talk about what speeds are available and which one is right for me.

SABRA LANE: Right. And the NBN: you're launching a marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness with consumers about the questions they need to ask before signing up to a service provider. Why not just name the slow service providers and have a "name and shame" website? That would make the job easier, wouldn't it?

BILL MORROW: Well, you know, that just obviously is bad business. These telephone and internet companies are our customers.

The other thing that I would say is that part of the model that was designed back in 2009 was that each individual telephone and internet company can come up with a different plan.

So it may be that I have the lowest possible plan. I've seen $29 plans out there, for an example, that just for the budget-conscious or somebody that doesn't need a whole lot of internet speed capability. And therefore you may slow down and therefore that value to the service offering is appropriate.

And again, this is why I come back to: what is it that you need in your home? And then have a discussion with the various different service providers about how they can meet that need.

SABRA LANE: The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) chairman, Rod Sims, says he'll take on the country's four largest telcos if they misrepresent speeds but there's an argument too, from some, that the NBN pipe just isn't big enough. Who's right?

BILL MORROW: Well, I think again, first and foremost, is that expectations needs to clear up-front and whether that is to do with the limitations of the pipe that goes into your home or the limitations in the way in which the telephone and internet companies has provisioned their services or just, quite frankly, in the way that it's advertised.

And this is, I know, where Rod Sims, the chair of the ACCC, gets very sensitive with this issue. He wants that to go well.

I think there's all sorts of confusion that's out there. And that's a little bit of the campaign that we're on. It's just to be able to educate. We don't want to point the finger...

SABRA LANE: Are you worried that the NBN is being tarnished because of this? I mean, essentially by launching this campaign, you're trying to say: "Don't blame us"?

BILL MORROW: Well, it's not quite that. It is: let's get the most out of this. I mean, this is all of our taxpayers' monies that were put forward for an investment.

It is one of the most remarkable projects around the world when it comes to telecommunication and advancing one's digital platform. And we just need to make sure that we do this right to take full advantage of it.

With the misunderstandings, the confusion and some of the bad experiences out there, it isn't helping. So our job isn't necessarily to say, "It's not our fault" because when we are wrong - and trust me: we are sometimes - we need to wear that and we need to fix that.

And we're doing just that but, more importantly, the bigger issue - the more cause of the problems that we're seeing - is due to the fact that this conversation, this education isn't taking place. And so that's really what we're doing out there this week.

SABRA LANE: How concerned are you that the NBN will be obsolete technology by the time it's fully rolled out?

BILL MORROW: I'm not concerned at all. I've been around technology for 40 years. It continues to evolve. It moves fast. It's a wonderful thing.

The most important point is that we get everybody in this nation up on a fast broadband service. You've got to remember that everybody...

SABRA LANE: That's affordable.

BILL MORROW: That's affordable, indeed. And everybody will get at least a minimum of 25-capable. Now, whether you choose that or not, you get at least a minimum of 25.

Eighty per cent of us in the nation will get at least 50 and I would argue that there's at least nearly half that's going to get up to a gigabit per second capability - and that's just with today's network.

SABRA LANE: What about your own future, Mr Morrow? Will you be there when the project is finished?

BILL MORROW: I hope so. I mean, I quite frankly think that's up to other people.

We work hard. I believe in what this is. We're doing an employee roadshow. I was just with 2,000 of our Sydney employees yesterday explaining that what this really means to a nation when we get to the end of this.

We will fall on the right side of history. This will be monumental: that will fall along the lines of the Snowy Mountain Scheme, of building even Parliament in Canberra or the Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge: so many of these things that stand out as icons for the country.

I really believe that the NBN is going to be a part of that and I'm just so excited to have a little bit of a role within it.

SABRA LANE: Mr Morrow, thanks for talking to AM.

BILL MORROW: Thank you, Sabra.

SABRA LANE: The NBN Co chief executive, Bill Morrow.