TIO warns of hardship spike after NBN financial assistance winds up

More consumers are expected to experience hardship in paying their National Broadband Network (NBN) bills as Australia’s telcos look to eventually turn off the tap for financial support, a Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) representative told a Senate committee on Friday.

Standing before the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network on Friday, TIO Judi Jones said the financial support given by government and industry had stalled any potential uptick of complaints that the agency expected from consumers.

“We’ve waited to see an increase in complaints about hardship and problems paying a bill — we think that will come, but by the end of the year it wasn’t showing up as a particular issue. It was starting to rise but it actually dropped off as an important issue in the pandemic because of financial support,” Jones said.

“We are anticipating, as government and providers wind back support measures, we’ll see

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