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The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) finds itself in a telecommunications landscape that is going through significant change, with new converging technologies and the roll out of major infrastructure. Investments in mobile infrastructure have greatly reduced the number of complaints about mobile services. At the same time, a transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN) is creating new challenges in the fixed line space, with issues emerging out of the accelerated rollout of this significant project to replace ageing infrastructure.
These changes are creating a volatile demand environment for the TIO and an evolving complaint profile. New complaints reached their lowest level in nine years in the December 2015 quarter. In subsequent quarters, new complaints began to increase, with more issues about fixed line services and a higher proportion of small business complaints. Complaints about fixed line services and business complaints are generally more complex, requiring more time and more technical knowledge to resolve.