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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Optus offering NBN users the chance to pay AU$10 for fewer hops

Woman playing video games

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Optus announced on Friday a new routing product named Game Path where NBN users will be able to pay AU$10 a month for fewer hops of their traffic.

The company is targeting gamers, with users needing to run an application in Windows to take advantage of it. The Singaporean-owned telco said Game Path can “reduce lag on average by 30% — which can mean the difference between life and death in a PC game”.

Optus told ZDNet it was not using any traffic prioritisation, explaining that NBN connections would remain TC-4. Instead, traffic will travel over the fastest available path “using proxy technology, choosing the most optimal/lowest latency path for gaming traffic across the internet”.

“It does this by accessing hundreds of POPs all over the world and constantly analysing the fastest path to gaming servers,” a spokesperson said.

“This will create the most benefit when considering

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