Australia

'We can't drop the ball', NBN boss says

Outgoing NBN CEO Bill Morrow says the project has already changed Australia for the better. (AAP)

The outgoing chief executive of the NBN agrees telcos need to work together to ensure people understand their roles in the delivery of the service.

The man overseeing the national broadband network admits the company needs to work with telcos on educating the public about the service.

On the day when the Turnbull government outlined a review into telco complaints processes after the release of eye-watering half-yearly complaints figures, Bill Morrow agreed it is complicated.

Gone are the days where one company built the network, serviced it and took care of everything in the home.

"We all just need to do our part in educating and bringing people along on this journey," he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday.

His appearance, expected to be his last ahead of leaving the organisation at the end of the year, coincided with the release of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman's complaints figures for the last six months of 2017.

They showed a 200 per cent increase on the same time in 2016, with more than 14,000 complaints about service quality and 8757 regarding delays in establishing a connection.

"We each need to know what our roles are and which links of the chain that we contribute to, but we have to look across that entire chain itself to be sure that we don't drop the ball," he said.

Mr Morrow used new research commissioned by AlphaBeta to show the network's effect on the economy will grow to more than $10 billion a year by the end of the rollout.

The findings show the NBN generated an additional $1.2 billion of economic activity in 2017, through helping create new jobs and businesses, as well as boosting productivity.

Given current trends up to 52,200 additional Australian women will be self-employed by the end of the roll-out due to the 'NBN effect', he said, noting they were "pleasantly surprised" about the levels of female entrepreneurs.

The research, conducted using the 2016 census and polling which compared areas where the NBN rollout is 90 per cent complete to those with less than 10 per cent, also showed those connected are twice as likely to enrol in online courses.

People with the NBN are 1.3 times more likely to use internet-connected devices to improve their health and wellbeing.

In NBN areas business growth has accelerated at more than twice the annual pace of the national average since 2011.

"Now I don't claim to have all of the answers but I know this project has already changed Australia for the better and being a part of it is something I will remember for the rest of my life," Mr Morrow said.

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