Over the last few months, we kicked off our first copper withdrawal trial and are seeing encouraging results so far. Our last update indicated we would confirm further copper withdrawal plans for the rest of year. We can confirm our plans are to roll-out up to seven more batches this year, seeing a total of about 4,500 consumers affected, spanning 400 cabinets over the remainder of 2021. We intend to continue targeting locations with low copper connections and where fibre is available. There will not be a mass withdrawal of copper services.
Our first trial included 27 cabinet areas and about 250 consumers.
- So far we have seen a positive response rate, with solid new install and intact demand in the first few weeks.
- There have been no escalations or complaints.
- While very few queries have been received, a positive result, it is still early in the trial. We hope to interact with consumers more, so we can learn what their challenges may be, and how we can improve the process and our collateral.
The next copper withdrawal batch is planned to start on 24 May 2021 with Notices sent to approximately 450 consumers, spanning 50 cabinet areas. Trial locations continue focusing on cabinets with a low number of copper connections. There is no mass withdrawal of copper services. We’re adopting a cabinet-by-cabinet approach at a local level.
Keeping you informed
One month before Chorus sends the first notice to consumers, we will let you know your customers who are affected. While this is not a requirement under the Copper Withdrawal Code, we understand that advance notice assists you in updating records and other planning.
Please note, it is important that this early notice is not used for you to communicate to and with your impacted customers. Consumer communications about copper withdrawal is set out in the Code and must be through Chorus’ formal Copper Withdrawal notices at the commencement of the process.
Our plan is to add additional batches through the rest of the year. These copper withdrawal batches span 400 or so cabinet areas and involve sending copper withdrawal notices to about 4,500 consumers. As part of the trial, we plan to roll out a new batch monthly from July. Each batch will consist of approximately 50 cabinet areas with a progressively increasing consumer count as the cabinets will have more active copper connections. However, this will not exceed the 4,500 cap we have in place for the year.
Chorus plans to issue stop-sell notices for copper services in the areas and cabinets impacted by our trial batches. For this second batch, you will get both advance notice and a stop-sell notice at the same time, a month in advance. These timeframes will be reviewed and amended, if necessary, for subsequent batches (refer to batch 1 stop sell notice for example).
Business addresses - we need your help
In the third batch we’re looking to introduce non-residential consumers into the trial. We’d appreciate your help in ensuring we have the correct address details for business customers on file. This is so we can avoid confusion by ensuring notices are only sent to those that are currently being billed by you, and to avoid spamming multiple addresses unnecessarily. There will be more detail on this before the third batch is released and in sessions with the trial team.
Feedback and learnings
Please continue providing the key information and insights that you’re capturing to our trial team. It is appreciated and allows us to continue optimising processes while making it simpler for you and your customers.
Chorus is aware of your responsibilities for at-risk customers and have included all the key information these customers need to make an informed decision in our notices and on the Chorus website. If any further support is required, either pre-order or inflight, please do not hesitate to contact the trial team.
Next steps / dates
- 28 April 2021 Chorus update shared with industry
- 28 April 2021 Advance and stop-sell notice sent out
- 24 May 2021 First notices issued for second batch
- 1 July 2021 Third batch
- 1 August 2021 Fourth batch
For any queries, please contact your Account Manager.