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ACCC to ISPs: tell the truth about broadband speeds

Monday, 20 Feb 2017

IA

Get rid of meaningless theoretical speeds

Australians have had a gutful of internet service providers (ISPs) misrepresenting the speed of their networks.

Complaints about internet data speed increased by 48 per cent during the last financial year, leading the competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), to run a three-month consultation on how providers can better advertise broadband plans to consumers.

The result is a list of six “principles” for ISPs to adopt.

“Consumers should be provided with accurate information about typical busy period speeds that the average consumer on a broadband plan can expect to receive,” said the ACCC.

“Wholesale network speeds or theoretical speeds taken from the technical specifications should not be advertised without reference to typical business period speeds.”

The consultation period yielded more than 400 responses from network operators, ISPs, consumer advocates and consumers.

It found more than 80% of consumers are confused when it comes to comparing plans and want information presented to them in a simple, standardised format.

Descriptors such as ‘high speed’ and ‘speeds up to 100Mbps’ were so vague as to be meaningless, found the ACCC.

To read the full article, click here.