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Oz regulator eyes broadband marketing
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:09

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is setting its sights on broadband speed claims, again.

It's almost a perennial: providers who used to routinely use 24 Mbps to spruik ADSL2+ services that mostly limp along at under 10 Mbps have been jumped on before. Now, as the ACCC's chairman Rod Sims says, “Consumers are being presented with little information or vague claims like ‘boost’ and ‘fast’, or just pictures in advertising of athletes or animals. Consumers need accurate information about broadband speed and performance so that they can understand if what they are being offered will actually meet their needs”.

In some ways, as the discussion paper notes, the NBN has widened the gap, with providers claiming services are capable of “up to 100 Mps” – the theoretical capacity of the wholesale service rather than an attainable retail product speed.

With slow broadband still the number-one source of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the ACCC has issued a consultation paper to try and work out what consumers need to be told.

As noted at the consultation page, if retailers are able to fall back on inaccurate claims, there's less competition to compete on performance.

The regulator notes that some countries have imposed standardised consumer information; so far, the ACCC hasn't gone down this route, preferring instead to issue guidelines for retailers to follow. ®

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Source: http://bit.ly/2aykAGo