ACCC Concerned About Broadband

Australian watchdog has released a paper telling Telcos they have to be sure when advertising wireless internet speeds

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued an Information Paper to assist companies when advertising mobile and wireless internet. 

“The ACCC is concerned by companies over-promising and under-delivering the speeds available on mobile and wireless internet, particularly in the context of network upgrades and increasing wireless internet subscriptions,” ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, said today. “This Information Paper is intended to assist the whole industry – mobile and wireless internet retailers, resellers, and network owners – to comply with the law.”

The paper states that companies must not advertise ‘maximum’, ‘up to’ or ‘peak network’ speeds if those speeds are not generally achievable or likely to be achieved by consumers using the network.

Under the Act, companies must not make representations that are misleading or deceptive, or are likely to mislead or deceive.

“Companies that act in contravention of the law risk legal action,” Samuel said.

The ACCC considers that any internet speed claims made by companies should be based on appropriate tests of network performance that show the speeds that can and will generally be achieved by consumers using the network on a regular basis.

Companies should also prominently state the factors affecting mobile and wireless internet speeds including congestion and location, given that different speeds will be achieved at different times depending on these variables.