ACCC Fires Out Warning to ISPs

  • ISPs can’t under deliver
  • Information paper released to assist ISPs
  • ISPs must have ‘reasonable basis’ about speeds

In a pre-emptive move, the ACCC has sent out warnings to via an information paper to ‘assist’ providers of hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband internet services in complying with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that make 'speed' claims must have a reasonable basis for asserting performance levels are attainable in practice, not just in theory.

"ISPs that under-deliver on their promises and fail to demonstrate a reasonable basis for their claims will be liable to ACCC enforcement action", ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said. "The increase in the availability of high-speed broadband services can offer significant benefits to consumers and an opportunity for greater competition between retail ISPs.

"However, for these benefits to be fully realised, ISPs must ensure that they do not market their services in a way that misleads consumers and results in an unfair competitive advantage."

The Information Paper provides guidance to ISPs on the factors to consider when making representations regarding the data transfer rates – or 'speeds' – available to customers acquiring HFC or FTTP internet services. The Paper relates to services provided over the National Broadband Network, as well as services being provided over pre-existing HFC and FTTP networks.