ACCC Slams Optus Over Broadband

  • ACCC alleges Optus engaged in misleading conduct
  • Optus didn’t disclose internet speeds after data allowance exceeded
  • ACCC asking for civil penalties

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is going after Telco Optus for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

In the proceedings, the ACCC alleges that Optus engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false representations in relation to the advertising of certain broadband plans as part of its 'Think Bigger' and 'Supersonic' promotional campaigns.

Under these plans, a customer pays a specified monthly sum and receives a specified data allowance for that month divided into peak and off-peak periods. However, once the customer exceeds the peak data allowance, the internet connection is limited to a speed of 64kbps. The ACCC alleges that Optus did not sufficiently or clearly disclose, and in some cases did not disclose at all, these qualifications.

The ACCC is seeking court orders, including declarations that Optus breached the Act, injunctions, including interlocutory injunctions, civil penalties, corrective advertising and costs. The matter has been filed in the Federal Court's Fast Track list, and is listed for a directions hearing on the interlocutory relief at 9.30 a.m. on 16 September 2010 before Justice Perram.