The ACCC has launched a public inquiry into why internet companies are failing to deliver the advertised maximum broadband speeds to their customers.
The public inquiry opened for submissions on Tuesday, after the ACCC expressed concerns that advertising the potential maximum speed might mislead or misrepresent the speeds that can be consistently achieved, especially during peak periods.
“I think we have got concerns with how broadband claims are getting advertised. It is a really important consumer issue that we are currently getting a number of complaints about,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
With the information collected from the study, the ACCC is likely to call for amendments to advertising laws around internet plans, so that customers know exactly which minimum and maximum internet speeds they should receive. Furthermore, the ACCC is looking to use this information to implement a national monitoring system.
Globally, Australia is significantly behind the rest of the world in internet speed transparency. In the US, internet providers are required to tell consumers the download speed, upload speed, latency and packet loss they should expect. While in the UK, consumers can terminate contracts without penalty if an internet provider doesn’t meet minimum promised speeds. The UK regulator is even considering implementing automatic compensation for customers when speeds fall below expectations.