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ACCC: 1-In-8 NBN Customers Overcharged

Latest numbers from the ACCC’s quarterly Measuring Broadband report reveals one-in-eight NBN customers are being overcharged for under performing services.

The sixth Measuring Broadband Australia report, prepared for the Commission by global internet measurement firm SamKnows, tested the quality of internet received by fixed line customers in the month of May. 

The report compares a plan’s claimed maximum speed with a customer’s real life achieved speeds, presenting the speeds achieved as a percentage of the speeds claimed.

Average download speeds were found to be between 80 and 90 per cent of the retail service providers claimed speeds, but this average was dragged down by a small minority (6.3 per cent) of users who experienced speeds less than half the claimed speeds of the plans they’d been sold.

Upload speeds averaged 84.9 per cent across all NBN RSPs, with Telstra (81.8 per cent) delivering the worst results overall and Exetel (87.8 per cent) the best.

The results were largely consistent with previous testing conducted in February.

All up, 1,095 NBN services were tested more than 230,000 times as part of the study with 12.4 per cent found to be under performing.

A service was classified as under performing if less than five per cent of speed tests returned speeds above 75 per cent of the claimed maximum plan speed, effectively identifying services delivering speeds closer to the plan tier below the one customers were paying for.

Telstra and MyRepublic were identified as the retail service providers with the most under performing fixed line services, while Optus customers had the most outages, experiencing more than two and a half outages over 30 seconds per day, around five times as many as the next RSP, the Vocus owned Dodo & iPrimus brands.

The report notes 81 per cent of Optus outages lasted less than a minute and only nine per cent lasted more than two.

Preliminary data from testing last month indicate a firmware update Optus rolled out to its supplied routers has fixed the problem and brought Optus back around the 0.5 average daily disconnections experienced by customers of competing RSPs.

The report also looked at internet speeds during “busy hours”, when more users are on the network, and found only three of the eight RSPs tested (Telstra, Optus and MyRepublic) were capable of consistently delivering the advertised maximum speeds.

iiNet were close, delivering advertised speeds 99.2 per cent of the time during busy hours, while TPG (94.8 per cent) and Aussie Broadband (94.4 per cent) were also fairly reliable.

The Vocus brands (77 per cent) and Exetel (62.1 per cent) were the most disappointing during peak times.

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