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ACCAN: More Information Needed On Broadband Speeds

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) wants consumers to be provided more information on broadband speeds, stating that “this information should be clear and presented upfront”.

ACCAN has made its submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) consultation on broadband speed claims, with a discussion paper having been released towards the end of July.

ACCAN’s submission “highlights that information provided to consumers about broadband speeds is often confusing and can also be misleading as claimed speeds frequently don’t match reality”.

“Broadband speed claims are often confusing or misleading for consumers with the use of terms like ‘speeds up to’,” ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin commented.

“We fully support the ACCC’s investigation into this issue and urge the commission to implement guidelines and other measures that will result in clearer information for consumers.”

ACCAN states that greater information is needed to help consumers compare and choose the service best suited to their needs, diagnose faults more accurately, and seek recourse when a service does not meet expected standards.

“One of the issues that ACCAN identified is that the term ‘speed’ is simplistically used to describe the performance of a service,” ACCAN states. “A number of issues that consumers encounter are often described as ‘speed’ issues, the solution to which is often presented as faster speeds.”

ACCAN states that other factors affecting service performance are missed under this approach.

“ACCAN asserts that consumers should have access to information which helps them compare services and describes how the service will work for them,” Corbin stated.

“The proposed broadband performance monitoring and reporting program, which aims to test service performance, would also help to support and verify the speed claims made by RSPs. Information on any prioritisation over the network that occurs should also be presented to consumers.”

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