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Broadband Speed On ACCC Agenda

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants consumers to have access to better broadband speed information, today releasing a discussion paper.

The ACCC states it wants better information “to improve competition and consumer outcomes in the retail broadband market”, with it being “concerned about the current lack of clear information about broadband performance in advertising and other material available to consumers”.

The discussion paper calls for views on how to improve consumer information about broadband speed.

“Consumers are entitled to expect clear and accurate information about broadband services,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims commented.

“At the moment, it is difficult for consumers to access accurate information as broadband advertising is not focusing upon speed and performance. Consumers are being presented with little information or vague claims like ‘boost’ and ‘fast’, or just pictures in advertising of athletes or animals.

“Consumers need accurate information about broadband speed and performance so that they can understand if what they are being offered will actually meet their needs.”

The ACCC notes that in the 2016 first quarter, there were 2,159 issues reported to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about slow data speeds, with it being the top internet complaint issue, while more consumers contacted the TIO about internet complaints than any other issue.

“The ACCC considers that improved consumer information will minimise the potential for consumers to be misled, reduce consumer search costs and assist consumers to make informed purchasing and switching decisions,” the ACCC stated.

“This will encourage broadband service providers to compete on performance as well as price and inclusions (such as data allowances).”

The closing date for submissions is August 25, with further information available here.

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