16 February 2017

Speech: Telcos must provide consumers with accurate NBN broadband speed information

Today I call on telecommunication companies to provide accurate and truthful information to consumers when they purchase an NBN broadband plan. Increasingly, retail service providers are confusing customers with the way they present their claims about broadband speed. In many cases RSPs are simply misleading consumers.

In one recent case involving a constituent in Grovedale, Geelong, Telstra was forced to refund monies after promising to deliver up to 100 megs of download speed when in fact it could only deliver between 30 and 40 megs. This was nothing short of misleading. This conduct must not be tolerated.

The Australian Consumer Law prohibits a corporation in trade or commerce engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. The ACCC, I am very pleased to see, has raised its concerns after finding that complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about internet data speeds increased 48 per cent in the last year, making it the single largest issue for consumer complaints during the year. I am absolutely delighted that the Minister for Communications is considering the ACCC’s broadband performance monitoring pilot program and that he also has welcomed the ACCC’s work on developing detailed guidance for RSPs. We cannot let consumers be misled by these telcos.

16 February 2017