Following a consultation regarding fixed broadband speeds, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published principles to help ensure that ISPs are providing customers with accurate information. The regulator said that its consultation found that more than 80% of consumers were ‘confused’ and wanted broadband speed information to be presented in a simple, standardised format. As a result, it has developed six principles to guide ISPs on best practice marketing when it comes to broadband speeds, including the requirement to: provide consumers with accurate information about typical busy period speeds that the average consumer on a broadband plan can expect to receive; not advertise wholesale network speeds or theoretical speeds without reference to typical busy period speeds; disclose factors known to affect service performance; and present performance information in a manner that is easily comparable by consumers.
Commenting on the matter, ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: ‘The ACCC has listened to the views of consumers and industry in identifying the fundamental areas of concern and developing principles by which to resolve them. The ACCC will now work with industry and issue more detailed guidelines to ensure they are able to use this framework to provide better information to their customers. It’s the first step of a longer-term plan to bring about meaningful change.’
Alongside the principles it has now published, the ACCC has said it also aims to issue a best-practice broadband speeds advertising guide for providers in the coming months. Further, the regulator confirmed it is also in discussion with the Federal government about the possible introduction of a fixed broadband performance monitoring and reporting programme.