The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Government, which has said it will fund a new broadband performance monitoring programme ‘to provide Australian consumers with accurate and independent information about broadband speeds’.
According to the ACCC, the programme will perform remote testing of around 4,000 households to determine typical speeds for services offered over the National Broadband Network (NBN) at various times throughout the day. In addition, a small number of households connected to alternative, ‘NBN-like’ networks and legacy networks will also be recruited, to allow the programme to provide a broader view of the state of broadband performance in Australia. It will cost around AUD7 million (USD5.3 million) to deliver the programme over a four-year period. After appointing a qualified testing provider, the regulator has said it expects to commence the monitoring scheme in May 2017, with comparative information for consumers expected to be provided in the second half of the year.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said of the plans: ‘The programme will … allow the ACCC to determine if issues are being caused by the performance of the NBN, or by ISPs not buying sufficient capacity. It will also provide ISPs with independent performance information from which to draw when making speed claims.’