ACCC wants NBN plan advertising overhaul

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published guidance for retailers on how to advertise speeds for NBN broadband services, including clearly identifying typical minimum speeds during peak periods.

The publication, Broadband Speed Claims - Industry Guidance, seeks to move retailers from advertising their services based on the maximum internet speeds that may be delivered during off-peak periods, to the speeds consumers can expect to achieve during the busy evening periods between 7pm and 11pm.

The ACCC has created standard labels it would like the industry to adopt in order to give consumers better information about what sort of speeds they can expect during the evenings and better allow consumers to compare plans.

The ACCC said the guidance stipulates that if consumers are experiencing problems with their network connections or other faults that affect their service they will be resolved quickly or be offered a refund or cancellation of their contract.

The ACCC said providing such detailed guidance to industry is an unusual step for the ACCC.

"We judge, however, that such a step is necessary because the current advertising around NBN products is poor, which is unacceptable in the context of a forced migration to the NBN," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

"While the guidance is voluntary, it provides a strong benchmark against which the ACCC, and more importantly the community, will judge the advertising of retailers. The ACCC will also be closely monitoring retailer compliance with the Australian Consumer Law," Mr Sims said.
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