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Category: Internet Technology / Government and Politics / Consumer Protection / Rural Media

ACCC to expose internet companies that lie about broadband speeds

11:14 UTC+8 April 7, 2017 | Lucy Barbour

The competition watchdog will have new powers to expose and crack down on companies that lie about broadband speeds.

The Federal Government has today announced it will give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) $7 million to monitor NBN broadband speeds across the country.

The ACCC said it had received repeated complaints from customers about internet providers that lied about how fast fixed line NBN services would be.

"There is a lot of stories about people not getting the speeds they were expecting or they were sold," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

The watchdog has trialled a broadband speed monitoring program and will enlist 4,000 volunteers to record internet speeds.

The volunteers will be given devices to attach to modems or routers, to monitor the speeds of downloads, uploads and streaming.

The ACCC will publish that information to give consumers the chance to compare what each company is actually delivering.

"They will be able to see whether the speed they were sold is actually being delivered in an aggregate sense," Mr Sims said.

"Secondly, if they are thinking about buying a broadband plan, they can look at the price and they can look at the quality of the product and the speed they are getting, and they can make that trade-off.

"The third gain is the retail service providers will know this data is going to be out there. That will force them to lift their game."

Most complaints from regional areas

Watch John Barron present the facts. Video: Watch John Barron present the facts. (ABC News)

Mr Sims said the majority of complaints had come from regional areas as the NBN rolled out.

"We are getting a 'he said, she said' around is this poor performance you are getting due to the NBN, or is it due to the fact the retail service provider did not buy enough capacity on the NBN?" he said.

"This will sort out that problem. We will be able to say who is at fault."

The ACCC will appoint a company to carry out the broadband speed monitoring, and the program will start in May.

 

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