Telecommunications companies that mislead customers about broadband speeds could soon face the full weight of the law.
Independent federal member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, introduced a Private Member’s Bill to Parliament on Monday aiming to crackdown on falsely advertised internet speeds.
“My constituents are constantly telling me that they’ve been promised a particular speed by a telco, and then they end up getting something markedly different,” he said.
“It’s not good enough to advertise a speed that the average user can never hope to achieve or might only get at a particular time of the day.
“So, this bill would require telcos to be upfront about what the real speeds are, especially during busy periods, and what other factors can affect these speeds.”
The proposed law would make it illegal for telcos to lie about their internet speeds, something which Wilkie believes will assist the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which has been active in cracking down on such offences over the past 12 months.
“The ACCC is already doing good work in this area but this bill will give them the teeth to go after telcos making these dodgy claims.
“I hope the government and the opposition will listen to their countless frustrated constituents and get behind the bill.”
Late last year, the ACCC found that while Optus had offered plans on the NBN that advertised speeds of 100 mbps, almost half the customers on these plans were unable to reach this speed.
It was found that in doing so, Optus had contravened Australian Consumer Law and the telco were made to offer the 8,700 customers on the plan refunds.
Similarly, in November last year, Telstra was found to have lied about its “super fast speed boost” on the NBN network, and offered nearly 40,000 customers a costless exit and a refund.