Australia’s consumer regulator has filed separate proceedings against the country’s top three internet service providers for allegedly making deceptive claims about speeds, which the companies think is primarily due to the government-backed broadband provider.
On Monday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed a notice stating that Telstra, Optus, and TPG Telecom made misleading statements about the maximum speed of their internet connections and received payments from customers for plans that did not deliver the stated rates.
The government-owned National Broadband Network (NBN) in Australia delivers wholesale broadband to ISPs, subsequently selling it to their customers. TPG has stated that it will reimburse affected customers, while Telstra and Optus have indicated that they offer customers corrective options.
TPG blamed the issue on NBN Co’s “failure to provide timely and accurate speed information to TPG Internet” and its own “old processes from 2017” that has subsequently been corrected.
Telstra and TPG, according to the regulator, made incorrect statements to customers between April 2019 and April 2020, while Optus did so all year.
“Hundreds of thousands of consumers are thought to have been misled by these three large internet providers,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.
What’s worse, Telstra, Optus, and TPG were well aware of the issues and had already pledged to deliver customer remedies to the ACCC. As a result, the ACCC seeks penalties and other treatments, although no cash amount has been indicated.