Economy

Telstra to compensate 42000 customers with slow NBN

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that limitations of the national network's fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-build services meant that customers that had purchased internet plans advertised with maximum download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds up to 40Mbps were not actually able to achieve those speeds in real-world scenarios.

"We also give these customers the option to move to a different speed tier, or to cancel their contract altogether".

The worse thing is that several customers could not get the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan, the ACCC revealed.

Telstra reportedly said it had proactively contacted the corporate watchdog about the issue, and was taking the lead in the local sector in tackling problems with broadband speed advertising.

Its chairman, Rod Sims, confirmed their enquiry found that numerous telco's FTTN and FTTB customers could not get the maximum speed of their plan.

The picture was better when it came to FTTB, with 10 per cent of customers on 100/40Mbps services unable to reach the maximum speed promised by their plan.

NBN's chief executive Bill Morrow recently called for government protection of the project in order for it to survive against technology like the 4G network. "Telecommunications contracts are typically 12-24 months in duration and this can represent a serious financial commitment".

The ACCC said Telstra admits that by this conduct it was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

Telstra will now check each customer's attainable speed within four weeks of connecting new services, and will offer a remedy if speeds are below advertised.

The latest revelation comes after Telstra announced in May that it would compensate 8,000 customers for the same issue.

A further 6352 FTTN users could not receive the 50/20 Mbps speeds promised as part of their plan, and 9342 customers weren't able to achieve their plan's 25/5 Mbps promise.

Mr Sims said the ACCC will continue to investigate other retail service providers selling broadband plans over the NBN and take enforcement action where appropriate. We now use the standard ACCC naming convention to describe our speed plans and quote the typical speeds a customer can expect, including for the period when most people tend to use the internet. The telco has submitted a court-enforceable to the ACCC about the remedies it will provide to impacted customers.



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