Bytecard misses ACMA dispute deadline

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Bytecard misses ACMA dispute deadline

Under threat of legal action.

Canberra ISP Bytecard has been warned it could face legal action if it fails to address four complaints that have been escalated to the communications regulator over the past year.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made the public threats this morning after Bytecard - better known by its trading name Netspeed - allegedly failed to act on an ACMA direction to act on the complaints by October 14.

The ACMA waited a month to expose the missed deadline to allow certain review periods to expire, the authority's consumer interests section manager Alan Chalmers told iTnews.

Bytecard and Netspeed manager Brian Morris told iTnews he was "a little disappointed" by the public statement.

"We have since had a number of these determinations downgraded or overturned," he said.

"We've even [had] one which was clearly out of the TIO's jurisdiction."

How much longer?

Chalmers declined to put a figure on just how much extra time Bytecard would be granted before it was taken to court.

"All I can really say is we're considering our options at the moment," he said.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman was more blunt, noting the authority could "approach the Federal Court seeking orders" requiring Bytecard to comply with several determinations made by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) that are the source of the long-running spat.

Chalmers said the case involved four TIO determinations that had been escalated to the ACMA in October last year and May this year due to alleged non-compliance by Bytecard.

The TIO and the ACMA want to compel Bytecard to refund money or waive debts accrued by four customers.

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