Watchdog puts telco industry on notice

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Watchdog puts telco industry on notice

Mobile and wireless internet speeds under microscope.

The competition watchdog has extended a warning to all telcos and ISPs in Australia over the use of misleading advertising to promote mobile and wireless internet speeds.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Graeme Samuel said the practice of quoting 'maximum', 'up to' or 'peak network' speeds in advertisements had to stop "if those speeds are not generally achievable or likely to be achieved by consumers using the network.

"The ACCC is concerned by companies over-promising and under-delivering the speeds available on mobile and wireless internet, particularly in the context of network upgrades and increasing wireless internet subscriptions," Samuel said.

He reminded telcos that under the Trade Practices Act companies must not make representations that were misleading or deceptive, or were likely to mislead or deceive.

"Companies that act in contravention of the law risk legal action," Samuel warned.

The latest warning comes after Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia provided the ACCC with court-enforceable undertakings on the issue.

The undertakings committed each to no longer make internet speed claims that were likely to mislead consumers.

Last month, the ACCC identified 12 types of potentially misleading conduct in telecommunications advertising.

The commission issued an information paper which it said was intended to assist the industry to comply with the laws.

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