Internet service providers and mobile telcos could be forced to reveal actual data speeds achievable on their networks and how they manage network traffic under a planned crackdown on broadband marketing.
It comes amidst a rise in complaints about slow internet speeds to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today said it will consult with ISPs on what inhibits them from publishing more “meaningful” speed data for the services they offer.
“Consumers are entitled to expect clear and accurate information about the performance characteristics of services they have purchased or are considering switching to,” the ACCC said.
“We are seeking to promote better industry practices in the evolving broadband market, including the provision of accurate, meaningful information to consumers about broadband speed.”
The ACCC said it wants to see qualitative assessments of headline speeds in advertisements – like ‘fast’, ‘fastest’ or ‘high-speed’ – backed up with some form of quantitative measure.
In particular, it wants ISPs to quantify how their services are likely to be impacted in peak periods, as well as whether particular traffic types or applications are given higher or lower priority.
“Consumers would likely be interested in understanding how prioritisation practices may affect their use of the service to access individual applications and may make poor purchasing decisions in the absence of this information,” the ACCC said.
The consultation closes August 25, and the ACCC said it would provide guidance of potential actions before the end of the year.