ISPs could face regulation over misleading broadband speed advertising

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ISPs could face regulation over misleading broadband speed advertising

Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, has voiced concerns about a lack of transparency from telcos, as the regulator kicks off its communications sector market study.

According to Sims, the study would examine a wide range of issues in communications markets to provide an overview of the evolving telecommunications landscape.

“A key outcome will be whether the current form and level of regulation is appropriate,” Sims said during the CommsDay Congress held in Melbourne yesterday.

The comments come after investigations into broadband speed advertising had been conducted on the belief that there was a “distinct lack of clear information about broadband performance in advertising and other material available to consumers”.

“There have been suggestions from industry, however, that consumers have unrealistic expectations about broadband speeds. Let me be clear; I think that industry advertising has contributed to this problem,” Sims said.

An ACCC consultation that wrapped in August reportedly observed that “broadband retail service providers (RSPs) have generally been slow to provide consumers with information that readily identifies the performance and speed characteristics of fixed broadband services and plans.”

The ACCC followed the consultation with a report suggesting a broadband performance monitoring program could be readily established in Australia.

Submissions to the communications sector market study will close on 14 October.

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