NBN Co has admitted that it misled its Canberra-based customers over the service continuity of the existing TransACT-operated network in the city.
TransACT, now part of TPG Telecom via iiNet, operates a very high speed digital subscriber line 2 (VDSL2) broadband network in Canberra that competes with both the Telstra copper network and NBN Co’s network.
NBN Co’s admission came by way of a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC, telling Canberrans that lived in areas where the NBN was operating that their landline and internet services supplied over TransACT’s Network would be disconnected if they did not move to the NBN.
The network provider sent letters to residents and businesses between January to July 2019 across the city saying that they needed to move to the NBN or they would face the prospect of losing services.
NBN Co admitted this advice was incorrect for more than 20,000 premises connected to the TransACT VDSL2 Network.
As part of the undertaking, NBN Co agreed to reimburse the early termination costs paid by consumers and businesses that moved to NBN Co before 10 July 2019, and will then be given the choice to return to the TransACT Network.
NBN Co will also publish corrective notices in the Canberra Times, through a paid Facebook advertisement and on the NBN Co website, and will also make a contribution towards the costs incurred by TransACT in seeking to correct the misleading communications.
“It is unacceptable for NBN Co to tell consumers on other broadband networks such as the TransACT Network that moving to the NBN is their only option, when that is just not correct,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“Moving to the NBN is an important decision and it can be confusing. Consumers should be able to trust that NBN Co is providing them with accurate information.”
“The ACCC will not hesitate to seek high penalties in court against NBN, and other telcos, if we see this type of conduct again.”