Australian telcos fined for misleading public
November 15, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Three major Australian telcos have been fined by the Australian Federal Court over misrepresenting the download speeds their systems offer and obligations to test such speeds to users.
On their websites and in emails to existing and potential clients the three – namly Telstra, Optus Internet and TPG Internet – have been found guilty of making false or misleading statements about the download speeds they offered in their ‘fibre to the node’ consumer plans.
The three admitted liability and that statements made were false or misleading.
“These significant penalties reflect the seriousness of the breaches of consumer laws by these large and sophisticated businesses that should be better informed about their obligations towards their customers, particularly given the promises they made to their customers and in undertakings previously provided to the ACCC regarding speed claims for their NBN plans in 2017,” said Liza Carver, ACCC Commissioner.
The trio were retailing capacity and connections from Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
The three broadband internet providers have been fined an overall A$33.5 million (€21.7m) after failing to ensure some customers could achieve internet speeds they were paying for. The fines were approved by Judge Mark Moshinsky on November 11th having been set by Australia’s Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Telstra will pay A$15 million, Optus will pay A$13.5 million, while TPG will pay A$5 million.