Optus has been forced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to refund thousands of customers who were promised fast broadband but received slower throughput. Almost half of Optus' customers who paid for 100Mbps downloads didn't get what was promised.
With the ACCC baring its teeth over NBN advertising claims, it's not surprising the regulator is starting to give RSPs a hard time over their failure to live up to performance claims.
The ACCC found:
- 5,430 (48%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps, and 2,337 (21%) of those consumers could not receive 50/20 Mbps
- 1,519 (26%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps
- 1,381 (3%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 25/5 Mbps plan could not receive 25/5 Mbps.
The ACCC has provided RSPs with a guide to better advertising when it comes to NBN speeds with some, such as Aussie Broadband (who I'm hearing good things about from friends around different parts of Melbourne) moving away from shared infrastructure and building their own with a view to making public their CVC (Connectivity Virtual Circuit). This is how much bandwidth they have purchased from BNBCo and is an indicator of how busy their connection to the network is.
The ACCC said Optus has admitted they offered speed plans that could not be delivered, in likely contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
As a result, Optus NBN customers that were affected may receive a partial refund, an option to move to a different speed plan or exit their contract without further costs. Optus has undertaken to communicate this with their customers by 2 March 2018.
You can read the details of the undertaking on the ACCC website.