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ACMA Fines ISP’s $88,200 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has handed out infringement notices under rules designed to ensure telcos provide their customers with adequate information about their National Broadband Network (NBN) services.

Following an investigation, Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice paid a total of $88,200 for failing to comply with the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018 which came into effect in September 2018.

These telcos have been singled out for not providing clear and truthful information regarding their NBN plans. This kind of misleading information has created even more mistrust for consumers, as NBN continues to shuffle along taking hit after hit.

These fines send a strong message to all ISP’s that they need to clean up their act. The Telcos are supposed to supply helpful information on plans and pricing to help consumers make the right choices.

What does the Consumer Information Standard require?

The Consumer Information Standard has four key aspects:

  1. CSPs must give consumers a single-page Key Facts Sheet before they enter into a contract for an NBN service. The Key Facts Sheet contains important information for consumers to help them choose a suitable NBN plan and prepare for their move to the NBN.
  2. CSPs must adhere to the following practices in their advertising:
  • include details of the typical ‘busy period’ download speed the consumer can expect to receive using the service (except for fixed wireless and satellite connections)
  • not use the term ‘up to’ in any claim about broadband speed
  • where standardised labelling is used to indicate speeds of different plans (for example, ‘basic’, ‘standard’, ‘standard plus’ and ‘premium’), provide definitions of each label on their website.
  1. CSPs must supply the following advice to consumers before they enter into a contract for an NBN service:
  • whether the consumer can keep their phone number if they transfer their phone service to the NBN
  • if the consumer’s connection to the NBN isn’t capable of delivering the speed tier specified in their NBN plan (for FTTN, FTTB and FTTC connections only), what remedies will be available to the consumer.
  1. When a consumer asks a CSP to supply an NBN service, the CSP must ask whether they use a medical or security alarm service and, if so:
  • advise them to check with the provider of the alarm service whether it is compatible with the NBN service, and available alternatives if it is not
  • recommend they register their medical alarm service on the NBN Medical Alarm Register.

 

 

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