The Federal Government will fund a new broadband performance monitoring program to provide Australian consumers with accurate and independent information about broadband speeds.

The program will use hardware-based devices to perform remote testing of around 4,000 households to determine typical speeds on fixed-line NBN services at various times throughout the day.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, said, “This program will see the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) test and report on the typical speed and performance of broadband plans provided over the NBN. This information will assist consumers in comparing and shopping around, and checking that they receive what they are paying for.

“The program will also allow the ACCC to determine if issues are being caused by the performance of the NBN, or by internet service providers (ISPs) not buying sufficient capacity. It will also provide ISPs with independent performance information from which to draw when making speed claims.”

Mr Sims said the ACCC will begin publishing data later in 2017 as a large number of consumers move to the NBN.

“As consumers drive the demand for high-data speeds and data-intensive services, they need access to accurate information to assist them in choosing plans. This improved transparency will help these consumers exercise choice as next generation services are rolled out, including on the NBN,” Mr Sims said. 

The ACCC has recently provided guidance to industry in relation to industry practices when making broadband speed claims to consumers.

“The ACCC’s program will encourage ISPs to compete for business and tailor their products to meet the needs of their customers. It will also provide better consumer information – all of which is currently lacking in the Australian broadband market,” Mr Sims said.

After appointing a qualified testing provider, the ACCC will begin the program in May 2017, and will provide comparative information for consumers during the second half of 2017.  

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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