ACCC calls on RSPs to step up slow gateway support

ACCC calls on RSPs to step up slow gateway support

Some testing volunteers were unable to surpass speeds of 100 Mbps due to slow equipment.

Anna Brakey (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

Anna Brakey (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission)

Credit: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The national consumer watchdog has flagged Ethernet ports on certain home gateways as an issue for select users on very high speed National Broadband Network (NBN) plans and wants retail service providers (RSP) to step up and help when needed.

Anna Brakey, Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), warned in the watchdog's latest Measuring Broadband Australia that the testing of speed plans in the download range of 500 to 990 Mbps have been negatively impacted by user equipment, which is indicative of a wider spread problem.

Specifically, she claimed that its testing found some of its volunteers on very high speed plans were not able to surpass speeds of 100 Mbps because of limitations on Ethernet ports on some home gateways. 

“We expect retailers to take appropriate steps to assist affected customers on NBN250 plans and above, both when offering these plans and for existing customers who may require replacement home gateways, or the option to move to a suitable plan speed,” she said. 

The warning came even as fixed-line NBN broadband connections improved overall during the month of May, with more consumers receiving maximum plan speeds during the busy evening hours of 7pm to 11pm when compared to the previous report

The average download performance during the month was at 98.4 per cent of plan speed during all hours and 97.6 per cent during busy hours. 

Dodo and iPrimus, both Vocus Group subsidiaries, were highlighted as the telecommunication companies with the largest improvement since the last report, its average rising by 5.4 per cent during all hours and busy hours. 

The report suggests that this is indicative of the two companies looking to turn around the perception of their services following the Federal Court of Australia ordering both Dodo and iPrimus in June to pay a collective $2.5 million in penalties for misleading claims about their NBN broadband speeds.   

In fact, RSPs achieved between 92.2 per cent and 100.5 per cent of plan speed across all major NBN plans during busy houers, coming to a range of 8.3 per cent. 

This is a considerable improvement from the previous report, which registered a range of 12.3 per cent. 

“The performance gap between retail service providers’ download speed metrics has narrowed significantly in recent reports, however individual consumer experiences by retailer still vary,” Brakey added. 

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Tags acccAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission

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