Aussie Broadband made to halt «congestion free» marketing

10 Sep 2018

Australian competition regulator ACCC has pressed NBN retail service provider Aussie Broadband to remove claims from its advertising that it offers a “congestion-free NBN” experience for customers.

Aussie Broadband had been advertising its services as “congestion-free” since July last year because of the multiple steps it has taken to remove congestion for customers, including halting sales of services in areas where customers have reached 80% usage of its purchased NBN bandwidth.

But in an administrative ruling, the ACCC declared that such an absolute statement could mislead potential customers into thinking they will never experience congestion, when this is not the case.

“Our own observations from the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Australia program indicate that all broadband providers experience congestion from time to time, although the extent of congestion depends on how well networks are managed, and some are better than others,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

“It’s important to note that Aussie Broadband recorded the fastest NBN download speeds in our most recent speed tests, however all NBN providers should ensure that they do not use absolute statements like 'congestion-free' when promoting the speed and reliability of the broadband services they offer.”

An Aussie Broadband spokesperson told local media that the ACCC's broadband monitoring results showed just a 0.8% speed difference between the ISP's busy and non-busy period, but that the company respects the ACCC's position on absolute statements.

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