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Input sought for broadband probe

Cecilia AllenSouth Western Times

Bunbury residents are invited to be part of a program designed to measure and compare broadband speeds across the country.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is kicking off a broadband monitoring program to better understand the speeds and performance home internet customers are receiving.

About 4000 hardware-based devices will be installed in households across Australia over four years, beginning with 2000 in the first year.

ACCC acting chairwoman Delia Rickard said the devices would perform remote testing to determine typical speeds on fixed-line NBN services at various times throughout the day.

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“The program will allow the ACCC to determine if issues are being caused by the performance of the NBN or by ISPs not buying sufficient capacity,” she said.

The ACCC is also investigating examples of where internet service providers may have misled consumers in relation to their broadband speeds and other issues related to consumer guarantees that may raise concerns under the Australian Consumer Law.

South West Independent NBN adviser Mike Hendry said the initiative was an excellent idea because it would provide transparency for consumers when making a decision.

“People should research their chosen service provider carefully to ensure they select one who will be capable of meeting their needs,” he said.

“There are a lot of people when making a call to their service provider who were not aware of speeds available and how much data was suitable.

“Unfortunately many service providers do not even raise the issue of speed when signing customers to NBN.”

Mr Hendry said in many cases service providers started customers on a 12mbps package because it was the cheapest but failed to mention that 12mbps speed is quite often equal to or slower than what some people are receiving with their ADSL.

“We recommended testing your internet speed prior to moving to NBN so you can make a more informed decision about which speed suits your circumstances,” he said.

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