Internet, phone & TV

NBN affordability a growing issue

The cost of basic NBN plans is becoming an affordability issue for people on lower incomes, with the plans now more expensive than what most consumers pay for equivalent ADSL plans, ACCC Chair Rod Sims told the CommsDay Summit in Sydney this afternoon.

For around $50 per month a customer could, and still can, get an ADSL internet and voice plan with a 100 gigabyte (GB) quota, or pay $60 for an unlimited quota plan.

Activ8me to pay $250,000 in penalties and refund customers for misleading conduct

The Federal Court has ordered penalties of $250,000 against internet provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd (trading as Activ8me) for making false or misleading representations and not displaying a single price when advertising its internet services.

The Court has also ordered that Activ8me offer to refund setup fees and allow affected customers to exit or switch plans without charge.

Telco prices down and more data on offer, but continued scrutiny needed

Lower prices and growing data services are the key consumer benefits in the ACCC’s communications market report for 2017-18.

Data downloads over the year jumped 45 per cent on mobiles and 27 per cent for fixed line services. During the period prices for mobile phone services dropped by 8.3 per cent in real terms, while fixed broadband prices fell by 1.5 per cent.

Optus penalised $10 million for misleading customers over digital purchases

The Federal Court has ordered Optus pay a $10 million penalty for its treatment of customers who unknowingly purchased games, ringtones and other digital content through its third-party billing service, following action by the ACCC.

Optus admitted that the company misled consumers and breached the ASIC Act when it billed customers for third party-produced content which they mistakenly bought or subscribed to through its “direct carrier billing” (DCB) service.

NBN speeds mostly steady, but improvements needed

Fixed-line NBN customers received generally good levels of service during the latest round of ACCC broadband speed tests, but some consumers experienced a dip in speeds.

The ACCC’s latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, released today, expands the number of retail service providers (RSPs) to include Dodo, iPrimus and Exetel, enabling the report to cover a wider range of price points.

NBN customers urged to check if they’re entitled to a refund

The ACCC is encouraging NBN customers experiencing slow connection speeds to contact their retail service provider (RSP) as they may be eligible for a refund following undertakings it has negotiated with RSPs over the last 15 months.

Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have each admitted that they likely made false or misleading representations about the connection speeds NBN customers with fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections could experience.

ACCC releases preliminary report into Google, Facebook and Australian news and advertising

With Google and Facebook transforming the way consumers communicate, access news and view advertising online, it is critical that governments and regulators consider the potential issues created by the concentration of market power and the broader impacts of digital platforms.

The preliminary report, published today, contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

Internet provider Activ8me in court for alleged misleading advertisements

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against internet provider Australian Private Networks Pty Ltd (trading as Activ8me) in the Federal Court for allegedly making false or misleading representations when advertising its internet services.

The ACCC alleges that, between June and October this year, Activ8me breached the Australian Consumer Law when it made the false or misleading claims in three direct mail advertisements and five online banner advertisements marketing its Opticomm fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) packages.