Optus snared in NBN crackdown

OPTUS has become the latest telco to offer compensation to customers for slow NBN speeds.

The telecommunications giant admitted today some of its customers may have been overcharged because they were not delivered the National Broadband speeds they were promised.

The development comes a day after Telstra said it would refund 42,000 because of their slow internet speeds.

An Optus spokeswoman confirmed to the ABC that the company is "working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission" and has provided the consumer watchdog with detailed information and data it requested.

"We are examining the detail of the announcement by the ACCC, but can confirm that Optus is taking action to provide appropriate remedies to those customers where it has been confirmed that the underlying NBN service cannot deliver the speed they signed up for," the spokeswoman told the ABC.

If only all of Optus’ download speeds were as fast as its ambassador Usain Bolt. Picture: Jenny Evans
If only all of Optus’ download speeds were as fast as its ambassador Usain Bolt. Picture: Jenny Evans

"Optus is considering a range of measures for customers depending on their individual circumstances."

Yesterday in a press release announcing Telstra's move, ACCC chairman said telcos not delivering on promised NBN speeds was an "industry problem where consumers are not getting the speeds they are paying for".

The telcos have pointed the failure to deliver promised speeds to NBN copper wire access, mainly for fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections.

"Our investigation revealed many of Telstra's FTTN and FTTB customers could not receive the maximum speed of their plan. Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan," Mr Sims said.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims is cracking down on the telco giants. Picture: AAP
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims is cracking down on the telco giants. Picture: AAP

"We expect RSPs [retail service providers] to provide consumers with accurate information upfront about the internet speeds they can expect to receive, and then deliver on those promises."

Telstra had notified the ACCC of some issues, but not all, relating to affected customers, which were then uncovered by the investigation.

Mr Sims said another issue was where speed could be delivered technically but the RSP had not purchased enough capacity from the NBN to provide the speeds which it is advertising, including at peak times.

"To address this second problem of under provisioning, the ACCC is urging all ISPs to advertise the typical speeds customers can expect in the busy evening period between 7pm and 11pm," he said.

Telstra said it will contact customers affected over the coming weeks.

If Telstra customers have a concern the ACCC has urged them to contact the telco giant directly.

Likewise with Optus customers.


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