ACCC asks Australians to sign up for broadband speed tests

WANTED Broadband Speed Spies

ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said scammers use phishing to trick their victims into giving out valuable personal information such as their bank account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers or even their online passwords for their PayPal, Apple or social media accounts.

As part of the investigation the ACCC will install hardware-based devices into 2000 households, and by the fourth year more than 4000 households will be involved.

"The volunteers will be helping to produce accurate, transparent, and comparable information about the quality and reliability of the fixed-line broadband services available in their area".

The consumer watchdog is now investigating examples of where ISPs may have misled consumers in relation over broadband speeds and other aspects of consumer guarantees.

"Today we are making a call to action for broadband consumers, particularly fixed wireless and satellite users, to volunteer for the program", Ms Simson said.

It's all part of a bid to bring more transparency to the broadband market and accurate information about the real NBN speeds Australians actually get on a day-to-day basis. While the National Broadband Network has now officially passed 5 million premises ready for service across Australia, research shows 74 percent of Australians yet to connect to the NBN feel they don't know enough to transition to the technology.

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"We're so used to providing our personal information when we sign up for services over the phone or shop online that sometimes we don't think twice about giving it out", Rickard added.

An initial 2,000 households will be equipped with the devices in the first year of the program, which will be taking applications up until the end of July.

On April 7, the federal government said it would fund the broadband performance monitoring program.

Telstra has begun contacting customers offering refunds and to downgrade plans where the advertised speeds are not being met, with retail group executive Kevin Russell admitting in a blog post that the speeds surrounding the network were "all a bit of a mystery".

The ACCC's broadband monitoring program will be similar to established programs in the United Kingdom (link is external) (2008), United States (link is external) (2010), Singapore (link is external) (2011), and Canada (link is external) (2016).

Complaints about internet data speeds was the biggest issue for customers in the last financial year, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

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