The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has handed greenfields fibre provider CNT Corp a AU$19,800 fine for charging customers for broadband download speeds that it could not deliver.
CNT Corp offers fibre services to new housing developments. Between July 2011 and April 2012, the company offered wholesale broadband in the Eden Brook housing estate (in Pakenham, Victoria) at download speeds of 25, 50 and 100 megabits per second (Mbps), stating that the company had 100Mbps backhaul transmission capacity, though it actually didn't.
The ACCC said that, because of the limited backhaul capacity, the most CNT could offer customers was 20Mbps. CNT admitted that its conduct was likely to be in breach of consumer law.
The ACCC has handed the company three infringement notices worth a total of AU$19,800 for the breach, and ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has said that the fine handed down serves as a warning to fibre providers to be sure that the speeds they offer are accurate.
"All suppliers of broadband services must make sure that they accurately represent the performance of their services," Sims said.
"This is a cautionary tale for the telecommunications industry, as it transitions to technologies that are capable of delivering faster broadband services. If you make claims about the speed of your services, you must ensure that real-world performance matches what is promised."