Telstra to contact NBN customers on slow services

Customers with high speeds plans on connections not capable of those speeds to be offered refunds.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced on Thursday that Telstra will be contacting its consumers with NBN plans that are at higher speeds than their connection can handle.

The consumer watchdog said Telstra told it in August that it failed to check the maximum speeds available on 180,000 connections which had moved up the NBN speeds tiers. The failure covered both the Telstra and Belong brands.

"Telstra has since committed to contacting all affected customers and refunding those who have been paying for the higher speeds but not receiving them," the ACCC said.

"It will also pro-actively move consumers to a lower speed NBN plan if they are not receiving any benefit from being on a higher speed tier NBN plan."

In November 2017, alongside needing to compensate around 42,000 National Broadband Network (NBN) customers for not providing them with the speeds advertised in their plans, Telstra agreed to check the attainable speeds at a premise within four weeks of it being connected.

The undertaking covered NBN connections on fibre to the node (FttN) and fibre to the basement technologies.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said the watchdog would be looking closely at other ISPs that have similar undertakings to the one Telstra entered into two years ago. Those ISPs include Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus, and Commander.

"Everyone who receives an email or letter from Telstra about their NBN service should take note of the maximum speed they are getting and check that they are not paying for something they are not receiving," Sims said.

"Your maximum speed stays the same no matter which provider you're with, so once you know your maximum speed, make sure you are getting the best deal available for you."

According to the ACCC's 2017 investigation, around 56% of Telstra's FttN customers on the 100/40Mbps speed tier could not receive those speeds, with 9,606 of these also not able to attain 50/20Mbps; 6,352 or 45% of its 50/20Mbps FttN customers could not receive those speeds; and 9,342 or 2% of its 25/5Mbps customers could not receive those speeds.

The ACCC said at the time that Telsta's conduct amounted to misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

On Tuesday, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) handed down the first of its section 313 blocks to prevent access to offshore gambling sites.

"Emu Casino and Fair Go Casino are illegal sites that target Australians, and between the two we have received more than 50 complaints about their conduct," ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin stated.

"They're happy to take your money when you lose, but people have reported to us that they refuse to pay out winnings.

"If you have funds deposited with these—or any other an illegal offshore gambling site—you should withdraw those funds now."

Each block needs to be signed off by the ACMA chair, deputy chair, or a senior executive, with each request to expire after a specified time.

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