Vocus ISPs Dodo and iPrimus taken to court by ACCC over NBN speed claims

NBN broadband speed claims during busy hour periods land retailers in Federal Court.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced on Tuesday it has begun proceedings in the Federal Court against Vocus-owned ISPs Dodo and iPrimus, with the consumer watchdog alleging the pair made misleading NBN busy hour speed claims.

For a period of 13 months from March 2018 to April 2019, the ACCC is alleging that the speed numbers posted by the pair on their respective web sites were not achievable.

"The ACCC will argue that Dodo and iPrimus used a fundamentally flawed testing methodology, developed by Vocus, which was not a reasonable basis for their advertising claims about certain typical evening speeds," ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

"It is alleged that the testing methodology determined the 'typical evening speed' claims by using only the daily 75 fastest speeds observed across Vocus' entire network in the busy period, excluding slower speeds where a connection was more likely to be impacted by congestion."

The consumer watchdog said it is seeking declarations, penalties, and costs.

In its latest broadband speed report released in May, the ACCC said Dodo and iPrimus were dead last in the ISPs measured for delivering average download speed. For upload speeds, the pair were second last.

Last year, Dodo agreed to refund up to AU$360,000 to around 16,000 customers over misleading claims about its entry-level NBN broadband plans.

The retailer entered into a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC over claims its service was "perfect for streaming".

The misleading statement was used in Dodo's advertising campaigns for certain NBN broadband services from November 2015 to March 2018, including plans that could only provide maximum speeds of 12Mbps. Some of these plans also only provided 10GB of data per month.

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