Optus to pony up after HFC speed claims

Cable spends not that NBN-like, ACCC says

Optus has been fined $51,000 over claims the telco made about the speed of its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable Internet service.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission slapped Optus with five infringement notices and accepted an enforceable undertaking from the telco.

The ACCC took exception to the use by Optus of the phrase “NBN-like speeds” in advertising for its cable broadband offerings between January and August this year.

The cable plans the telco advertised delivered maximum speeds of 30/2 megabits per second (compared to the top-tier NBN-based plans of 100/40Mbps).

Optus customers could potentially upgrade to a 100/2Mbps service, although the ACCC’s statement noted that such a plan still wouldn’t match the upload speeds possible on the NBN.

“As consumers migrate to the NBN, the ACCC’s action in this matter is a timely reminder to broadband internet providers that they must not misrepresent the performance of the services they are selling,” ACCC chairperson Rod Sims said.

As part of the enforceable undertaking, Optus will ditch the use of the phrase “NBN-like speeds” and allow affected customers to cancel their contracts.

However, the telco’s HFC network, along with Telstra’s, is set to become a major component of the National Broadband Network.

As part of the Coalition government’s revamp of the NBN, HFC and fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) will be the preferred technologies for the fixed line portion of the NBN in brownfield areas.

Read more: NBN appoints chief network engineer

NBN has announced the first customer pilot of HFC services on its network.

The state of the Optus HFC network has been the source of considerable controversy.

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Tags broadbandnational broadband networkoptushfcNational Broadband Network (NBN)Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)

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