The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a consultation paper inviting comment on a proposed program for monitoring and reporting broadband performance in Australia.
The program would test data transfer rates (or ‘speeds’) and other indicators of broadband service quality experienced by a representative sample of consumers in real world conditions. The results of the testing would be made periodically available to consumers and service providers.
Similar programs have been implemented in several international jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore and New Zealand.
“A program of this type could benefit internet service providers and consumers of broadband services in Australia. Information on real-world performance would help consumers and small businesses choose the right service for their needs and budget, and help them to identify whether they are receiving the service quality they were promised,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.
“Additional transparency on the quality of broadband services would also promote competition and encourage internet service providers to invest where necessary to deliver higher quality services to consumers.”
Through the consultation process, the ACCC is seeking views from consumers, internet service providers and IT companies about how the program could be implemented in a manner that delivers strong benefits to consumers and internet service providers, while remaining cost effective.
Whether the ACCC proceeds to implement the program will depend upon practical considerations including securing financial support for the program.
The ACCC invites interested parties to make submissions by 13 September 2013.
The consultation paper is available on the project page.