The Federal court has fined iPrimus and Dodo $2.5 million for making misleading claims about its NBN speeds.
The ACCC began proceedings against the telcos back in 2020, claiming that they “false or misleading claims” about NBN speeds.
Dodo has been given a $1.5 million fine, with iPrimus copping $1 million. Both telcos are part of the Vocus group.
According to the ACCC, the claims were made between March 2018 and April 2019, and were specifically about ‘typical evening speeds.’
ACCC Chair, Rod Sims, said that accurate broadband speeds during peak periods is essential for customers.
“The ACCC brought this case because we were concerned that the methodology which the Vocus Group used as the basis for its speed claims cherry-picked only the fastest speeds its network could deliver, and ignored the slower speeds many of its customers experienced,” Sims said in a press release.
“These misleading speed claims meant consumers could not accurately compare different offerings and make an informed choice about their broadband provider.”
Back in early 2019 Dodo claimed it had a typical evening speed of 47Mbps, the highest of any providers at the time. However, just one month later the ACCC’s Measuring Broadband Report showed that the telco was the lowest ranked of all providers for average evening speeds.
What happened with Dodo and iPrimus?
This report comes out quarterly and is measured against major NBN providers such as Aussie Broadband, Telstra and Optus. You can read about the latest one here.
According to the report, both Dodo and iPrimus only achieved maximum speeds during the peak evening period 80.18 per cent of the time.
Additionally, the ACCC highlighted in 2020 that Dodo and iPrimus were consistently on the lower end of its Measuring Broadband Report.
“Despite clear ACCC guidance on making broadband speed claims, Vocus Group used a flawed methodology which was inconsistent with that guidance, and misled consumers about the speeds of its plans,” Mr Sims said.
Vocus has said that Dodo and iPrimus was added to the Measuring Broadband Australia report from April 2019.
“In 2021, Dodo and iPrimus implemented a range of improvements to its network to deliver a better customer experience, including enhanced speed measurements,” a Vocus spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“As noted by the Court, there was no evidence that consumers received internet connection speeds lower than those advertised at any time, or incurred any financial harm. Dodo and iPrimus co-operated fully with the ACCC throughout these proceedings and have agreed to settle the historic claims.”
This isn’t the first time that an Australian telco has made questionable NBN speed claims in the last few years. In early 2020 MyRepublic was advertising being at the top of the Measuring Broadband Report, despite dropping to 7th place at the time. MyRepublic changed its advertising collateral as a result of our report on the issue.