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ACCC to come down hard on telcos for 2013

Hamish Barwick | Feb. 25, 2013
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned telecommunications companies that it will be making sure Australian consumers “get what they pay for” when they sign up to long-term phone or broadband contracts.

Another new area of complaint that the ACCC plans to investigate during 2013 is fake testimonials and reviews in online retailing.

Sims said that these fake testimonials could mislead consumers and give an unfair advantage to unscrupulous traders.

National Broadband Network

In addition, 2013 will see a "significant focus" by the ACCC on establishing the regulatory framework that will apply to the National Broadband Network (NBN) via its special access undertaking.

"The undertaking will shape the telecommunications industry for decades to come, as NBN Co proposes the undertaking operate until 2040," he said.

"Submissions to the ACCC have highlighted some concerns with the proposals NBN Co has put forward, particularly around how prices will be adjusted over the life of the undertaking."

According to Sims, the special access undertaking must be in the long-term interests of end-users.

"In practical terms this might mean, for example, that consumers will be able to get services of the quality they get today, for the price they pay today," he said.

He added that a draft decision about the special access undertaking will be made by March this year.

However, Sims would not comment further on the decision.

"The NBN is a very complex exercise. When we are at this stage where everyone is saying what their concerns are with what NBN Co is proposing, we're working our way through it and will come out with a decision," he said.


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