The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has also updated its guidance for retailers about how to advertise broadband speed claims.
The commission’s guidance comes as customers on fixed wireless networks, many living in regional and rural areas, are still facing broadband congestion during the busy evening period.
And many fixed wireless broadband customers are not getting speeds anywhere near the maximum advertised in their plans, according to the ACCC.
The ACCC’s guidance gives advice on how consumers can seek compensation or other remedies from their provider if they receive poor speeds, how they can get more information about their service, and explains the nature and limitations of fixed wireless services.
It also offers customer tips on how to get the most out of their broadband service while the fixed wireless network is being upgraded.
“We’re publishing this guidance to help fixed wireless consumers be more confident in seeking redress from their service provider if their speeds are lower than represented,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
The ACCC says fixed wireless broadband is used by about 280,000 consumers in regional and remote areas.
Sims notes that in March 2019, about 3% of cells on fixed wireless towers were congested, according to NBN figures.
However the proportion of services affected by congestion is higher than this figure as there are numerous services connected to each cell, Sims said.
“Consumers in rural and remote areas, like those in any other parts of Australia, should not be paying for speeds that they are not getting.”
The ACCC has also extended its industry guidance on speed claims in advertising to include fixed wireless broadband. This guidance sets out the ACCC’s expectations for how broadband providers should advertise NBN speeds to consumers.
“Providers have a responsibility to deliver a service that meets the speed and performance that they advertise,” Sims said.
“If services fall short of what has been advertised, broadband providers must offer remedies, technical support and information to customers.
“The ACCC will continue to address consumer issues in the provision of broadband services, including misleading speed and performance claims made by providers.”
According to its statement, issued on Thursday, the ACCC says it has recently consulted on measures to further boost transparency and improve outcomes for consumers of fixed wireless services as part of its NBN wholesale service standards inquiry – and is currently considering responses to the consultation.