In an Australian court three telecom firms have been ordered to pay a combined A$33.5 million ($22.08 million) in penalties for making disingenuous claims about the speed of some NBN internet plans, the nation’s competition regulator said.
The Australian Federal Court has ordered Telstra to pay A$15 million, a unit of TPG Telecom to pay up to A$5 million, and imposed a fine of A$13.5 million on Optus, a unit of Singapore Telecommunications, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.
According to the ACCC, the disingenuous or false statements were made for at least 12 months in 2019 and possibly extended until 2020, related to their 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) or 50 Mbps fiber to the node plans.
All three telecom firms have admitted in a court of making misleading or false statements, the regulators said, claiming nearly 120,000 customers were affected.
In a statement, Telstra said that between April 2019 and April 202 it failed to verify the maximum attainable speed of the NBN services ordered by around 48,000 customers either entirely or within a reasonable period after connection.
TPG Telecom spokesperson and Optus said the firms have made changes to their systems and processes to address the concerns raised by the proceedings.