Adams backs better broadband info for consumers…

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the introduction of a code of practice to improve the transparency of broadband product information for consumers.

The code has been developed by the Telecommunications Forum (TCF) in response to a request from Ms Adams that improvements be made to make broadband offerings easier to understand and compare.

“Consumers can now see the same basic set of information about competing broadband plans being offered by the main telecommunications companies,” Adams says.

“As the Ultra-Fast Broadband build progresses, the number of people signing up for broadband is continuing to increase, as well as the number of retail providers.

“These changes will make it easier for people to compare what different providers are offering, and to know if they are signing up for a package that meets their needs.”

The code covers existing residential, fixed-line broadband plans, as well as UFB, and is compulsory for TCF members.

Standard information for consumers now includes all costs, termination fees, minimum contract periods, service availability, contract term, data caps and any traffic management policies that could affect speeds or access. The information is expressed using consistent terminology, in an agreed format.

It also requires information about broadband speeds to be verified by an independent testing service, so customers have a clearer understanding of what speeds they can expect. This aspect is continuing to be developed.

“The code of practice is a good start towards greater transparency for consumers, however I would like to see the code extended in future to include mobile and wireless broadband,” Adams adds.

For more information about the code of practice, go to: http://www.tcf.org.nz/bpd

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