The ACCC is considering the implementation of a monitoring and reporting program in relation to the performance of broadband Internet services in Australia, subject to securing financial support.
A broadband performance monitoring and reporting program would involve testing data transfer rates and other quality of service metrics for broadband services. The ACCC would then compile the resulting data and publicly release reports discussing the results.
Similar programs have been implemented in a number of international jurisdictions including the UK, US, Singapore and New Zealand. These programs are outlined in further detail in section 3 and throughout this paper.
The purpose of this consultation process is to enable the ACCC to develop a plan for a robust monitoring program which would provide meaningful and insightful reporting for stakeholders on the performance of broadband services in Australia. The ACCC is seeking to engage closely with industry and consumer groups (and any other relevant stakeholders) on the appropriate testing methodology, scope, quality of service metrics and reporting framework for the proposed program.These are discussed in section 4.
The ACCC considers that a broadband monitoring and reporting program would encourage competition and efficient investment in infrastructure in the Australian broadband market as well as providing significant benefits for consumers. However, the scope and nature of any program, if implemented, will depend upon technical and budgetary considerations.
Following this consultation process, the ACCC intends to release a position paper in 2014 outlining how it would implement a broadband performance monitoring and reporting program if the necessary funding was obtained.