Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the release of a draft 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.
It sets expectations for telecommunications companies to provide a consistent set of information to consumers about broadband plans.
The code will include the total costs of a broadband service, the data cap and traffic management policies, minimum contract periods, and the average speed of users on the plan.
It also requires members to provide information about broadband speeds to be verified by an independent testing service, so customers have a clearer understanding of what speeds they can expect.
“As the ultra-fast broadband network is rolled out around the country, consumers will need a clear foundation on which to consider and compare broadband offerings,” Ms Adams says.
“It is important that consumers are provided with accurate information about competing product offerings and are able to make informed choices.”
The code is proposed to be mandatory for all TCF members, which includes the majority of New Zealand’s telecommunications providers.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had started work on a broadband product disclosure regulation framework, however, Ms Adams is satisfied that the progress made by the TCF to date justified this work being placed on hold at this stage.
“A high level of transparency for broadband products is an important focus for me, and I have asked MBIE to continue to monitor progress in this regard.”
The TCF is currently seeking feedback on the content of its code, which can be seen at: www.tcf.org.nz.