Australian operator Optus was forced to compensate about 8,700 customers for misleading them about the peak download speeds they could achieve over the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced today (11 December) the latest NBN customer blunder, after pressuring market leader Telstra in November to compensate customers over the same issue.

Between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, Singtel-owned Optus offered NBN services to consumers advertising a range of speed plans including a Boost Max offering maximum download speeds of up to 100Mb/s and maximum upload speeds of up to 40Mb/s. However, technical limitations on the customers’ fibre connections meant they could not get the advertised speeds.

“Optus is the second major internet provider we have taken action against for selling broadband speeds they could not deliver to their customers,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims (pictured) said.

“Worryingly, many affected Optus FTTN [fibre to the node] customers could not even receive the maximum speed of a lower-tier plan. This is a concerning trend we have seen throughout the industry and we are working to fix this,” he added.

Optus admitted by promoting and offering speed plans which could not be delivered, it likely contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.

The operator provided a court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC detailing the remedies it will provide to affected customers including refunds, moving speed plans, discounted speed plans, and exit from contracts without paying a fee, the commission announced.

In early November Telstra agreed to offer remedies to 42,000 customers for promoting NBN speed plans which could not be achieved in real-world conditions.

“Our investigation revealed many of Telstra’s FTTN and FTTB customers could not receive the maximum speed of their plan. Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan,” Sims stated at the time.