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Broadband disclosure plan revealed…

15 May 2013

As the availability of Ultra-Fast Broadband services increases, how will consumers be able to compare different telecommunications service providers and plans?

The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has been working to develop clear guidelines for retail service providers.

The suggestions are contained in the TCF’s Draft Broadband Product Disclosure Code which is now open for public consultation at www.tcf.org.nz/bpd.

The need to have a minimum set of information available to consumers wanting to compare broadband plans was highlighted by Communications and Information Technology Minister, Amy Adams and as the forum for all of the key players in the telecommunications industry, the TCF was tasked with developing a standard format for presenting this information to consumers.

“As an industry, we’re keen to make life as easy as possible for our customers," said David Stone, CEO, TCF.

"Our goal is for the standard format for broadband plan information to be as simple to follow as the details you see in a car window on a dealer’s lot.

"You can see if we have achieved this goal by looking at the proposed format in the draft Code and sending us your feedback.”

Once finalised and approved by the TCF, the Broadband Product Disclosure Code will require all code signatories to provide information about fixed line broadband plans in a comparable and consistent format.

This information will be readily accessible to consumers and over time, the scope of the Code will be widened to cover mobile and wireless broadband plans.

As well as setting the minimum standards for consumer information in what the TCF has termed an Offer Summary, the Code also details:

• How and where retail service providers will need to highlight Offer Summaries as part of their sales processes

• A proposal for a new independent speed measurement scheme, including details of how average speed will be reported in the Offer Summary and in advertising

• Other information that must be made available to consumers about issues and factors that may impact the customer’s broadband speed and/or service