The New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has developed a code of practice for the disclosure of information about broadband plans to consumers.
The Broadband Product Disclosure Code requires TCF members to provide information about fixed line residential broadband plans in a comparable and consistent format enabling consumers to easily compare broadband offers in the market.
The new offer summaries – which will be made available with retail broadband services from 1 March 2014 – will include information on the total cost of the broadband service, the contract term, data caps and any traffic management policies.
The development of the Code responds to the need identified by Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams for consumers to have a clear foundation on which to consider and compare broadband offerings, especially as the rollout of the ultra-fast broadband network continues across the New Zealand.
TCF CEO, David Stone, welcomes the Code. “Our goal is to empower consumers by providing a simple, standard format for information about broadband plans to help them choose the right plan for them.”
“Telecommunications has developed significantly since the first broadband internet (ADSL) was introduced in the 1990s. Consumers now have a wide range of broadband access types and packages to choose from. The Offer Summary has been designed to assist consumers with comparing the many options available from broadband retail service providers.”
A testing methodology is also being developed which will allow consumers to understand the likely performance they can expect from the different broadband services they are comparing.
The release of the Code follows public consultation on a draft version earlier this year and considerable work by industry participants and other stakeholder groups.
This Code applies to fixed broadband services only. Residential mobile and wireless broadband services are likely to be included in a future iteration.