An ISP in Australia is to face the courts over claims that it offered supersonic broadband. The provider Optus offers broadband products with speeds of up to 100Mbps but users who use more than their defined usage allowance have their speeds slowed down to just 64Kbps, around 1500 times slower. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking the company to court over its claims which it believes are milseading and will bring an expert witness to help explain the difference between the speeds and what users can do with each.
Eleven television, print, billboard and Internet advertisments are being questioned as Optus claimed that "Supersonic" services were "four times faster than standard broadband" but failed to mention that traffic shaping could seriously decrease this speed. This is not the first time that Optus have been through the courts with the ACCC. In June the ACCC took Optus to court over its use of the word 'unlimited' to describe voice and data plans that had limits. Optus is still seeking court clarification on the use of the word when applied to telecom services. Luckily for Australian consumers, their regulators actually seem to understand the meaning of the word 'unlimited'.