The consumer watchdog has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Dodo and iPrimus, claiming they misrepresented the NBN broadband speeds their customers could reasonably achieve during busy evening hours.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday said the Vocus-owned brands made false or misleading statements between March 2018 and April 2019 about the speeds consumers could expect if they signed up to their NBN broadband services.

“We believe many of Dodo and iPrimus’ NBN customers would have been unable to regularly receive the advertised speeds during the busy evening period of between 7pm-11pm,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC will argue that Dodo and iPrimus used a fundamentally flawed testing methodology, developed by Vocus, which was not a reasonable basis for their advertising claims about certain typical evening speeds.”

“It is alleged that the testing methodology determined the ‘typical evening speed’ claims by using only the daily 75 fastest speeds observed across Vocus’ entire network in the busy period, excluding slower speeds where a connection was more likely to be impacted by congestion.”

The ACCC said that it even published guidance in 2017 to assist internet providers in making claims about broadband performance, but the methodology used by Dodo and iPrimus wasn’t consistent with that guidance.

A Vocus spokesman said the company was disappointed by the ACCC’s lawsuit.

“Dodo and iPrimus have been engaged in discussions with the ACCC over an extended period and have cooperated fully throughout the entire investigation,” he said.

“We are reviewing the ACCC’s claims and will not be providing further comment as the matter is before the courts.”

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