ACCC cracks down on free ISP

Free ISP GoConnect has fallen under the hammer of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission and is no longer permitted to advertise any free internet service.

According to an ACCC statement issued yesterday, the consumer watchdog instructed the Melbourne-based ISP to cease advertising free internet connection after discovering that less than 5 per cent of registered GoConnect customers had been given access to the web free of charge.

Since the start of this year, more than 300,000 Australians have registered with GoConnect. It is believed that less than 60,000 of these are now connected freely to the internet via GoConnect's service.

The ACCC explained that, although GoConnect offered a free service, its failure to fulfil promises included in its advertisements presented a breach of the Trade Practices Act of 1974.

An ACCC spokesperson said the commission did not plan to fine GoConnect, and expected that the ISP would obey the instruction. "The priority is to get consumers onto the net," the ACCC spokesperson said.

GoConnect was unavailable for comment.