A UK internet provider has been fined £5m after selling fake speed boosts on its services to users.
The UK’s Information Commissioner has ordered the operator of the UK provider Sky Broadband to pay the sum, which the company said was due to “unreasonable and unauthorised” actions by the watchdog.
The fine was handed down on Monday.
Sky Broadcom was fined £1.6m in 2013 for illegally selling speed boosts that users were being billed for when they were actually being offered an “unauthorised speed boost”.
Last year, the European Commission said it had “serious concerns” about Sky Broadnet’s practices, which could have put people’s privacy at risk.
The European Commission has also urged internet service providers to take steps to make sure their customers are protected against deceptive or misleading advertising.
The investigation into Sky Broad’s practices started after complaints by customers in 2016.
The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigated, and found that some customers had been falsely billed for speed boosts.
The OFT said it took the “unnecessary step” of “unilaterally suspending” Sky Broadnax from the UK market, while also taking “additional steps to prevent such conduct in the future”.
The Oft said the suspension was “necessary and proportionate” to safeguard consumer rights.
The regulator said the company had “failed to take the necessary steps” to prevent this type of practice in the UK.
The Commission has said it is “extremely concerned” about the company’s practices.
“Sky Broadnet, through its customers, is responsible for the safety and security of the network, and we will not tolerate this type the practice of selling speed boosters on its service,” it said in a statement.
Sky Broadband, which is based in London, said it would comply with the OFT’s findings and had “agreed to pay a £5 million penalty”.
The company said it was “pleased that the Commission has taken the action that it has taken”.
It said it planned to “provide full disclosure” to customers of the fine.
The ISP said it has already “received a number of notifications” from customers and would be providing them with “full refunds”.