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Cityfibre Take Ads Watchdog to Court Over Fibre Broadband Promos

Monday, March 5th, 2018 (7:48 am) - Score 5,214
copper and fibre optic hybrid broadband cables uk

Fibre optic network builder Cityfibre has filed for a Judicial Review of last year’s decision by the UK Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled that it was “not materially misleading” for ISPs to describe slower hybrid fibre services (e.g. FTTC / HFC DOCSIS) as “fibre broadband.”

The debate over what should and should not be considered “fibre broadband” in advertising has been going on for a decade. The issue began in 2008 after the ASA allowed so called “hybrid fibre” or “part fibre” services (e.g. FTTC, G.fast or HFC DOCSIS networks that combine fibre with slower metallic copper or aluminium cables) to use the same wording as pure “full fibre” (FTTH/P) ISPs that take the optical fibre all the way to your home.

Pure fibre optic ISPs can deliver significantly faster speeds (i.e. they’re technically able to handle multi-Gigabit or even Terabit speeds) and are generally more reliable, while hybrid-fibre services tend to be slower and less reliable. Experiences do vary, depending upon the network setup and length of metallic cable, but generally there’s a big difference (Will the real fibre optic service please stand up?).

In the past this difference was less of a concern because the UK had precious little FTTH/P coverage but recently that has begun to change. Today Hyperoptic aims to cover 2 million urban premises with FTTH/P by 2022 (aspiration for 5m by 2025), while Vodafone with Cityfibre will reach 1m by 2021 (aspiration for up to 5m by 2025) and Virgin Media plan 2m by around 2019/20. Not to mention all of the work by smaller operators and Openreach’s own plan for 3m by 2020 (aspiration for 10m by c.2025). TalkTalk has also proposed a similar deployment.

As a result of that, as well as some political pressure from Government MPs, the ASA finally agreed to review its position and at the end of 2017 they concluded to recommend only minor changes (here). The ASA found that “fibre” was not one of the priorities identified by consumers when choosing a package; that consumers did not notice “fibre” claims in ads and that they saw it as a shorthand buzzword to describe modern fast broadband.

Overall consumers told the ASA that they did not believe they would change their previous decisions, even after the differences between those services and broadband services that use fibre optic cables all the way to the home were explained to them.

The outcome perhaps reflects the problem of trying to change an approach that has long since become established in the consumer subconscious, where the meaning of “fibre” has been diluted over years of use (or misuse) alongside slower hybrid (part) fibre technologies.

Nevertheless Cityfibre hasn’t given up. The operator’s lawyers will argue that the “research and logic that lead to the [ASA’s] decision was fundamentally flawed” and that it encourages slower hybrid fibre ISPs to “continue to mislead consumers.”

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“The time has come to do away with ‘fake fibre’. The ASA’s short-sighted decision to allow yesterday’s copper-based infrastructure to masquerade as the future-proof full fibre networks of tomorrow is a clear failure in its duty.

[The ASA] has failed to ensure honest and truthful broadband advertising, it has failed to enable consumers to make informed choices and it has failed to support a national infrastructure project critical to our success in a digital age.

UK operators such as CityFibre are busy building the gigabit capable networks that UK consumers and businesses will need for the future, but without clear and transparent advertising to guide their purchasing decisions, millions of consumers risk being conned into staying on inferior copper-based broadband services.

The first step to righting this consumer wrong is for the ASA to reverse its decision, which perpetuates the ‘fake fibre’ lie.”

Masses of new investment is pouring in to support the deployment of ultrafast full fibre networks. Indeed Cityfibre’s initial deployment with Vodafone alone will gobble around £500m, which means that there’s a lot of money on the table and thus an increasingly strong interest in levelling the playing field of advertising.

Ofcom notes that “full fibre” (FTTH/P) broadband services are currently only available to around 3% of UK premises, although they believe that recent changes in regulation (here) and all of the new investment could boost coverage to 20% by 2020. Suddenly the need to highlight that technological difference is becoming much more important, although admittedly the speed difference should already be obvious for consumers.

Meanwhile the ASA has promised to respond to Cityfibre’s filing “in due course” and we believe that this marks one of the few occasions where the watchdog’s approach has been challenged in the High Court. As a side note, ISPreview.co.uk ran a snap poll of 200+ respondents when the ASA announced their decision last year and 83% agreed that only FTTH/P ISPs should be able to use “fibre broadband” in advertising.

As a result of the lax advertising rules, the rapidly increasing number of consumers with access to full fibre risk being unable to make an informed purchasing decision between these radically different technologies. ISPs could for example, advertise services over a copper-based network as ‘ultrafast fibre broadband’, misleading the consumer into believing they were purchasing the most advanced fibre service available to them,” said Cityfibre.

UPDATE 9:25am

Added Greg’s full comment above.

UPDATE 10:08am

Added a comment from rural FTTH ISP Gigaclear below.

Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear, said:

“We fully support CityFibre’s challenge of the ASA’s ruling allowing the term ‘fibre’ to describe services delivered over copper networks. Without the knowledge of how full fibre differentiates from part fibre, consumers are being blinded to the fundamental capabilities of services on offer. With part fibre, the consumer is wholly reliant on the quality of the copper or other technology that is connecting them to the fibre backbone.

As CityFibre cites, the research we undertook in 2017 clearly showed that consumers typically felt it was misleading to describe part fibre networks as ‘fibre’ because it impedes their ability to differentiate between the different capabilities of different technologies. Yet no action has been taken by the ASA to rectify this.

As a nation, we lag far behind the majority of Europe in relation to full fibre. Currently, full fibre is only available to 1 million properties in the UK. The government has communicated the importance of full fibre networks for our economic future. Now the telecoms industry and the ASA needs to respond. It’s time to educate consumers in a clear and concise way, to ensure they have the knowledge to choose the service they want.”

UPDATE 12:11pm

Now Vodafone has joined to add their thoughts.

A Spokesperson for Vodafone UK said:

“Customers should absolutely get the service advertised and its description should be clear. That is why we have led the market with the introduction of guaranteed broadband speeds on our new Superfast packages and we were the first to abolish line rental. Fibre should mean fibre all the way to people’s homes and we look forward to offering customers exactly that later this year in partnership with CityFibre.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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64 Responses
  1. Avatar Steve

    It is completely misleading customers, I have lost count of the amount of people who have told me about their ‘fibre broadband which they actually don’t have.

  2. Avatar Chris P

    Maybe OFCOM could have a quiet word with ASA and sort it out as OFCOM are pushing for full fibre.

  3. Avatar New_Londoner

    The irony is that if CFH won its case then it would be unable to claim it sold fibre broadband as the majority of its connections utilise fibre to the basement, with copper cat 5 cable providing the connection into individual premises. Or does it believe that this form of copper cable should in fact be categorised as fibre?

    • I’ve never seen any solid statistics about the FTTB vs FTTP split of their network so perhaps you can share something solid to support that?

      The ASA also tends to be more focused upon consumer orientated rather than business orientated advertising, so that issue may not be as relevant here since their plans with Voda are a different ball game and seem more FTTH centric.

    • Avatar Tempest3K

      Are you sure you aren’t getting confused with Hyperoptic?

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      Apologies, yes was thinking of Hyperoptic rather than CFH. Must have more coffee…

    • Avatar Joe

      I’m not sure thats fair. I think you can make a perfectly reasonable argument that providing fibre to the building is fibre because its fibre across their entire network. What you do inside your own premises (or your management company in flats) is no different than me running Cat5e from my fibre termination at my back door across my house and to my outbuildings.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ Joe – ‘Their network’ is up to and including the network to the HyperHub router. In large buildings, this can be a substantial run of ethernet cable. If Hyperoptic are to complain about rival networks using ‘fibre networks’ that involve copper, then it’s clearly wrong for them to label themselves as a ‘full fibre’ network.

    • Avatar Joe

      Andy. If they are installing CAT5e or whatever then I think that point fair. If they are running to the building and then using the existing cabling I’ll give them a pass. Getting building owners to let you run new cable can be difficult.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ Joe – My understanding is that Hyperoptic do the internal cabling also (their website mentions 4-6 weeks).

      It would be very unusual to find an apartment building pre-wired from each flat to the basement or similar.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Future-proofing is undoubtedly the main USP for fibre to the home – but how prominent is that in the general customer’s purchasing decision over speed and monthly cost?

      Even if successful I can see campaigns shifting to other descriptors such as “super”, “hyper” & “ultra” and promoting the connection speed (with the appropriate Ofcom caveats).

    • Avatar Mike

      ” If Hyperoptic are to complain about rival networks using ‘fibre networks’ that involve copper, then it’s clearly wrong for them to label themselves as a ‘full fibre’ network.”

      As your other name sake has been told. Its not Hyperoptic that have brought the case.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ Mike I don’t go by other namesakes on here, unlike some others….

      Anyway, I never said that Hypertopic were part of the judicial review. They have, however, previously jumped on the ‘fibre means fibre’ bandwagon.

    • Avatar Mike

      So they did not “COMPLAIN” to anyone. In fact they have nothing to do with the news item.

    • Avatar AndyH

      I’m not sure what news item you’re looking at, but the one at the top of the page relates to all ISPs that use the terms “fibre”, “full fibre” and “fibre broadband”.

    • Avatar Mike

      Feel free to quote the part where it is Hyperoptic complaining.

  4. Avatar NE555

    I do think the current definition of “fibre” is misleading. Under these terms, you can just as well argue that regular ADSL is “fibre broadband” – it’s fibre to the exchange, rather than fibre to the cabinet.

    The distinction between FTTC and FTTP will become more important over time. With price regulation being applied to 40/10 FTTC, it won’t be long before this becomes the base standard service, and operators stop deploying LLU ADSL altogether. And then everything would be “fibre” broadband, even for those people who live >1km from a cabinet and get rubbish service.

    @New_Londoner: CFH never run copper into multiple properties in the same building. A separate fibre strand goes right into each end-user property, ending on a box called an ONT (Optical Network Termination). The ONT connects to the user’s router/firewall/LAN, and of course that’s usually gigabit ethernet over copper (CAT5e+ using 4 copper pairs).

    I agree that at this point, it doesn’t matter whether your LAN uses copper or fibre. Gigabit speed is guaranteed by the ethernet spec for lengths up to 90 metres (or even 10 gigabits over CAT6a). These standards are only suitable for use within a building – between buildings, the voltages induced by nearby thunderstorms make it too dangerous.

  5. Avatar Salek

    The word “Fibre” has always been misleading, it an abomination they have all allowed to get away with it for so long, or even at all,

    Good luck trying to teach “Joe public” that the old fibre wasn’t real but the new fibre is

  6. Avatar A_Builder

    I think a surprising number of people have cottoned onto the ‘fibre’ naming scam in the last 18 months. Particularly small business owners. Unprompted I have head a lot of people complaining about ‘fibre’ which has surprised me.

    I recall talking to one of the most senior civil servants in about 2010/11 and he was adamant that BT/OR were putting fibre in. It was an illuminating conversation. He had FTTC naturally!

    The scam was therefore effective as it took the heat off BT/OR’s lack of real fibre action which they (and we as a country) are now paying the price for.

    Remember those ‘nice’ fibre is here stickers on the DSLAMs?

    • Avatar NE555

      > Remember those ‘nice’ fibre is here stickers on the DSLAMs?

      Sure: fibre *is* here – “here at the cabinet” 🙂

  7. Avatar Joe

    ” we believe that this marks one of the few occasions where the watchdog’s approach has been challenged in the High Court. ”

    Not that surprising Mark; JR is prohibitively expensive. Which is a problem as regulators end up being unaccountable in practice.

  8. Avatar chris conder

    The laws of physics finally catching up with the feckless ASA and civil servants. It isn’t fibre broadband if it comes down a phone line. Though how we undo a decade of misleading advertising and brainwashing I don’t know. Good luck to CityFibre and Gigaclear, keep telling it like it is and one day someone in government will finally understand.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Notice the absence of all the hardcore BT fans here on this forum thread who tend to argue that it doesn’t matter to call VDSL or coax-cable services “fibre broadband”.

      Let’s hope the court will make the right decision and set ASA straight about what fibre really is.

    • Avatar Bill

      Yes, just what I was thinking.

      I’ve always been amazed by the amount of propaganda others have made on these threads for such a blatant misuse of the word “fibre”.

  9. Avatar Reflection

    One of the issues with the signal travelling down the Openreach copper bit is that many people, quite understandably, treat the connection as a phone line. To get optimum performance, you have to treat it as a transmission line.

    Transmissions lines need careful consideration in the areas of termination and splitting. Treating my ADSL as a transmission line gives a download sync of 8.1 Mb/s; the neighbours, who treat it as a phone line, get about 5.6 Mb/s. Even the cable from socket to modem is important. A good quality twister pair can make a significant difference. I have never seen one supplied with a modem and one has to search around to find where to get one.

    I wonder how many low ADSL and VDSL speeds could be significantly improved with wiring changes and quality components. There is a lot more to this that just knowing if the last drop is copper or fibre.

  10. Avatar lyndon

    A Golf GTE has a 1.4l petrol engine amd a electric motor driving the wheels.

    Is it a petrol car?
    Is it an electric car?

    No….. it’s a Hybrid

    The word Hybrid should be used for broadband delivery where applicable.

    • Avatar abnormal

      @lyndon

      “The word Hybrid should be used for broadband delivery where applicable.”

      Such as “Hybrid Fibre Coax”, aka “Virgin Fibre”? 😉

  11. Avatar Joe Reddaway

    hybrid sounds good to me. For 3 years I haranged BT Openreach and the welsh government AMs to get some sort of higher speed internet connection as our narrow band was 0.8 megs. Its not a misprint 800kbit. in the end we got FTTP and ZEN supply 80 mbts. You soon find out even with 80Mbt things are not much faster, its done to the speed of the web site sever you are connected to.

  12. Avatar AndyH

    That’s a bit rich from Vodafone (“Customers should absolutely get the service advertised and its description should be clear.”)

    Their site claims:

    Our fibre broadband is up to 7 times faster than UK standard broadband.

    Up to 40% faster than BT.

    Our Super Fibre Plus Broadband can be up to four times faster than our Broadband, as it works over optical fibre.

  13. Avatar TheFacts

    Has ISPreview covered the ‘national infrastructure project’?

  14. Avatar JAH

    The people in my village thought I’d lost the plot when I tried explaining that their new ‘fibre’ wasn’t fibre. They were adamant that BT were somehow invisibly, magically, laying fibre to their house and it somehow just worked. BT (and other copper based providers) really haven’t done enough to educate their customers in the actual technology used. No wonder its left so many members of the general public confused.

    • Avatar AndyH

      Who told them that Openreach were laying fibre to their properties?

    • Avatar Bill

      No one told them, I imagine being non-technical they just assumed that fibre broadband meant fibre was coming to their house.

      Now why on Earth would any normal person think that? It should be absolutely obvious to everyone that fibre actually means your existing phone line….

    • Avatar AndyH

      Who told them about fibre broadband before their cabinet/s went live? Someone must have told them something if you have lots people in a village believing that Openreach were laying fibre to their premises.

    • Avatar abnormal

      @AndyH,

      Your comments seem to suggest this misconception could only exist prior to the cabinet or potentially their own ‘fibre broadband’ went live…

      However I suspect that @JAH is implying that even once they are using such a service, with a modem/router connected to their Master Socket via copper, there may still be “normal” people who believe that an operator had “invisibly, magically, laying fibre to their house and it somehow just worked”

      Which is certainly something I have seen from a wide cross section of non-industry consumers, and quite possibly a statistic which increases with the age of the user who may be inclined to believe that the ASA successfully prevents anyone from repeating “false” advertising..

    • Avatar AndyH

      I would say it’s common sense that people realise when a different cable is physically run to their property and connected inside it.

      We hear many people (though clearly some suffer from multi-personality syndrome) here complaining about how people are being misled and lots of people mistakingly believing they have FTTP, however, there is no evidence of this or at least any consumer detriment.

      In terms of complaints to the ASA, OFCOM or the media, it’s only the ISPs complaining and most of the time they are doing this for competitive advantage rather than consumer benefit.

    • Avatar abnormal

      @AndyH

      If only common sense was anywhere near “common”…

      And given there is also FTTB to add to the mix, would it be unreasonable for a non-technical user who at least knew what all the FTTx acronyms stood for to believe that what their ISP sold to them as “Fibre Broadband” but delivered from a copper wall port may FTTP with the magic of fibre-copper conversion happening in the small grey box on the side of their building?

      Just in case there is a suggestion that it may even be considered that power would be required to perform an optical to electrical conversion such as this, the OpenReach ‘news’ about G.Fast at least mentioned the subscriber powered mini-MSAN so it would not seem unreasonable for a “normal person” to assume that technologies which were trailed several years ago may now be used to deliver their “Fibre Broadband”.

      🙂

    • Avatar Jonny

      I can see AndyH’s point here – how many consumers know that “fibre” relates to fibre-optic cabling, and how many just think the term “fibre broadband” means “fast internet”? Are there a lot of people who know what the “fibre” part is in relation to, but would assume they’d had a fibre optic cable installed without an engineer visit or visible disruption?

      I’m not a lawyer but if we’re at the point where to consumers “fibre broadband” just means something fast then it might be too late to try and change that.

      Ideally this would have been settled the first time an FTTC connection was marketed in this way.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “Ideally this would have been settled the first time an FTTC connection was marketed in this way.”

      Or even better, before that. Let’s not forget this was started by Virgin. Where overnight their coax plant became fibre broadband.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ Jonny

      The ASA’s previous ruling on the usage of the term ‘fibre broadband’ was based independent research that they conducted – https://www.asa.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/d791272c-805a-495d-8e25650af1740ab7.pdf

      The research concluded that the word ‘fibre’ was not influential in purchasing decisions and that consumers were not interested in the method of delivery.

      Now people on here will claim that consumers are being mislead and cheated. They also claim there are villages of people who seem to think they are getting, or have, FTTP when in fact they have the antiquated and inferior FTTC. All I would say is that if you have evidence of this, submit it to the judicial review. Once a judicial review is started, anyone can tag along the ride.

  15. Avatar John

    I’m lucky enough to have fibre right into the house here in rural Wales, but I pay a hefty monthly premium for it so am miffed at the lack of distinction. It’s just Fibre, but promotionally has to be qualified with an adjective so it becomes “Full Fibre”. It’s a bit like describing something as “very unique” when it can only be “unique”, nothing more. Or describing PVA as “genuine leather” when it’s not (caught out a few times on Ebay with that one…). The ASA itself is misleading the public, I’d say, but it’s a sign of the times

  16. Avatar CarlT

    In the grand scheme this doesn’t really matter though the ASA should have stopped the ‘fibre optic broadband’ thing a while ago.

    It’s a ridiculous situation when on the same advertisement where Virgin Media discuss their fibre optic service they have a picture of some coaxial cable.

    • Avatar AndyH

      To be honest, it was also completely unnecessary to end up in this situation. The marketing games set the scene and no one intervened.

      Now it’s all about whether consumers are being misled and whether they genuinely believe they are being provided something different to what is being advertised. I haven’t read many complaints from consumers on here (other than the guy who suffers from multi-personality disorder) that they are buying FTTC but expecting FTTP.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Exactly That.

      Where are all these people that thought they got a new fibre cable to their home but didn’t?

      Do these people exist?

    • Avatar Gadget

      most consumers buy on speed and cost and not the promise that it is future-proof and especially with the advent of individual speed estimates at the point of sale

      I can only see a very few people (but to be fair those who are likely to contribute to this discussion) being concerned about the technicalities of how it got there. In fact I cannot remember seeing a post on this forum, let alone any reported complaint of someone who had their broadband delivered on coper (twisted-pair or co-ax) and expected fibre – what the complaints are about the speed (either not fast enough or not reaching the speed promised).

      That said I think we should recognise that in the world of marketing there are both competitive pressures (which generate the “me too” effect) and liberties taken with the language because of it.

  17. Avatar FibreFred

    Again?

    Awaiting the result of the 3rd (at least) attempt to get it changed.

  18. Avatar FibreFred

    I just love that people think that customers are suddenly going to go:

    “Ugh, what? I don’t have actual fibre. I’m ditching this rubbish that I was happy with last week and getting myself a connection from Cityfibre, Hyperoptic or Gigaclear… well as long as they are in my area of course…”

  19. Avatar gerarda

    It is not really just a question of what the public perecption is. If, to use an anology, I was developing a successor to Concorde I would not be happy to find the ASA allowing arlines to advertise their flights as supersonic.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Interesting analogy.

      Did airlines describe individual flights as supersonic? Or just sell tickets for a plane that was known for its supersonic capability?

      As we know, Concorde had a problem with getting permission to actually fly at supersonic speeds, which made it a bad choice for anything other than transatlantic flight. The Singapore route didn’t last long, and Bahrain was really a temporary destination (with odd routing) while awaiting permission from the US.

      In the end, the high cost of running “hybrid supersonic” mode, compared to the low-cost of legacy airlines sweating their old-technology assets, led to its downfall in that direction. The name/label wasn’t enough – a workable service had to actually reduce flight time significantly to pay its way. Too few people were interested at the best of times.

      Turns out to be a good analogy after all…

  20. Avatar MikeW

    It’s ironic that this naming fight started with VM, and their desire to preempt BT’s marketing of upcoming (hybrid-) fibre services, at a time when VM themselves weren’t making significant changes to their access network.

    Myself, I believe that the word “fibre” should have been allowed alongside a significant modifier (such as “hybrid” or “fibre/copper mix”). And that it could be used where ‘significant’ improvement was made in the access network. And I believe that ASA got it wrong in their first decision (2008?).

    However, I also believe that a decision to change name rules, made now, comes with a risk of confusion of its own, too. That’s why ASA’s decision to go with an evidence-based survey was an interesting approach.

    What’s clear is that the ASA need to learn from this, and recognise that their decisions have a long-term consequence. They can’t just make a decision that will do for now, and aim to revisit it later.

    That would likely require Ofcom or the OTA to have a clear naming code-of-practice before any marketing even starts. Not that Ofcom has a history of consistency here, though.

    • Avatar gerarda

      Yes Ofcom have historically been even worse, and cannot be relied to a) understand the technology, and b) not to play politics to be seen to achieve their targets.

  21. Avatar Martin Atkins

    I also think it is completely misleading. Indeed I only failed to be mislead because I already knew of the confusion.

    One might add that the “dilution” of the term “fibre” is following the course of the previous dilution of the word “broadband”, which has come to mean “fast”. The technical meaning of “broadband” is describing the encoding of the data, and so serial tty over Ham radio is technically “broadband” even though it didn’t get much above 2400 bps !

  22. Avatar GNewton

    That’s the “illusory truth effect” in action. The ads about “fibre broadband” repeated the phrase so much so that people found it to become a truth. Repetition is what makes fake news work, too. Familiarity can trump rationality. So what to do?

    If you read something that just feels right, but you don’t know why, take notice. Look into it. The ASA has been a complete failure.

    • Avatar MikeW

      You’re exactly right – “repeat a lie often enough…”

      The question is whether the “true fibre” or “full fibre” people should bother trying to reclaim the term. As you say: So what to do?

      IMHO it is almost certainly better for them to claim a new territory, and stake it out rigorously, than to fight over an old one.

      It seems much easier for B4RN et al to claim “we are the only providers of full fibre” rather than “we are the only providers of fibre(*)” with a caveat of “unless BT sold you fibre after March 2018(**)” plus “(**) unless BT sold it before 2018 and it was FTTP”.

      The marketing aim should be for simplicity. Even if CFH wins, this term is stuck with its confused history.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @MikeW: Actually, according to ASA, the word ‘fibre’ was not influential in consumer’s purchasing decisions and that consumers were not interested in the method of delivery. If that is true (it’s study looks a bit biased to me), then there would hardly be any harm in reversing ASA’s wrong decision, and it would be easier for end users to make informed choices if they so wish.

      The bottom line is: ASA has gone a morally wrong path by promoting false advertising. You should not have to wait until actual damage is done to consumers due to false advertising, there is still time to abandon this lie and set matters straight. If it doesn’t nobody will respect ASA in the future when it really matters!

  23. Avatar dave

    The court should require isps to call FTTC “VDSL”. The public already knows and understands the term “ADSL” so learning “VDSL” won’t be too difficult. If they rename it “fibre to the cabinet” people will still call it “fibre” and nothing will change. Virgin should be required to rename their broadband as “HFC broadband” or “Cable broadband”.

  24. Avatar AndyH

    @ GNewton – In what way is the study biased? Do you have any evidence of this? Do you have any other research to counter the ASA’s findings? Or is it more that it seems biased because you don’t like their findings?

  25. Avatar GNewton

    This was never a proper precise social science research study. The moderator has too much flexibility. I can’t find anything about the overall size of the study. Many of the questions were too vague to be of value. This kind of a study would would not be of a sufficient quality for follow-up social science research tools like Nesstar etc.

    Besides, the study was a waste of time. The damage was already done, after a long period of an “illusory truth effect”. The bottom line is ASA has not been up to its task, it has gone a morally wrong path.

  26. Avatar GNewton

    This was in response to AndyH’s question.

  27. Avatar FibreFred

    Exactly that. The study is just more FAKE NEWS 😉

  28. Avatar lolfibre

    Perhaps Cityfibre should not be allowed to call theirs full fibre when they use GPON as you only get a portion of the capacity up and down. They need a new term, say Half (arsed) Fibre. Only the likes of B4RN should be allowed to use the term Full Fibre.

  29. Avatar Shane warne

    Very nice article, keep sharing these type of interesting and informative articles. Thank You.

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