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FTTH Council Europe Calls for End to Misleading Fibre Broadband Ads

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 (1:19 pm) - Score 2,378
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The FTTH Council Europe has today welcomed a vote by the European Parliament to approve the new European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), which could boost investment in “full fibre” (FTTP/H) broadband and 5G mobile. But they also called on the EU to get tough on “fake fibre” marketing by ISPs.

The new EECC (summary) is similar to the recently revised ECC in the UK, which broadly governs the rules around how telecoms operators can access and use public or private land in order to build new networks. This in turn has also be reinforced by the changes proposed as part of the UK’s recent Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (here).

In that sense we don’t expect the new EECC to have much of an impact in the UK as many of its provisions have already been covered. This is before we get into the endlessly confusing debate over Brexit, which looks set to begin before the new rules are formally introduced by member states (dependent upon the final Brexit agreement).

Ronan Kelly, President of the FTTHCouncil, said:

“We believe the Code creates a more investment-friendly environment as well as ensures the regulatory certainty needed to foster efficient and competitive investments in future-proof digital infrastructures, not only from traditional business models but also from new innovative infrastructure models, e.g. wholesale-only.”

Kelly also called on EU policy-makers to go further and take the necessary actions to “prevent misleading fibre advertisements“, which seems like a nod to Cityfibre’s UK campaign. The latter has been fighting for a Judicial Review of the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) current position (here), which allows slower hybrid fibre (FTTC etc.) ISPs to promote their services as “fibre optic,” despite big differences in speed and quality.

Erzsébet Fitori, Director General of the FTTHCouncil, said:

“We believe that fibre is the only future-proof foundation enabling fixed and wireless gigabit networks as well as all new innovative digital technologies and services, however the words “fibre” and “fibre speeds” are increasingly used in advertisement while the advertised product is not genuinely a full fibre connection but still uses copper at some points of the network.

This confusion is misleading for the consumers and prevents them from making an informed choice about the products available to them, and also risks hindering fibre take-up, which could in turn affect innovation and weaken the business case for investments.”

We understand that Cityfibre’s case against the ISP is likely to reach some form of conclusion by around the end of this year, although if they are successful then it will still be the ASA’s responsibility to choose how they review and change their policy.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. TheFacts

    Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

  2. Richard

    Ive spoken to so many people who are confused by fibre fttc and think they have been conned as their broadband is slow and it is because they have copper from the cabinet which is far away and they don’t understand. They are then telling their friends not to bother.

    This is long over due, and tarnished peoples understating of actual fibre broadband.

    • FibreFred

      And as a contrast. I don’t know anyone who thinks this.

    • Joe

      I see too many people moan about their BB provider but are:

      Using wifi, using wifi with the wrong channels or with devices with slow max speeds etc…

      Its like the old moans about adsl when a quick check at the master socket could easily double speed due to the owner dire home wiring!

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