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ASA Bans Ads for UK ISP 6G Internet Over 6G Mobile Confusion

Wednesday, Aug 16th, 2023 (12:01 am) - Score 2,800
6g air fibre

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned several adverts for UK fixed wireless broadband ISP 6G Internet (IX Wireless) after they were found to have caused confusing by “misleadingly implying that a sixth-generation mobile network existed and was able to be used by consumers.” Awkward.

The provider, which has previously spoken of an aspiration to cover 250,000 UK premises with their new fibre-fed fixed wireless home broadband network – rising to 4 million by 2025 (here), has so far been conducting most of their rollouts in several towns and cities (Blackburn, Blackpool, Preston etc.) across the Greater Manchester and Lancashire areas of England.

In the past we’ve often remarked on how the name of the ISP – despite being established in 2013 – would inevitably come into some conflict with future 6G mobile technology, which is still in the early stages of development and isn’t expected to start replacing commercial 5G networks until around 2028 or later. But adopting 6G into their brand is certainly one way to make a technology seem more advanced and to get extra publicity.

However, the ASA, acting in response to a general complaint that challenged whether the company name ‘6G Internet’ misleadingly implied that a sixth-generation mobile network existed and was able to be used by consumers, has now ruled that the ISP had indeed been “misleading“. On top of that, they also picked up on the provider’s questionable use of “full fibre” wording in their adverts (e.g. “6Ginternet: Full fibre speed broadband only £9.99 per month“).

In its defence 6G Internet pointed out that 6G does not yet exist and their “6G” service related to home internet, and not to the different generations of mobile technology (note: mobile signals can also be used for home broadband). The ISP added that they were also not aware of receiving complaints from consumers, Ofcom, DCMS or the ASA about confusion between the 6G Internet brand name and the services that they provided.

ASA Ruling on 6G Internet Ltd

The company’s name was 6G Internet and they offered home broadband to consumers. The name of the company appeared prominently in both ads (a) and ad (b).The ASA understood that the most advanced mobile technology was 5G and that 6G, or sixth-generation, mobile technology was still in development. However, we considered that consumers would be aware that the technology was named after each iteration, or ‘generation’ of the technology and therefore would make a connection to mobile technology when they saw the company name.

Ad (b) also stated, “Delivering Better Broadband”, “How is 6G Internet different?”, “A new network built in 2021”, “Latest router technology”, “our innovative network uses fibre optic cables and wireless technology to deliver broadband fibre speeds at an affordable price” and “We wanted to offer them faster internet speeds at lower prices but we couldn’t do it with the old-fashioned copper wiring and out-of-date technology that most internet providers use.” We therefore considered that consumers would understand that6G Internet was more advanced and operated in a different way to other broadband providers that only used fibre optic or copper cables.

Ad (b) also stated, “6G Internet wirelessly sends full fibre directly to your home, bypassing the slower and heavily congested copper cables, giving you a more reliable, faster speed internet connection through our gigabit ready network” and underneath featured an image of a mast transmitting a radio signal. Underneath, the ad compared how 6G Internet operated differently to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology. We therefore considered that this image, coupled with the 6G Internet name reinforced the impression that it used, in part, mobile technology to deliver broadband to consumers.

We noted both ads (a) and (b) made references to “full fibre speed broadband only” and “full fibre speeds” and that ad (b) also stated, “Check availability and broadband offers in your area”. However, we considered that there were hybrid broadband routers on the market that had a broadband connection that was backed up with a 4G or 5G connection and that therefore mobile technology and home broadband could not be entirely separated. We also considered that consumers would have a limited understanding of broadband technology, and how it worked, and would likely understand that they would get a broadband connection using an innovative 6G mobile internet technology.

However, we understood that the technology used was in fact fibre optic cables with a transmitter using fixed wireless technology, rather than an advanced sixth generation mobile technology. Because consumers would interpret the name to mean that it used the next generation 6G internet technology, when that was not the case, we concluded that the name ‘6G Internet’ was likely to mislead in the context of its presentation in the ads.

The ASA banned the adverts and told 6G Internet Ltd not to imply that a sixth-generation mobile network existed and was able to be used by consumers, which as you can imagine could be quite problematic for an ISP that literally has “6G” as part of its brand name.

A quick look at 6G Internet’s website today shows that they’ve now tweaked their brand logo to read “6Gi Fixed Wireless Broadband” instead of “6G internet” and include a clear description on their front page to state: “Our fixed wireless network does not use any existing 4G, 5G or 6G technology and does not use any cellular technology to deliver our broadband services.” Well, it only took a decade to add that, but better MASSIVELY late than never.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
22 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

    Their entire branding is misleading. “Full Fibre speed” is debatable when their max speed is 100mbps.

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      And yet BT’s “fibre broadband” services are perfectly fine not misleading at all.

    1. Avatar photo Iain says:

      Quite, the ASA is often derisory. But in this case, they are right.

    2. Avatar photo GNewton says:

      Here is an idea: 6G Internet could call its service a “fibre broadband2, after all, it’s part fibre, then wireless. No different from calling VDSL “fibre broadband”, being part fibre, too. The ASA, in its lack of competence, wouldn’t mind, would they?

    3. Avatar photo Iain says:

      lol, GNewton. Or: 7G FttA (fibre to the air).

  2. Avatar photo anon says:

    But calling twisted copper pair or coaxial “fibre” is not confusing at all. ASA doesn’t mind that one.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      No, but ofcom are getting jumpy about it. I believe that may be why FTTC is being rebranded as SOGEA rather than SOFTTC like G.Fast is being rebranded SOGFAST. It’s also makes it harder to sell FTTP if people think they’ve already got fibre.

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      SOGEA/SOGFAST/SOTAP really has nothing to do with any of this, so let’s not muddy the waters.

  3. Avatar photo Connor says:

    Speaking of misleading advertising I notice a good chunk of their website talks about WiFi 6 rather than their own network and positions the technology as being the latest available when that isn’t the case anymore.

  4. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    This kind of thing has of has been going on for years. I remember one of my old employers was with a isp/telco called 4G Communications 12 years ago before 4G was widespread. On the Isle Of Wight they had Wiber (Wireless Fibre) and when I tested it (again 10 years ago) it was no faster than my home adsl at the time. It says a lot that this was dealt with by the ASA and not OFCOM and it’s feather light touch regulation.

  5. Avatar photo Alastair says:

    As a Blackpool resident I really dislike this company. Endless leaflet drops, the awful name, and the use of laws designed to make mobile network building easier to stick huge metal poles up all over town and string fibre cables from hastily installed wooden telegraph poles. I dread to think who’s going to remove them when they run out of money.

    You can tell when someone takes their service because the nearest wooden pole to the customer gets a black plastic transmitter fitted about 2/3rds up to provide the fixed wireless service. One in fifty would be a charitable estimate.

  6. Avatar photo Ryan Strickland says:

    I hate this company with a passion and even called them to complain about their use of the term “6G” a while ago. I may not be a customer, but I made my feelings known. They tried to justify it calling it “Air Fibre” to which I said it was just a made-up term. There’s no such thing as “Air Fibre” as it’s just wireless as soon as it goes over the air bands. The company behind it all is “Time Computers”. I used to work for them around 30 years ago and they had a hugely bad reputation then.

  7. Avatar photo Val says:

    Like 5G, what we have is nowhere the real thing but company can still say 10 times faster than 4G..

  8. Avatar photo Anon says:

    I was involved in the installation of some of these poles in the NW, it’s just standard 802.11 AX routers at the top of the poles, powered via POE to some Cisco switches in the cabinets, these however did have 10Gig backhaul to BT usually delivered via Fibre from neighbouring BT poles.

  9. Avatar photo bob says:

    To say they have never had complaints is a lie as I complained twice over last 4 years as its companies trying to be sneaky taking advantage of a lot of general public not knowing any different that makes my job harder when I have to tell them that’s not what you have when they think thier equipment is faulty and getting slow speeds.

  10. Avatar photo John says:

    I’m sure this company has been in trouble before for advertising. I can’t remember what it’s old name 3Gi or 4Gi and they got told to off by ASA about there market but what do you expect when the company is owned by Time computers

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Maybe now would be a good time to change their company name to 7G instead.

  11. Avatar photo Patrick Holdaway says:

    Ix Wireless/6G Internet have moved on now installing their incredibly Ugly 12 Metre (49 Feet) masts in towns around Oldham and Rochdale along with the string of telephone type wooden poles that comes with them .They intend to try and install one on our street. We have taken measures to block access of the long truck they bring the masts on.

    When you read about how they have paid many Tory MP’s money, it may make you think about how much corruption goes on in this country in plain sight.

    Where ever Ix Wireless\6G internet want to install their masts they wouldn’t take a vote from the nearest householders if they want the mast or not because they know that the vast majority of them would say NOOOOOOO. it’s ugly presence will blight our neighbourhood and devalue our homes.
    The technical standard of what they are offering is also derisory, a bastardised use of the Wi-Fi bands. Which will interfere with homes existing Wi-Fi quality.

  12. Avatar photo Patrick says:

    With the liberalisation of throwing up stuff without the consent of the people most seriously affected known as “permitted development” I would suggest that for each type of installation they should first have to install one of them at the front gates of Buckingham Palace. I’m sure the King would be happy with an IX Wireless/6G Internet 12 metre (49 feet) tall mast in front of his home and also one on Downing street London. If the king and the Prime Minister don’t object to having these outside their front door, why should the rest of us. Come to think of it, is there any MP, especially those who took IX Wireless/6G Internet’s shilling, willing to come forward and ask for Ix Wireless/ 6G Internet to install a 12 metre (49 feet) tall mast outside their home.

  13. Avatar photo Charles Windsor says:

    Is their any added security risks of using IX Wireless\6G Internet’s method (Wi-fi) for connecting multiple homes to the Internet? It seems to me not much different than leaving your Wi-Fi router access open with no password so that lots of people you may not know can connect to the same network as your devices are on. Hopefully there is some Superior Firewalling built into IX Wireless\6G Internet routers but seeing how they willing to employ low ball tactics….
    Note: I like to use both the two names IX Wireless\6G internet in conjunction to highlight the two company names have an extremely close relationship.

  14. Avatar photo Rishi Sunak says:

    If they put an IX Wireless\6G Internet 12 metre (49 feet) high mast on my street, Do they really use the standard Wi-Fi channels to provide Internet connection from their masts?
    Do they use the 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz frequencies or both?
    Do they use one channel or multiple channels simultaneously?
    Is it likely to interfere with my existing home wi-fi?
    Why cant they site their 12 metre (49 feet) high masts on ships and use medium wave to broadcast the Internet from the north sea?

Comments are closed

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