ASA ruling – Hyperoptic response

Boris Ivanovic, Chairman of Hyperoptic:

ASA’s ruling that BT can advertise its Fibre-to-the-Cabinet product as ‘fibre optic’ is going to compound consumer confusion. Advertising its product as ‘fibre’ is deeply misleading, as BT’s true fibre product is only available through 0.7% of its network.

“There is a fundamental difference between Fibre-to-the-Cabinet and ‘fibre’ broadband – Fibre-to-the-Cabinet broadband is still delivered over copper, which is why the service is unreliable, distance-dependent and subject to peak-time slowdowns. With true Fibre-to-the-Home broadband, speeds are faster, symmetric and reliable. The products and consumer experiences are completely different.  ASA’s presumption that people looking for high-speed services are knowledgeable enough to know the difference is inaccurate – after all, BT’s advertising does not mention the speeds, it just focuses on the product being ‘superfast fibre optic broadband.’

“Allowing this confusion to continue is also anti-competitive and detrimental to the providers that are offering Fibre-to-the-Home broadband services. There are a number of providers, including Hyperoptic, who are now offering true fibre services – differentiating the product and educating consumers is nigh-impossible when the industry monopoly is allowed to confuse the market.”