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Product: Telecommunications - Broadband
Medium: Brochure, Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.27
The advertisers’ website stated:
“150Mb Speeds. Seriously Quick Broadband.”
We’re the network that consistently delivers on speed and performance.”
“High speed broadband…
It’s Here Now!”
“It’s Here! With our 5G fixed broadband network we are extending fast, reliable, up to 150Mb HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND to thousands of homes and businesses across rural Ireland.”
“For only €59.99 per month you get up to 150Mb* HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND that lets you do what you want, when you want…”
Leaflet footnote included the following statements:
“Service subject to availability.”
“Broadband speeds are ‘up to’ and depend on external factors, your devices & WiFi capability. Fair usage and further terms apply, see imagine.ie”
The complainant said that following viewing advertising in their local area, including a leaflet dropped into their home, they signed up to the broadband package. The complainant noted that the advertising had stated “up to 150Mb”, however, after signing up they found their speed to be extremely slow (on average 3Mb at peak times). Following correspondence with the advertisers, they were advised that it was not possible to provide them with satisfactory broadband speeds and that the issue affected all customers who were on the highsite Cignal Tirhogar Kilmullen connection. In view of this the complainant objected to the advertising of speeds “up to 150Mb” when the advertiser was not in a position to deliver the speeds.
The advertisers stated that it appeared that the complaint was a service matter and that they would be happy to investigate it on receipt of further details from the complainant. They said that broadband throughput speed could be dependent on many factors including a customer’s own internal set up and that without further details of the complainant, it was difficult for them to assess what the underlying issue was.
The advertisers said that, as outlined in their sales leaflet and in their terms and conditions, the service was subject to availability and broadband speeds were “up to” and depended on external factors, a customer’s devices, and their WiFi capability.
The Executive requested the advertisers’ comments on the issue raised by the complainant regarding the highsite at Cignal Tirhogar. The Executive also referred the advertisers to the ASAI Guidance Note (Part 1) Mobile Phone which included a section on speed claims and asked them to show that customers in the area identified were getting speeds that complied with the guidance note.
Further Response from Advertiser:
The advertisers stated that bulk of their networks were wireless networks and as such were shared access networks. However, unlike traditional fixed line networks, they said that wireless networks were similar to mobile networks being not only subject to customers shared usage patterns but also signal strength and environmental conditions that can continually change. They said that they optimised their networks using best industry practice to maximise the customer’s experience by deploying an Acceptable Usage Policy and ongoing pro-active network optimisation that included adding targeted capacity uplifts to maintain quality of the customer experience (Customer Service Site Optimisations, RF Channels Optimisations and Optimised RF configs).
The advertisers said that their Network Team had reviewed the Cignal Tirhogar Kilmullen site and the site was operating within their normal operating parameters and within all network performance thresholds. They said that the site was performing well and had a network availability of over 99.96% for both 2020 and 2021 including any planned activities which happen, where possible, off peak and were accompanied by a customer communications plan. They said that Cignal Tirhogar Kilmullen, as with the rest of their network was configured to deliver advertised “up to” 150Mbps speeds and the technology was capable of performing well beyond these advertised speeds.
The advertisers said that as per 3GPP industry standards for TD-LTE Advanced, the throughput available to customers from the Base Stations (LTE eNodeB) was greater than 150Mbps. They said that their Base Station sites employ MIMO antenna capabilities along with multiple carriers and TD-LTE carrier aggregation features such that at least 2 TD-LTE carriers are available to their customers.
The advertisers provided details on the DL peak rates that were achievable for the different site configurations, including Cignal Tirhogar Kilmullen, deployed in their network which they said showed that they were well above the “up to” 150Mbps speeds advertised.
The advertisers said that they only deployed professional installed outdoor customer premises equipment at a customer’s premises. They said that they currently deployed professionally installed CAT 6 and CAT 12 CPE devices that were capable of supporting up to 300Mbps and 600Mbps speeds respectively, if available from the network which was per the 3GPP standards for CAT 12 devices. They provided details of the 3GPP LTE CPE Categories results for both CAT 6 and CAT 12 which showed the speed that they were capable of supporting as 300Mbps and 600Mbps, which they said were capabilities that were well above the “up to” 150Mbps speed they advertised.
The advertisers also provided evidence of speed test results from the area which they considered showed that the technology could deliver the advertised speed and that their network was provisioned to deliver the advertised speed.
Finally, in regard to the information provided to the complainant, the advertisers reviewed their database for the period of Q1 2021 relating to the Cignal Tirhogar Kilmullan site and advised that during that period they had no issues or planned works on the site. They also confirmed that there were less than 200 customers on that site during that period.
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPP - Third Generation Partnership Project
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted that evidence had been provided to show that the technology concerned could deliver the advertised speed and that the network was provisioned to do so at the site in question. In the circumstances, the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in breach of the Code on the basis suggested in the complaint.
ACTION REQUIRED :
No further action required.