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Product: Telecommunications (Broadband)
Advertiser: Magnet Networks
Medium: Online - Company Website
Advertising on the Magnet website for their Fatpipe Fibre 24 product stated:
“Get 24Mb Speeds with Unlimited Download that’s Free from any Contract! Fibre broadband the way it should be. Only €36.99.
24Mb Fatpipe Fibre – Free from Contract – Unlimited Download Usage.
We believe in thinking differently and challenging the outdated products currently available in Ireland. That’s why we have created Fatpipe Fibre 24 to suit your on-the-go lifestyle. It delivers up to 24Mb of high-speed quality broadband backed by world class customer support and peace of mind. Knowing how fast life changes nowadays we have made all our products No Contract! Giving you the freedom to take control of your broadband. *€36.99 only available to new customers.”
The complainant considered that the advertising was misleading as it used the term ‘fibre’ in its description. He stated that it was difficult for him to find what technology was used and as the product was referred to as ‘fibre’ he presumed that it was fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) using VDSL2 which is a better product than ADSL2+ because the optical fibre is less than 500m from home resulting in stability, speed and low latency. He stated that ADSL2+ fibre is to the exchange only and the exchange could be several kilometres from the home. He considered therefore, that the use of ‘fibre’ in the product name and description was misleading.
Magnet Networks stated that their Fatpipe Fibre 24 product uses fibre to the exchange technology and ADSL2+ from the exchange to the customer’s premises. They stated that their advertising did not make any claim that Fatpipe 24 was a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) service. They stated that their Fatpipe Fibre 70 service was a FTTC technology, using VDSL2 from the cabinet to the customer’s premises and therefore was a more expensive product. They also stated that they provided a direct fibre to the home connection (FTTH) which was available to customers living in a particular area. They considered, therefore, that they were a point to point fibre to the home network.
They stated that most fixed line broadband service providers had fibre powered core networks and dependent on the consumer location, there was some element of copper used in the last mile to the premises. They also stated that the term ‘fibre’ was used industry wide to indicate broadband technology regardless of whether the product/service used end to end fibre to deliver broadband to the customer.
They referred to two of their competitors who also use the term ‘fibre’ in the advertising of their products where they did not deliver fibre to the customer’s premises.
The Complaints Committee requested that the Secretariat forward the advertising to ComReg in order to obtain their opinion on the use of the word Fibre in the description of the product.
ComReg1 stated that they considered that the approach taken by the Complaints Committee was appropriate.
1ComReg are the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector (telecommunications, radiocommunications and broadcasting transmission) and the postal sector.
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertising did not make any claim that the product was a FTTC service and that the complainant had made a presumption regarding the service offered. The Committee noted the advertisers comment that the term ‘fibre’ was used industry wide to describe broadband that used fibre powered core networks and they did not consider that it was misleading to use the word ‘fibre’ as a product descriptor. In the circumstances the Committee did not uphold the complaint.
No further action required