TV consumer champion adds his support to campaign fighting fake fibre ads

TV consumer champion adds his support to campaign fighting fake fibre ads

25 September 2018

TV consumer champion calls for change now so consumers are no longer misled and can get the full picture well ahead of the “copper switch-off”*

Consumer champion Dominic Littlewood is supporting a campaign to get justice for the UK’s broadband customers.

Dubbed the “Coppersaurus” after the outdated technology on which the UK is relying, the campaign is urging the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to impose stricter advertising rules that would stop broadband advertisers promising “fibre” in their adverts where the connections still rely on Victorian-age copperwires.

Littlewood’s support for the advertising rule change comes as campaign-backer, CityFibre, today takes its plea to the doors of the ASA headquarters in London, to call for it to introduce fairer, more transparent rules for consumers.

Dominic Littlewood said: “Consumers in the UK have consistently been buying broadband services that aren’t really what the ads are telling us they are.

“We need change to help educate UK consumers about the differences between true fibre and copper-based broadband services, so that they are well prepared for the copper switch-off when it comes.

“It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the consumer to work out what is actually the real thing - nor should they be paying a premium for a technology that they are not currently getting.

The demonstration comes following CityFibre’s research – which was carried out by Censuswide on over 3,500 broadband users – revealing that almost a quarter (23%) of broadband users believe they have a full fibre to the premises (FTTP) service already – despite this only being available to less than 4% of homes.

Once customers understood the difference between copper-based and full fibre services, 65% thought the rules should be changed.

The call for clearer rulings comes following the Advertising Standards Authority’s refusal to revisit its 2017 claim that using the term "fibre broadband" in adverts for part-fibre services that still rely on copper wires to reach the home is not "materially misleading".

Greg Mesch, chief executive, CityFibre, said: “It’s great to have someone like Dominic supporting the campaign, as he champions consumer rights, takes companies and regulatory bodies to task where injustice is being done and sees that’s the case here.

Fundamentally, the ASA still has its head in the sand on broadband advertising. It is ignoring the bigger pictureon the future of the UK’s full fibre connectivity whileconsumers lose trust and unknowingly overpay for second-rate services. This must change and quickly.

To join the fightback against misleading broadband ads, click here.

*National Infrastructure Commission report: