Joint statement in response to ASA ruling re: use of ‘fibre’ in advertising –
Gigaclear, Hyperoptic and CityFibre

Despite being outwardly portrayed as ‘good news’ for consumers with its upfront focus on transparency of broadband speeds, today’s announcement from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deflects attention from a hugely damaging decision that fundamentally undermines the battle to secure Britain’s digital future.

By concluding that it is not materially misleading to describe broadband services that use copper wires from street cabinets into consumers’ homes as “fibre broadband”, the ASA has failed in its duty to protect what is undeniably in the consumers’ best interest – the transparency around the services they are being sold by technology providers.

In the last year, central and local government, the regulator, businesses and consumer groups have cemented their support for full fibre, recognising its critical importance to the UK economy in a digital age. This vision is unlocking billions of pounds in competitive infrastructure investment and it is imperative that everything is done to encourage its uptake by consumers with a move towards recognising full fibre as the substantially different product that it is.

Only yesterday, the Chancellor Phillip Hammond confirmed that, “Full-fibre is the gold standard for fast and reliable broadband”. Therefore, by allowing copper-reliant products to continue to masquerade as full-fibre, despite their clear and recognised inferiority in terms of speed and quality, consumers will continue to be ill-equipped to make an informed choice, fuelling mounting distrust in the telecoms market place.

As the ASA has failed to take the appropriate course of action, we intend to fight this decision and will work with the relevant industry, regulatory and government bodies until we have a satisfactory outcome.

ENDS

 Notes to Editors:

Supportive Quotes:

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer

  • “Full-fibre is the gold standard for fast and reliable broadband”.

Matt Hancock Minister for Digital at DCMS:

  • “We will strain every sinew to get [full fibre] rolled out in Britain.”
  • “Adverts should be clear. If its fibre, it should say fibre. If it’s not, it should not”
  • “We are determined to be on the front foot with the technology of tomorrow too. That means full fibre. We cannot stress enough that full fibre is the future. For we are in the very early days. UK full fibre coverage is just 3%. This will not stand. We will strain every sinew to get it rolled out in Britain”

Sharon White, CEO Ofcom:

  • The best driver for investment and innovation is network based competition.

Mike McTighe, Openreach Chairman:

  • “Let me be very, very clear, Openreach wants to build a full fibre network.”
  • “We need to be able to switch off the copper network. The economics don’t make any sense if we keep the copper network running at the same time as we overbuild with a fibre network.”

Digital Communications Review:

  • “A major strategic shift will encourage the roll-out of new ‘fibre to the premise’ networks to homes and businesses, as an alternative to BT’s planned innovation in copper-based technologies.”
  • “Empowering consumers to make informed choices: We will give consumers real power to exercise choice through much more accessible and engaging information on the services available to them. We will continue to make switching easier for more services so customers really can exercise choice”

 

About Gigaclear:

Gigaclear is the leading provider of ultrafast, full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband to rural Britain, enabling broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps). Building networks through the government-subsidised Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) rural broadband programme as well as via commercial investment, Gigaclear’s network currently covers over 50,000 homes and businesses in the south of the UK, offering a future proofed, high quality broadband solution.

For further information about qualifying communities go to www.gigaclear.com/can-i-get-it

About Hyperoptic:

Hyperoptic is the UK’s largest residential gigabit broadband provider. The company offers the fastest broadband in the UK and is proudly setting a new fibre ‘gold standard’ with unmatched speed, reliability and customer service. Its hyperfast, symmetrical gigabit services are over 27x faster than the average speed a UK consumer receives today.

Hyperoptic works with property owners, developers and professionals, designing and installing dedicated fibre infrastructure to new buildings and existing developments. Its services are currently available to consumers and businesses across 28 cities and towns across the UK. It aims to have its hyperfast service available to over two million homes by 2022 and five million homes by 2025.

Founded in 2011, the company has been recognised as the ‘Best Superfast Broadband’ provider by the Internet Service Providers’ Association for the last five years in a row and was crowned the “Most Innovative Provider” in the 2017 Broadband Genie home broadband survey.

For more information please visit: www.hyperoptic.com.

About CityFibre:

CityFibre is the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale full fibre network infrastructure. It has major metro duct and fibre footprints in 42 cities across the UK, a national long distance network, and provides a portfolio of active and dark fibre services. The company has an extensive customer base spanning service integrators, enterprise and consumer service providers and mobile operators. CityFibre is based in London, United Kingdom, and its shares trade on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: CITY). Further information on the company can be found at www.cityfibre.com

 

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