The UK Advertising Standards Authority ASA) ruled back in 2014 that a FTTH provider should not promote absolute speed claims and insisted that they used the ‘up to’ formulation in marketing material. This judgement seemed based on widespread experience of non-fibre broadband services that use copper for all or part of the access route. At the same time, however, the ASA has continued to allow providers of ‘phone-line broadband’ to advertise their services as Fibre Broadband.
Whilst it is true that any provider must manage variable traffic loads, the chances of FTTH (Full Fibre) providers delivering far less than promised is, relative to other technologies, vanishingly small. Since that ASA judgement in 2014 and with the examples of FTTH/P services provided by several operators, there is now surely sufficient evidence to review these judgements. Given the renewed emphasis on investment in future-proofed digital infrastructure, consumers should expect greater honesty. Clear advice on the performance quality and reliability of broadband services might also usefully include energy metrics to allow consumers to choose a ‘green’ option as they might, for example, when choosing other utility services.