Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Is the UK doing enough to fight 'fake fibre'?

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 10 January 19

Over half of UK consumers remain unaware of the speed sapping impact of using copper telephone cabling to connect their fibre optic broadband packages, according to a new industry report

New research has revealed that the majority of UK consumers remain unaware that copper connections could be sabotaging the speed of their 'fibre optic' broadband packages.  58 per cent of consumers said that they were unaware that fibre broadband packages could still use copper telephone wires to connect the premises to the nearest cabinet…

New research has revealed that the majority of UK consumers remain unaware that copper connections could be sabotaging the speed of their 'fibre optic' broadband packages. 

58 per cent of consumers said that they were unaware that fibre broadband packages could still use copper telephone wires to connect the premises to the nearest cabinet. 

The new report, published by Broadband Genie, suggests that the UK authorities must do more to safe guard the use of the term 'fibre' in broadband advertising campaigns. 

“There is still a lot of confusion about advertising within the broadband industry, if consumers are being misled into thinking they should receive the full benefits of fibre on a copper connection, we need to minimise this immediately. It’s a technical product and some of the jargon can confuse the average consumer. It’s important the governing bodies develop a clear advertising strategy with consumers at the forefront of their mind,” said Alex Tofts, spokesperson for Broadband Genie. 

In 2017, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority ruled that use of the term 'fibre' was unlikely to mislead consumers. However, Broadband Genie's research found that 81 per cent of consumers believed that the term should be reserved exclusively for fibre to the home (FTTH) full fibre packages. 

"Educating consumers about what gigabit capable networks will deliver to them is important in helping to drive that take-up. Whether that revolves around the word ‘fibre’ in advertising is still the subject of much debate between industry players and the ASA. However, there is clearly more that needs to be done to make sure consumers understand what technology will deliver for them – and that needs to include more information than just price and speed, as well as emphasising that it will help to future proof their connection,” said Matthew Evans, chief executive at Broadband Stakeholder Group. 

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