dslreports logo

story category
Cablevision Sues Verizon Over FiOS Ads
After FCC Data Shows They Deliver 90% of Advertised Speeds
by Karl Bode 12:30PM Wednesday Dec 07 2011
Cablevision took a massive public relations beating four months ago after an FCC study showed that the company failed to provide the speeds they advertised 50% of the time. Since then we'd noted that Cablevision had been quietly bumping delivered speeds, and yesterday the FCC confirmed that Cablevision had made serious strides over the last four months -- now delivering advertised speeds 90% of the time during peak hours. It didn't take long for Cablevision to seize on the announcement, and the company has filed a new lawsuit against Verizon for false advertising.

Click for full size
In a statement to the press, Cablevision says that despite the FCC's announcement only popping up yesterday, both Cablevision and Verizon had been aware of Cablevision's improvements for some time -- and after private conversation Verizon has refused to stop running ads that use the older FCC data. From the statement:
The FCC recently reported that Cablevision is delivering substantially faster Internet speeds than Verizon’s ads claim they are. In fact, Cablevision’s average download speeds are in excess of 90 percent of advertised broadband speeds during peak hours of use, and are above 100 percent of advertised speeds on a 24-hour basis. Despite being fully aware of these facts, Verizon has refused to stop running its ads. Despite extensive communication between Cablevision and Verizon, and Verizon’s knowledge that the advertising is false, the phone company has continued its campaign on television, radio, print, in direct mail and on its website. The complaint contends that in doing so, Verizon is knowingly misleading consumers.
Verizon sent Broadband Reports their own statement saying they plan to "vigorously" fight the lawsuit:
Verizon's ads are based on the FCC's months-long study of Internet speeds, released just last August that found Cablevision provided customers on average just a bit more than half of the Internet speed it advertised during peak hours of Internet usage. In terms of the accuracy of its advertising, Cablevision was the worst. Verizon will defend Cablevision's lawsuit vigorously to ensure that consumers continue to receive truthful information about Cablevision's misleading Internet speed claims.
As is usually the case, by the time this dispute is settled Verizon will have moved on to a new suite of ads anyway. We're interested in why the FCC only released data on Cablevision. Other carriers, like Frontier Communications scored poorly (delivering 67% of advertised speeds during peak hours) but the FCC didn't feel it necessary to deliver updates on their progress. We'll assume the FCC wanted to show how they were able to institute change simply by using data, though it would be nice to see if ISP's like Frontier (in the less competitive markets FCC policy hasn't done much about) cared quite as much about their poor showing.

76 comments .. click to read