I was thinking about putting in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ages ago about this but didnt get around to it/couldnt be bothered!
Tonight I saw Ian’s post mentioning he was considering changing to Virgin Media beacuse of the advertised fast fibre optic connection and was reminded of my annoyance over the claims.
It turns out that BSkyB, Talk Talk and a few less idle members of the public did make a complaint. The below two stories cover the situation quite well with ThinkBroadband also carrying quite a few user comments on its page. Essentially Virgin Media as many have probably seen have been advertising fibre optic internet connections direct to the home, the fibre is actually only to one of the street boxes, its copper/steel/aluminium after that. A Virgin Media engineer I was speaking to recently, who works on the core fibre network around London said that it could be anything from 500 to a 1000 households sharing the connection!
Amazingly, the ASA quashed the claims, essentially deeming the copper portion of the network insignificant. By the same logic, as ThinkBroadband have pointed out, BT etc could now make the same claim as from the telephone exchange upwards, the ADSL network is fibre.
Wish the ASA had taken a stand with this and the ‘Unlimited’ claims (There’s a nice little piece about this on one of the BBC blogs), hardly surprising so many people are confused about Broadband.
Update (13/04/08): Of course in addition to the above truth twisting, a worrying blow for net neutrality comes with Virgin Media’s CEO Neil Berkett branding it “a load of bollocks”. Crude and worrying words, glad I’m not with them and supporting his point of view any more.
We got a letter from them in the mail today saying, ‘Sorry to hear your leaving, how about sleeping on it?’, this is accompanied by the type of mask you get on night flights. Be nice if they quit with all the marketing gimmiks and actually delivered on the fibre to the home claim!