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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Comcast reluctantly agrees to cease its deceptive “10G Community” claims

A Comcast router/modem gateway.


Comcast has reluctantly agreed to discontinue its “Xfinity 10G Community” model title after dropping an enchantment of a ruling that discovered the advertising and marketing time period was deceptive. It would hold utilizing the time period 10G in different methods, nevertheless.

Verizon and T-Cellular each challenged Comcast’s promoting of 10G, a time period utilized by cable corporations because it was unveiled in January 2019 by business foyer group NCTA-The Web & Tv Affiliation. We wrote in 2019 that the cable business’s 10G advertising and marketing was prone to confuse shoppers and appeared to be a manner of countering 5G hype generated by wi-fi corporations.

10G does not check with the tenth era of a know-how. It’s a reference to potential 10Gbps broadband connections, which might be a lot sooner than the precise speeds on commonplace cable networks immediately.

The challenges lodged towards Comcast advertising and marketing had been filed with the promoting business’s self-regulatory system run by BBB Nationwide Packages. BBB’s Nationwide Promoting Division (NAD) dominated towards Comcast in October 2023, however Comcast appealed to the Nationwide Promoting Overview Board (NARB).

The NARB introduced its ruling immediately, agreeing with the NAD that “Comcast ought to discontinue use of the time period 10G, each when used within the title of the service itself (‘Xfinity 10G Community’) in addition to when used to explain the Xfinity community. The usage of 10G in a fashion that isn’t false or deceptive and is in keeping with the panel choice just isn’t precluded by the panel suggestions.”

“Comcast will discontinue model title”

Comcast agreed to make the change in an advertiser’s assertion that it offered to the NARB. “Though Comcast strongly disagrees with NARB’s evaluation and strategy, Comcast will discontinue use of the model title ‘Xfinity 10G Community’ and won’t use the time period ’10G’ in a fashion that misleadingly describes the Xfinity community itself,” Comcast stated.

Comcast stated it disagrees with “the advice to discontinue the model title” as a result of the corporate “makes obtainable 10Gbps of Web velocity to 98 % of its subscribers upon request.” However these 10Gbps speeds aren’t obtainable in Comcast’s typical service plans and require a fiber-to-the-home connection as a substitute of an ordinary cable set up.

The Comcast “Gigabit Professional” fiber connection that gives 10Gbps speeds prices $299.95 a month plus a $19.95 modem lease price. It additionally requires a $500 set up cost and a $500 activation cost.

Comcast stated it could nonetheless use 10G in methods which might be much less prone to confuse shoppers. “In line with the panel’s advice… Comcast reserves the fitting to make use of the time period ’10G’ or ‘Xfinity 10G’ in a fashion that doesn’t misleadingly describe the Xfinity community itself,” the corporate stated.

When contacted by Ars, a Comcast spokesperson stated, “We disagree with the choice however are happy that we’ve got confirmed our continued use of 10G in promoting.”

Comcast claims “not supported”

The NARB stated the “latest availability of 10G speeds by [the Gigabit Pro] service tier doesn’t help the superior velocity declare (or a 10Gbps declare) for the Xfinity community as an entire.” Because the NARB famous, there’s an “absence” of knowledge exhibiting what number of Comcast clients truly use that service.

The NARB additionally stated that 10G is deceptive due to the implied comparability to 5G wi-fi networks. “The NARB panel concluded that 10G expressly communicates at a minimal that customers of the Xfinity community will expertise considerably sooner speeds than can be found on 5G networks,” the announcement of the ruling stated. “This specific declare just isn’t supported as a result of the file doesn’t comprise any knowledge evaluating speeds skilled by Xfinity community customers with speeds skilled by subscribers to 5G networks.”

Because the NAD has beforehand said, 10G is extra of an “aspirational” time period quite than one thing that is provided over immediately’s cable networks. Over the previous 5 years, the NCTA has been utilizing the time period 10G to explain nearly any enchancment to cable networks, whatever the precise speeds.

The NCTA coincidentally issued a press launch yesterday hailing the fifth anniversary of its first 10G announcement. “5 years on, the longer term is even nearer… Right here in 2024, the promise of 10G is turning into increasingly of a actuality,” the NCTA stated.

The announcement listed some examples of multi-gigabit (however not 10-gigabit) cable speeds, a few of which had been solely achieved in lab testing or demos. NCTA claimed that “10G can change lives” and that the “10G platform will facilitate the following nice technological developments within the coming a long time, making certain quick, dependable, and secure networks proceed to energy the American economic system.”

For all of you cable broadband customers, simply keep in mind to disregard “10G” in cable-company advertising and marketing and examine the precise speeds you are paying for.

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