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You might be seeing a little less of Craig Doyle on your TVs from now on. Photocall Ireland

UPC ordered to drop 'fastest broadband' claim from adverts

The advertising standards watchdog upholds a complaint from Magnet, which says its own broadband speeds are faster.

UPC HAS BEEN told to stop any advertising which includes the claim that its broadband services are the fastest on offer in Ireland.

The order comes after one TV ad, featuring RTÉ host Craig Doyle, were rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland after a complaint from a rival broadband operator who said its own services were quicker.

Magnet Networks said the UPC claim of “Ireland’s fastest broadband” was mislead and couldn’t be substantiated.

In their formal complaint to the ASAI they said UPC’s internet offerings were based on a technology with a ‘contention ratio’ of 8-to-1 – meaning it was possible that eight people could be sharing a domestic connection at any one time.

This meant that a customer subscribing to UPC’s 100Mb service, its fastest offering, might only experience download speeds of 12.5Mb.

YouTube credit: h2filmsDublin

Magnet themselves said they offered a 50Mb service which was not contended, meaning customers would not have to share their connection with others.

UPC had responded by saying that their service – which could be accessed by 535,000 homes – was being advertised to the mass market, to which the existing market of around 3,800 cable internet customers did not apply.

It also said its 25Mb broadband exceeded the entry level products offered by other subscribers, and that it actively monitored the takeup of its broadband to ensure it had sufficient capacity to cater to current and prospective customers.

The ASAI upheld Magnet’s complaint, saying that while UPC’s offerings were the fastest services to the majority of Irish homes, it was inappropriate to make an absolute claim when other providers – albeit ones who were not accessible to the mass market – had faster services.

Magnet CEO Mark Kellett said the ruling helped to provide a “more transparent picture to the general consumer” who could easily be confused by the offerings available on the market.

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