To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision that Internet Service Providers can advertise using the term fibre even when their network relies on copper and aluminium wiring.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK's independent regulator of advertising. It recently reviewed the use of the term ‘fibre’ to describe part-fibre and full-fibre broadband and concluded in November 2017 that the term 'fibre' is unlikely to mislead consumers as currently used in the advertising of part-fibre broadband services. Permission for judicial review of this ASA's decision has been granted by the Administrative Court. In June, the Administrative Court granted CityFibre permission to proceed with its Judicial Review of the ASA's decision.
On 23 May 2018, the ASA also implemented new guidance on broadband speeds advertising, stating speed claims should now be based on the download speeds available to at least 50% of customers at peak time, and no longer on 'up to' speeds available to at least 10% of customers. This is good news for consumers, who need clear, concise and accurate information in order to make an informed choice on their broadband, which is now a modern necessity. Ofcom has also updated its Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds recently.