NTL is fuming following a ruling by the advertising watchdog that the unqualified use of "broadband" to describe its 128k service was "likely to mislead" punters. The ruling against NTL, published today, was made even though the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) acknowledged that cableco's 128k service met industry definitions laid down by regulator Oftel.
The ASA's decision highlights the muddle caused by the lack of an agreed workable definition for broadband and underlines the confusion faced by consumers. Today's ruling follows a complaint from rival ISP Freeserve and a member of the public, both of whom objected to an advert for NTL's cable service headlined "High Speed Broadband Internet only Â£14.99 a month".
Both challenged NTL's use of the word "broadband" arguing that they thought broadband services were those with speeds of 500kbps and above, as opposed to NTL's 128kbps service. In its defence NTL wheeled out definitions used by telecoms regulator, Oftel, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which said that broadband was "higher bandwidth always-on services, offering data rates of 128 kbps and above".
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News source: The Reg