Despite protests from Comcast, advertising watchdog BBB National Programs has upheld its previous recommendation that Comcast discontinue use of the name “Xfinity 10G Network.”
In October, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs said Comcast’s use of the 10G moniker wasn’t substantiated because only one of the provider’s service plans was capable of delivering 10 Gbps speeds, and that plan requires installation of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.
NAD reviewed Comcast’s usage of the term 10G in response to a complaint filed by Verizon.
The cable industry uses the broad term 10G to encompass a range of upgrades to their hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) network upgrades that eventually will support speeds of 10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream. However, Comcast is unlikely to support those speeds in the near term except where it has installed FTTP.
Comcast vowed to appeal NAD’s October decision. That appeal went to BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Review Board (NARB), which has now upheld NAD’s original findings.
NARB said Comcast should discontinue use of the term 10G, both when used in the name of the Xfinity 10G service and when used to describe the Xfinity network.
NARB left the door a bit open, however.
According to a BBB National Programs press release, “The use of 10G in a manner that is not false or midleading and is consistent with the panel decision is not precluded in the panel recommendations.”
Although cable industry 10G is not a wireless technology, both NAD and NARB argued that consumers were likely to believe it was wireless because the term 5G has been widely used for wireless service. Accordingly, NARB said Comcast should not use the term 10G without demonstrating that the service is faster than 5G service.
Comcast is a bit of a canary in the coalmine for cable companies as they upgrade their HFC networks, as 10G is a widely used term within the cable industry and is the name that Cablelabs uses for a wide range of HFC network upgrades.