BT has failed in its bid to stop Virgin Media from claiming to be the faster broadband provider this morning as the battle of the telcos rages on.
The world’s oldest telecommunications firm put in a complaint to the advertising watchdog about Virgin Media claiming to be the “UK’s fastest major broadband provider” in a TV ad and on its website.
BT were concerned because its full fibre 900Mbps service was available in some locations where Virgin Media’s Gig1 Fibre service was not, making BT the fastest major broadband provider not Virgin Media.
However, Virgin came out victorious, with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stating that “the evidence substantiated that the average download speed of Virgin Media’s Gig1 Fibre service was faster than other major broadband providers”.
In its judgement, the watchdog said: “The ASA considered consumers would understand the claim “We are the UK’s fastest major broadband provider” in both ads to mean that Virgin Media had the fastest broadband service available in the UK, compared with other broadband providers they would readily identify as one of the leading names in the industry.”
Commenting on the judgement, a Virgin Media spokesperson told City A.M.: “As the only ISP where gigabit broadband actually means gigabit speeds, it’s great to have confirmation, should it be needed, that we are the country’s fastest major broadband provider.”
Virgin Media’s fastest service offers true gigabit speeds with an average download speed of 1,136Mbps, reaching over 15.6m homes. Virgin is in ongoing discussions about supercharging this roll out following its merger with O2 last year.
Broadband firms have been in the spotlight in recent months as the cost of living crunch hits households across the UK. Back in February, the media regulator Ofcom called on firms to better support low income households, suggesting the use of “social tariffs”.
BT have been contacted for comment on the ASA’s decision.