Charges against Vodafone for FibreX broadband advertising
Issued 13 April 2018
Release no. 113
Commission lays charges against Vodafone for its FibreX broadband advertising
The Commerce Commission has laid 27 charges under the Fair Trading Act against Vodafone New Zealand Limited (Vodafone) for engaging in false and misleading conduct in relation to its FibreX broadband service.
The charges were filed in the Auckland District Court and relate to conduct in the three regions where FibreX is offered (Wellington, Christchurch and Kapiti), between 26 October 2016 and 28 March 2018.
The Commission alleges that by naming its broadband service “FibreX”, along with its advertising of FibreX on billboards, radio, in-store, online and in direct-marketing, Vodafone misled consumers into thinking that FibreX was a full fibre-optic broadband service (like those services delivered over the Government-subsidised Ultra-Fast Broadband network), when it is not.
The Commission also alleges that Vodafone’s website misled consumers about the options of broadband services (including full fibre-optic broadband) available at their addresses.
As this case is before the Court, the Commission cannot comment further at this time. This matter will be called in the Auckland District Court for the first time on 22 May 2018.
FibreX is a broadband service delivered over Vodafone’s hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network. The HFC network uses both fibre-optic and copper cabling to deliver broadband to consumers’ homes.
By comparison, full fibre-optic broadband services are delivered over the Government-subsidised Ultra-Fast Broadband network which only uses fibre-optic cabling to deliver broadband to consumers’ homes.