In a fairly easy to make ruling the ASA has not upheld a complaint about how Hyperoptic describes its service on its website.
The ASA noted that Hyperoptic described their service as “full fibre” and compared it to other fibre broadband services which consisted of fibre to the cabinet and then copper phone lines from the cabinet into consumers’ homes. We noted that the service was specifically targeted at multi-dwelling buildings such as offices and flats, and there were several references to the fact that the Hyperoptic’s service consisted of fibre from the exchange up to consumer’s buildings such as “fibre optic direct to multi-dwelling buildings”, “fibre cabling directly to your building” and “… all the way to your building”. We therefore considered that consumers were likely to understand that Hyperoptic provided a complete fibre internet connection from the telephone exchange up to multi-dwelling buildings, and would not expect the entire connection up to a consumer’s router to be fibre.
The investigation was started after someone complained that as part of the connection into each apartment was copper based the 'full fibre' claims were misleading.
The deployment method of using Cat5E is common for many FTTB deployments worldwide and is why some European countries feature so high on the FTTH charts (combined with a preference in large cities for apartment living rather than sprawling suburbs), i.e. installing Cat5E up and down service ducts for floors of large apartment blocks is less specialised than traditional fibre deployment methods.
For those who know a little about Ethernet cabling they will know that it does have a distance limit for carrying a Gigabit Ethernet signal, and Hyperoptic avoid this by keeping the cable runs short and where needed installing fibre from the basement to floors.
The ASA a good number of years ago allowed Virgin Media to use the 'fibre optic' label on its DOCSIS fibre/coax network and this lead to the label applying to other Fibre to the Cabinet services which upsets some purists. The ASA could have caused a big upheaval if it had upheld the complaint, and given rule changes in France where FTTB is now distinct from FTTH this was and still is a possibility.