Ofcom UK tells companies to stop using the term “full fiber”

UK communication authority Ofcom has ruled that internet service providers stop using the term “Full Fiber” on their websites to promote their packages. The new guidelines dictate that service providers must refrain from using the term in their services if it’s not a Fiber-to-the-Home broadband that uses fiber optic cables to bring internet to the customers’ residences.

The guidelines are issued due to the confusion the term creates. Many service providers use phrases such as part-fiber, and hybrid-fiber as fiber broadband services which presumably means customers won’t think of needing an upgrade to a fiber-based technology.

It’s important because a true fiber internet offers plenty of advantages. Fiber internet is capable of epic fast broadband internet, is consistent and reliable, and is less prone to damage from natural adversaries. Fiber cables can offer gigabit internet service and even more. A Japanese Institute has achieved a 22.9 petabits speed record. Fiber cable network also requires less maintenance. Compared to this, a hybrid-fiber service takes fiber optics to a street and then uses copper or aluminum cables running to the customers’ homes. This means the connectivity suffers a good deal between the switch in the cables and the distance. These cables also require more maintenance and the network can be prone to speed fluctuation among other shortcomings.

Ofcom found out that 25% of wired broadband users were not properly familiar with the terms service providers were using while CityFiber found that 54% of fiber broadband constitutes different technologies.  

You may also be interested in this: India develops the world’s thinnest fiber cable at 160-micron

Ofcom  UK rules New Guidelines on the use of full fiber Term

Here’s the list of new guidelines Ofcom has ruled on ISPs under General Conditions C1 and C2. In summary:

➤ providers should give a short description of the underlying technology of each broadband product offered at the point of sale on the website, in Contract Information, and in the Contract Summary, using one or two terms that are clear and unambiguous, such as ‘cable’, ‘full-fiber, ‘copper’ or ‘part-fiber’;

➤ the use of the word ‘fiber’ on its own for describing the underlying technology is ambiguous, and therefore should not be used to describe the underlying technology; and,

➤ Providers should give a more detailed explanation of the underlying technology (for example through a link) so that consumers can understand what it means for them. It should also be given in a form that is accessible and easily understood.

“We have concluded that this is the most proportionate approach to ensure appropriate information is provided to consumers and reduce customer confusion, while limiting the costs of implementation,” the communication regulator said.

Broadband ISPs are given 9 months to implement these changes which translates to September 2024.

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