Time Warner Cable slapped for 'fiber optic' claims

Wed Feb 9, 2011 2:12pm EST

* Ad panel says Time Warner Cable should drop fiber ads

* Time Warner Cable says disagrees with decision

* Verizon says ads caused customer confusion

NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A National Advertising Review Board panel has urged Time Warner Cable (TWC.N) to stop making claims in ads that the cable company's services are provided on a fiber or fiber optic network.

The NARB panel recommended that Time Warner Cable stop running the ads following a challenge by Verizon Communications (VZ.N) which markets its fiber optic service (FiOS) in competition with Time Warner Cable and other cable companies like Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N).

The ads were designed to show Time Warner Cable's Internet network was "dramatically faster" because of its "advanced fiber optic network".

Time Warner Cable uses a hybrid of fiber coaxial cable also known as known as 'fiber to the node'. Verizon's network is said to be entirely fiber and is called 'fiber to the home'.

The NARB panel said the No. 2 U.S. cable company "respectfully disagrees" with the group's decision.

The NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry self-regulatory forum.

Verizon, which has invested nearly $23 billion in building its FiOS network in some regions of the United States, said cable companies were misleading customers.

"It's unfortunate that some companies resort to making false, misleading statements about competitors. When that happens, it leaves consumers confused."

Verizon first launched FiOS in 2004 and at the end of 2010 it had 3.5 million video subscribers and 4.1 million Internet subscribers. (Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.