back to article BT jabbed by ad watchdog AGAIN over fibre deployment fibs

BT has been caught fibbing to Manchester residents, after the telecoms giant wrongly claimed that its fibre optic Infinity product was already available throughout the city. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled today that BT had misled customers with a poster ad that shouted: "MANCHESTER BUSINESSES. IT'S ARRIVED". A …


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  1. Ragarath

    That's great but more effort needed

    Great, they have been suitably put on the naughty step for this. Now can the Ad watchdog get on to ALL (not just BT) Ads and get them to do away with small/fine print and make them say it loud and clear.

    If they have to use small print they are being fraudulent in their claims (I have yet to see an Ad that this does not apply to) or at the very least telling fibs.

  2. Steve MMM

    Not sure what is worse, the complaint or the judgement. Surely the ASA is there to protect people that have been damaged by misleading ads. I am sure the complainee did not move her business to Manchester based on the content of the ad, and it is clear she has plenty of time on her hands so that the few minutes lost would not have causes any loss.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Surely the ASA is there to protect people that have been damaged by misleading ads."


      The ASA exists as a trade self-policing body designed to prevent govt intervention.

      Appearances are FAR more important than actual results.

  3. HMB


    (Wait for it)

    I remember I tried to get regular FTTC Infinity once, after the engineer who was already hooked up across the street came round to install the line, I was told that it wasn't in my area (after a month or two of back and forth). Then BT tried to bill me for a cancelled contract to the tune of £576 or something. Ended up getting Virgin in the end, took them a week to get it working without trouble.

    ....dary .... Legendary.

    Bless you BT, bless you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They advertise "fibre-optic broadband" yet it is usually delivered to the premises on copper, they same with Virgin Media. Using their reasoning they could advertise the good old telephone as being fibre-optic since the whole backbone distribution is on fibre anyway. There are a few places where broadband is actually delivered on fibre (very few) and one of those is in Bournemouth where a FTTH network was laid in 2010.

    These providers should be the only ones to be allowed to use the advertising line "fibre-optic broadband" since that is exactly what they are doing.

    If a delivery service offered "door-to-door" but you had to go down to the nearest post office to collect your parcel would that be acceptable?

    1. Bunbury

      Mix of transmission media

      Since most people do not have photonic devices, and network operators need electronics to process signals at the end of their notworks, even FTTP providers have some metallic path. If you called it a copper based service that would perhaps be less correct than "fibre optic" as the majority of the route is optical fibre.

      Of course that's also true for "copper broadband" - the bit to the exchange may well be copper, but from the exchange on it'll be fibre. So in that sense perhaps we should call all broadband 'fibre optic'.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Mix of transmission media

        "Since most people do not have photonic devices"

        Most people don't have VDSL2 boxes either.

        In any case BT insist on installing their own Network Termination Unit (NTU). One could argue that if they call it "Fibre Optic Broadband", it should be delievred as such. (Virgin pull the same stunt and that's delieverd on Coax+copper pair)

        Mine's the one with 200 metres of OM4 in the pocket.

  5. Chris Church

    I wonder how far this kind of advertising ruling can go? Just because I continuously get Virgin leaflets/letters in my mailbox saying I can get virgin fiber, phone and TV when I can't. My area was never cabled so I can't get any of their services...except the ones they can send down my BT line (so I figure stay with BT instead of adding another layer of nonsense to any problems). Thing is the fine print probably still says something like "where available" but if BT is being slammed for a poster campaign in a city then surely Virgin should get a good kicking for directly telling me I can get their fiber services!

  6. Crisp

    It's getting to the point where you're better off assuming everything BT say is a lie

    BT simply cannot be trusted to give a straight answer

  7. DJV Silver badge


    ...sorry we lied today. We won't do it again (until tomorrow).


    1. Chris Church

      Re: Basically...

      It's not a lie though. To some Manchester businesses they have arrived. Some people are just not in areas that have been cabled up yet. Would you prefer that a company doesn't advertise something as being available until 100% of people can get the product or service? You'd never get anything if that's the case. This ad was to let people know that the product was available after what must have been deemed as a fair proportion of premises were connected. The specific location of the ad in relation to the areas the product was available in is important here. If it was right in the middle of the area that can't get the product (or on this buisnesswomans premises) then that's either bad planning or a mistake in terms of the advertising. If it was in the middle of an area that CAN get it...that's fine surely!

      1. Just_this_guy

        Re: Basically...

        "BT Broadband has arrived in much of Manchester!"

        Less punchy? Yes. But on the other hand, MORE TRUE. What's so hard about that?

      2. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Basically...

        Yabut - they claimed it was available across all of Manchester, when in fact it was only 50%.

        Now, if it was 95%, I might have let that pass. But not 50%. No way. That's a blatant lie. False advertising. End of.

      3. DJV Silver badge

        @ Chris Church

        Yes, it's a lie. 50% truth ISN'T the truth! Jeez!

  8. BigAndos

    Now please prevent them (and others) from using "unlimited" where services are subject to (somtimes hidden) fair usage limits, and have some kind of minimum acceptable percentage of an "up to" speed you should expect. Let's get some transparency in the market please!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies, Damn Lies

    And BT press releases.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This calls for a new BT offshoot

    It should be called "BT-to-ASA Weekly Liaison Ltd." And they should charge ASA for processing ASA demands to stop broadcasting lies (aka "misleading advertisements).


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again.

    Add that to their other little peccadilloes:


    * Oh, no, fewer people are complaining than ever before

    And again in BT's high standards of integrity shine through; from

    * BT's "six-month free broadband"

    Along with the following from

    * No, we've never intercepted web traffic

    * No, we've never had anything to do with DPI

    * No, we'd never do something like impose behavioural advertising trial on our customers without asking them first.

    * No, it MUST be your PC

    * No, we're not scamming prices.

    And one can probably add "I won't come in your mouth"

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Smart wireless gives the UK's best ever wifi signal"

    Really? So why is my bt home hub 3 is so bad at running a wifi network of 10 devices, something my 2 year older apple time capsule effortlessly manages? And judging by the forums, I'm not alone with this, and the bt home hub 4 is just as bad.

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