Vodafone NZ charged over broadband advertising

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 17 April, 2018

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New Zealand’s 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 relate to conduct in the three regions where FibreX is offered (Wellington, Christchurch and Kapiti), between 26 October 2016 and 28 March 2018.

FibreX is a broadband service delivered over Vodafone NZ’s hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network. The HFC network uses both fibre-optic and copper cabling.

The commission has alleged that by naming its broadband service “FibreX”, along with its advertising of FibreX on billboards, radio, in-store, online and in direct-marketing, Vodafone NZ “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”.

New Zealand’s government-subsidised Ultra-Fast Broadband network uses only fibre-optic cabling.

The commission also alleges that Vodafone NZ’s website “misled consumers about the options of broadband services (including full fibre-optic broadband) available at their addresses”.

The matter will head to the Auckland District Court on 22 May 2018.

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