NAD Finds Comcast can Support ‘Fiber Optic Network’ Claims for Business-Class Customers

New York, New York – July 28, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Comcast Corporation can support advertising targeted to Comcast business “enterprise services” customers, claiming that these services are delivered over a fiber optic network.

As part of its routine monitoring program, NAD – the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum – reviewed claims made on the Comcast company Website.  The following claims served as the basis for the NAD inquiry:

  • “Our Fiber Optic Network”
  • “An enhanced Fiber Optic network, with more than 145,000 miles of fiber, that provides high speed, high quality and high definition services to a number of large companies.”

As an initial matter, the advertiser emphasized that there are currently no Comcast advertisements targeted to residential consumers that describe the Comcast network as a “fiber optic network.”

Comcast noted that the advertising at issue is directed to potential business class customers who are interested in “enterprise services” – the connection of telephone and computer networks located in different geographic locations so that they can operate and communicate with each other. The target audience is comprised of information technology managers and business executives.

NAD has previously considered the claim “fiber optic network” as it appeared in advertising directed to residential consumers. NAD held that at least one reasonable interpretation of the term “fiber optic network” is that the advertised network consists solely of fiber optics and is the functional and/or technical equivalent of a telecommunications network where fiber extends to the home.

In cases where fiber did not extend to the home, NAD recommended that the advertisers discontinue their use of the phrase “fiber optic network” to describe their hybrid networks.

In this case, NAD noted, the “fiber optic network” offered by Comcast to business customers is a network of fiber optic cable that runs directly to the customer’s premises. Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD concluded that the advertiser’s description of its business enterprise network as a “fiber optic network” is both truthful and accurate.

Comcast, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company is “extremely pleased,” with NAD’s decision. “As a strong supporter of the self- regulatory process, Comcast thanks NAD for its careful consideration of this matter.”