October 20, 2023
CityFibre has launched a new wholesale fibre broadband product that will help its retail customers stick to UK advertising rules.
The fibre network builder this week unveiled True Gig, a 1.2 Gbps wholesale service designed to provide extra speed headroom to retail ISPs keen to sell Gigabit broadband services to their customers.
It’s a simple solution – well, once you’ve built the network that can support it – to a fairly simple problem. UK advertising rules mean ISPs may not push 1 Gbps services unless half of their customers can actually receive that speed, on average, at peak times. And rightly so. UK consumers – and doubtless we’re not alone in the world – for years have had to grapple with advertising promises from telecoms operators, fixed and mobile, that can best be described as iffy and at worst as out and out lies.
As such, it’s difficult to feel sympathy for operators that want to publicise their services as ‘gigabit’ but can’t. But CityFibre is not asking for sympathy. In fact, it has been a vocal proponent of correct advertising in the UK for years; let’s not forget how strongly it fought against misuse of the term ‘fibre’ towards the end of the last decade. Instead, CityFibre is stepping in to help telcos advertise gigabit broadband services that they can actual offer, presumably with an eye on picking up more ISPs on its network. Win-win.
Essentially, a typical 1 Gbps wholesale service cannot realistically be marketed as such by retail ISPs; they usually end up publicising a 900 Mbps offering in order to stay within the rules, CityFibre explains. But by increasing the speed of the wholesale product to 1.2 Gbps, they have the bandwidth overhead to advertise a 1 Gbps service, provided their own backhaul arrangements and CPE also support it.
The wholesaler also notes that it is offering the 1.2 Gbps service at the same price as its existing 1 Gbps service.
The new product will give [ISP customers] the confidence to advertise their services as Gigabit Speed and will encourage even more people to join the full fibre revolution,” said Dan Ramsay, Chief Marketing Officer at CityFibre.
Ultimately, that’s what all this is about. The more end users CityFibre’s customers have to support, the stronger the wholesale business.
For that reason, CityFibre is pushing hard on the fibre upgrade message. Earlier this week it launched a new ad campaign encouraging consumers to upgrade their broadband connections. Interestingly, its TV advert – featuring a family struggling to cope with giant snail shells on their backs (pictured), serving as a metaphor for slow broadband – urges consumers to switch to the CityFibre network, which is something end users can’t really do for themselves; they would need to know which ISPs use the CityFibre network.
It’s clearly working though, this being the second such campaign from CityFibre, following its ‘Does your broadband suck?’ adverts from earlier this year.
Naturally, both ad campaigns and the new 1.2 Gbps wholesale offer were conceived to benefit CityFibre’s own business. But if the knock-on effect is that UK consumers get a clearer picture of what level of service they are likely to receive from any given broadband provider, then that can only be a good thing.
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