Vodafone NZ ‘disappointed’ by regulator legal challenge

13 Apr 2018

Vodafone New Zealand says it will defend itself against 27 charges of misleading advertising filed by the country’s Commerce Commission. The charges centre on Vodafone’s use of the name ‘FibreX’ as the brand for its HFC services, which employ fibre to the street cabinet then coaxial cable links for the last mile connection to the customer premises. The regulator claims the FibreX branding is misleading consumers into thinking they are signing up for a full fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service, as offered under the government-backed Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative.

Vodafone, which offers HFC cable connections in Christchurch, Wellington and Kapiti, says it is ‘disappointed by the approach taken by the Commerce Commission’ and says it will ‘welcome the opportunity to defend the naming and marketing of FibreX’. In a statement, the company said: ‘We have been clear in our communications to consumers throughout. In 2017, the Advertising Standards Authority looked into our advertising of FibreX and ruled it was not misleading. They noted that consumers are more interested in the speed than the technology behind their internet service, and that FibreX performs to a comparable standard to other fibre access technologies.’