Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

Summary:Verizon finds itself in the midst of a new legal battle over a questionable advertising campaign it launched against Cablevision.

While Verizon works on boosting its network spectrum (possibly to handle more 4G devices and/or for a reported streaming service coming soon), the telecommunications provider has some new pressing legal issues to deal with concerning Internet speeds.

Cablevision is suing Verizon Communications, claiming that the defendant has been running an advertising campaign that misrepresents Cablevision’s Internet speeds.

Specifically, the suit argues that Verizon's campaign cites a "just released" study, conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, reporting that Cablevision delivers 59 percent of its advertised speeds during peak hours at most.

However, at least the FCC seems to have backtracked and congratulated Cablevision on notable improvements since earlier this year -- especially the fact that Cablevision now delivers more than just over half of its advertised rates during peak hours.

Here's an excerpt from a blog post by the FCC's chief of consumer and governmental affairs, Joel Gurin, from this week:

In the months since we released our initial report, we have continued to gather direct measurements of broadband performance. We are pleased to note that the performance of one company—Cablevision—markedly improved from earlier this year. As we noted in our report, during March 2011, subscribers to Cablevision’s 15 Mbps service were receiving average download speeds during peak hours of only about 50% of the advertised speed. By comparison, average users across all companies other than Cablevision were receiving download speeds during peak hours of 89% of the advertised speeds. During October 2011, the most recent month for which data is available, subscribers to Cablevision’s 15 Mbps service were receiving average download speeds during peaks hours at over 90% of the advertised speed.

Either way, it looks like Cablevision isn't exactly delivering everything it has promised in advertisements, but 89 percent is surely a lot better than 59 percent when it comes to Internet speeds and connectivity, which is never going to be 100 percent reliable anyway.

Obviously, Cablevision wants the campaign ads pulled -- and likely some money in retribution -- but Verizon isn't budging yet.


Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Legal


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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