Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

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.

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TOPICS: Verizon, Browser, Legal
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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.

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Topics: Verizon, Browser, Legal

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8 comments
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  • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

    So now you can sue someone for telling the truth? Not only should Cablevision lose, but should also have to pay Verizon's legal fees.
    Rick_Kl
  • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

    You know, Cablevision is a pip. Their commercials of "It's Optimum Online or it's not" is a direct insult to Verizon, Comcast and other internet providers.

    On top of all that, Cablevision always runs adds saying "2x or 3x or 4x faster then the Telephone companies internet service" without being sued by Verizon.

    Grow up Cablevision, it's just reality that Cable TV internet providers are getting all their internet bandwidth from Level 3, Genuinity and Quest, all 3 of which are owned by Verizon and AT&T.
    ajapierce
  • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

    It's still less than advertised, and my laptop ACHES every time I go over a friend's house that uses Optimum. Cablevision advertises that they're the only ones with Long Island local news, except Verizon has FiOS1, which is even more customized.

    And Optimum Wifi is a giant piece of crap anyway.
    albrecht_letao
  • I think you misread the blog post...

    when you wrote "Either way, it looks like Cablevision isn???t exactly delivering everything it has promised in advertisements, but 89 percent is surely a lot better..."

    The post you quoted states that [b]other[/b] companies averaged 89%, and Cablevision now averages 90%.

    @Rick_Kl Yes, you can be sued for not telling the truth in an ad; but not, unfortunately, in a political ad. Lies are allowed there. Truth in advertising falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission. In this case, Verizon used a study that had been superseded by one that showed very different results.
    msalzberg
    • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

      @msalzberg the big problem with Cable internet is:
      The actual speed is greatly affected by too many other things. Pay Per View, even Cable box updates can affect the internet speed. Unless you have all new cable, you might never get close to the advertised speed. a drop that was put in 10 years ago can wreak havoc on the typical cable modem. Not having a DOCSIS 3.0 modem will limit the maximum speed.
      Rick_Kl
      • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

        @Rick_Kl

        Some of what you say is true, but mostly is BS. We used the best cable there was, because Dad would pick some up at the lab... AT COMMSCOPE. I work for switch and router manufacturers. You don't need DOCSIS 3.0 for 20Mbps, but I had one anyway. With Comcast in Indiana, before the FCC launched their little experiment to track ISP claims, I still averaged 2Mbps on a 20Mbps plan. Before Comcast purchased Insight, Insight delivered us ~6Mbps on an 8Mbps plan with the same wires and equipment. They lied, and they got caught. It's fair to submit evidence that someone lies whenever they think they won't get caught.
        tkejlboom
    • RE: Cablevision slaps Verizon with lawsuit over Internet speed claims

      @msalzberg

      I think Verizon is absolutely justified in showing that Cablevision for years had a policy of delivering less than 60% of what they promised. We don't just up and let people out of prison because they haven't murdered anyone lately.
      tkejlboom
  • WTF?

    Why am I testing the ability of switches to maintain 100% line rate for extended periods of time at 10Gbps per port across 96 ports if a network's rate "is never going to be 100 percent reliable anyway."
    tkejlboom