Frontier and Charter spar over speed, and availability claims in ad disputes

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Fiber-focused Frontier Communications and cable giant Charter Communications each took some hits and scored some points in a series of clashes over marketing claims related to their respective broadband products. Frontier scored a key win as the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended Charter qualify some of its speed claims to note they’re not symmetrical, while Charter prevailed in challenges related to Frontier’s claims around availability and reliability. The NAD ruled on three separate disputes involving the aforementioned operators. In a decision issued on March 15, 2023, the NAD mostly sided with Frontier in a challenge that took aim at claims Charter made around superiority, performance, and consumer eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The NAD upheld Charter’s claims related to the ACP, but recommended it modify or discontinue five comparative claims for which it found insufficient proof. These included statements like “Other internet providers just can’t compete with Spectrum” and “Spectrum internet is the top-performing Internet provider, delivering more speed, more consistently.” In the same ruling, the NAD notably recommended Charter qualify speed claims to note whether it is referring to upload or download speeds. Explaining its reasoning for the decision, the NAD noted “the record demonstrates that upload speeds are important to consumers when choosing a [broadband] provider and that both download and upload speed are material considerations for consumers.”

Frontier, Charter spar over speed, availability claims in ad disputes