Hey, guys, guess what, big newsflash coming right up: Sometimes Comcast doesn’t tell the truth. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) just ruled that the telecom behemoth can’t prove that it offers “America’s fastest internet” or the “fastest in-home wi-fi.” Because, well, these are not true statements.
The NARB just rejected Comcast’s appeal that it did indeed offer “America’s fastest internet” and the “fastest in-home wi-fi.” The new ruling from the advertising industry’s watchdog comes after Verizon argued last year that Comcast was full of shit and also spread misinformation about Verizon services. Comcast has now agreed to comply with the NARB ruling and will presumably stop making bogus claims.
Despite how much you might hate your Comcast service, however, the details of the telecom giants’ backing and forthing are actually a little bit tricky. Basically, Comcast pointed to crowdsourced Ookla’s Speedtest.net data, but the NARB says that these results are misleading, if not altogether incorrect.
“Ookla found that the top 10 percent of XFINITY consumers had download speeds of at least 104.56 Mbps, and the top 10 percent of Verizon FiOS consumers had download speeds of at least 83.39 Mbps,” the NARB said in a statement. “Based on these findings, Ookla determined that XFINITY was ‘America’s Fastest Internet.’”
The NARB chalks up the discrepancy between Comcast’s claims and its own findings to the crowdsourcing of the speed test data. Comcast, the agency said, pulled its numbers from customers who subscribed to higher broadband speeds which skewed the results in aggregate.
None of these revelations should imply that Verizon FiOS is a great service. It’s actually so hard to get FiOS, you could assume that Verizon just keeps the high speeds around to make its marketing efforts more fun. Then again, nothing’s very fun about America’s shitty internet, and it’s probably going to get worse under the Trump administration. So enjoy this small splash of schadenfreude while you can. Dark days are just around the corner.