2.5 Gigabit / s fiber, now ads will be clearer. Or maybe not

The problem broke out when Iliad advertised its 5 Gbps fiber offer and did not specify well, according to some competitors, that it was not possible to have 5 Gbps on a single device. Today many are offering 2.5 Gbps fiber but no one, in advertising, correctly explained what the limitations of this solution were. This is how the Antitrust intervened, asking for an adjustment.

The Authority had found that the information provided on the maximum browsing speeds for these offers was not true since there was a lack of clear indications and / or correct information on the conditions necessary to achieve them. In particular, it was not adequately specified that the maximum speed is to be understood as the sum of the speeds of several devices connected to the different ports of the router and / or connected via Wi-Fi, or, in the case of a Wi-Fi connection, reachable only through devices. enabled of the latest generation.”Reads the press release issued.

After the intervention, all the operators changed the graphics of the creatives and integrated the content of the information on the navigation speed that can be reached, specifying, on the offer presentation page, that the 2.5 Gigabit / s are “split between Wi-Fi and Ethernet ports“, the speed “it is not reachable with a single device” is that “adding the speed of the ethernet and / or Wi-Fi ports, the maximum speed of 2.5 Gigabit / s is reached”, Or that it can only be achieved by devices equipped with the most advanced Wi-Fi.

According to the Authority “the transparency obtained, with complete and clear information, can help consumers understand the characteristics and actual performance of fiber internet connection offers, with reference to one of the most relevant choice variables, which is the browsing speed”.

In our opinion, however, no, or rather, the authority has taken for granted that the offers of the operators must be advertised in the version with the bundled modem, and often it is the modem itself that is not adequate. The fact that the 2.5 Gbit / s are divided between the different ports, or that they are obtained only with Wi-fi 6, is a pure question linked to the modem that the operator offers to the user.

For example, operators who supply the FRITZ! Box 5530 modem with a 2.5 Gbps port can offer the user an actual speed of 2.5 Gbps on a single device. Operators are therefore well advised to advertise 2.5 Gbps connectivity as 2.5 Gbps, but they should explain that these are broken down simply because the free modem is not a suitable product. If it were, and the modems are there but they cost money, no explanation would be needed.

Agcm would have done well to push, where possible, operators to clarify that if a person really wants to take advantage of the 2.5 Gbps of the offer on a single device, he must subscribe to the offer in the version without integrated modem, choosing a better product. This offer is often hidden and operators are reluctant to highlight it.

The discussion here is complex, and deserves more than a discussion also on the subject of antitrust: today only vertically integrated operators they can offer a modem connected directly to the fiber and with outgoing LAN ports of 2.5 Gbps, or higher. In the other cases it is necessary to install a stud, and today the 2.5 Gbps studs are nowhere to be found: this is a bit of the reason why there are few, TIM and Vodafone for example, those who can offer 2.5 Gbps in some areas, the stud they need it.

Even if there were a 2.5 Gbps socket (which has a cost), the provider would be forced to give the user a router equipped not only with 2.5 Gbps outgoing ports, but also with a 2.5 Gbps Wan port to connect to the stud, a product that would be expensive and difficult to amortize.

In short, a way should be found to allow everyone to provide a modem integrated with the network without the need to go through the socket (ONT), which is not possible today. The question, it seems, has been on the tables of the authorities for some time.