All anyone wants from their technology is speed. This is especially true when it comes to at-home internet, leading some to try to figure out which provider has the fastest download speeds. If that’s your goal, better avoid following what advertisements say. Comcast, provider of Xfinity Internet, has been ordered to stop telling consumers that it has the fastest in-home Wi-Fi by the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the advertising industry’s self-regulation body. The big issue is that Comcast only used crowdsourced internet speeds using free speedtesting, and then only compared the top 10% of speeds with the top 10% of competitors. NARB believes that this isn’t definitive proof that Comcast’s Wi-Fi speeds are faster, saying that the collected speedtest data is “primarily dictated by speed of the [consumer’s] Internet connection and dependent in large part on the Internet speed tier purchased by the consumer.”
This wouldn’t, however, be a compelling story without a little drama. This investigation is the result of a retaliatory complaint to the National Advertising Division by direct competitor Verizon. Comcast complained about Verizon’s ads last year (which also claimed to have the fastest speeds) and Verizon is striking back. Although, Verizon’s proof of dominance was arguably more ridiculous than Comcast’s; NARB stated that the data presented “was not based on a comparison of objective Internet speed performance and/or a head-to-head comparison of different Internet service providers.” So how did they claim the top spot? By asking their customers. Verizon tallied the results of a simple online survey which ranked Verizon as #1 in customer satisfaction, then performed an odd sort of logical leap to say that Verizon Fios internet was the fastest. “In this context,” NARB says, “reasonable consumers may very well take away a message that Verizon’s #1 rating is based on a comparison of objective Internet speed performance and/or a head-to-head comparison of different Internet service providers.”
This feud isn’t just between Comcast and Verizon. Comcast filed a complaint about AT&T’s ads a few years back for surprisingly valid reasons. The obvious takeaway is, don’t believe any advertisement you see, and do your own research. But when iFixYouri says that we have 48-hour repair service turnaround from anywhere in the US and beyond, you can believe it. No fine print necessary.