Cablevision Systems asked a federal court Tuesday to force telco rival Verizon Communications to stop running false ads claiming the cable company's Internet speeds are much less than advertised.
Verizon has blanketed the New York metro area with ads in print, radio, TV, direct mail and on its own website, claiming that Cablevision delivers Internet speeds at about 50% of the advertised rate during peak hours. In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Cablevision claimed that Verizon was using data from a March 2011 study ("Measuring Broadband America"), released in August by the Federal Communications Commission.
News of the suit was first reported by Bloomberg News.
The FCC has stated publicly that Cablevision is delivering substantially faster speeds than the Verizon ads indicate.
According to Bloomberg, the suit states that the study was conducted before an upgrade of Cablevision plant boosted performance significantly. The Bethpage, N.Y.-based MSO said its average download speeds are more than 90% of advertised download speeds during peak hours and are above 100% of advertised speeds on a 24-hour basis.
"Despite being fully aware of these facts, Verizon has refused to stop running its ads," Cablevision said in a statement. "Despite extensive communication between Cablevision and Verizon, and Verizon's knowledge that the advertising is false, the phone company has continued its campaign on television, radio, print, in direct mail and on its website. The complaint contends that in doing so, Verizon is knowingly misleading consumers."
Cablevision is asking the court to force Verizon to pull the ads and for unspecified damages.
In its ads, FiOS claims to consistently deliver 114% of its advertised data speeds throughout the day.
Verizon denied Cablevision's claims, adding that its ads are based on a months-long study by the FCC.
"In terms of the accuracy of its advertising, Cablevision was the worst," said Verizon spokesman Bill Kula in a statement. "Verizon will defend Cablevision's lawsuit vigorously to ensure that consumers continue to receive truthful information about Cablevision's misleading Internet speed claims."