Vodafone New Zealand has stopped marketing its cable broadband networks in Wellington and Christchurch under the ‘FibreX’ brand following a long-running legal dispute with the Commerce Commission, the country’s competition watchdog, reports Stuff.co.nz. The Commission brought 27 charges against Vodafone under the Fair Trading Act last year relating to the marketing of its services and broadband options, alleging that the ‘FibreX’ name misled customers into thinking it was a fully fibre-optic broadband service, equivalent to the government-backed ultrafast broadband network. Vodafone accepted nine of the charges but continues to contest the others, including its right to use the FibreX brand. Vodafone has now begun informing customers that it has changed the name of the cable networks to ‘UltraFast HFC’. ‘We wanted to avoid questions about the name creating questions about the product itself,’ said Vodafone NZ spokesperson Kathy Gieck. However, the Commerce Commission has confirmed the matter is still before the courts, with the next pre-trial meeting between judges and lawyers scheduled for 15 August 2019.
Vodafone NZ’s HFC networks offer download speeds of up to 900Mbps and upload speeds of up to 95Mbps, which the company claims makes them a ‘good enough’ alternative to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) for many customers.