Verizon says it will continue to mock Cablevision Internet speeds

While Verizon (NYSE: VZ) says it has tweaked TV spots that mock the speeds of Optimum Online--statements that Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) claimed were misleading--the telco is also ratcheting up a marketing campaign that targets one of its biggest rivals in the New York area.

"Verizon can and will continue to otherwise set the record straight about Cablevision's services and false advertising claims, and make claims such as 'Cablevision does not deliver on their advertised download speeds during peak hours,'" Verizon attorneys wrote in a court filing Tuesday in response to Cablevision's request for a temporary restraining order.

The dispute began after Verizon began running ads that cite a report the FCC released in August which found that Cablevision, which advertises speeds of at least 15 Mbps to its cable modem customers, was only delivering 59 percent of those speeds during peak hours of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. An FCC official said recently that it found that Cablevision was now delivering 90 percent of its advertised speeds in October, and Cablevision had complained that Verizon's ad campaign was false since it cited data from August.

Verizon told the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Tuesday that it will no longer state in its advertising that "to get anything close to speeds Cablevision promises you would have to use your iO Internet at 4:30 a.m." It also told the court that it will no longer state that Cablevision is currently delivering just 59 percent of its advertised speeds.

"The bottom line is Verizon is again changing their ads because they were false and misleading, just like they had to last month when they weren't telling the truth about picture quality," said Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella. 

Verizon's ad campaign exposes one of the weaknesses of cable modem services offered by Cablevision and many other cable MSOs, which connect subscribers to shared network nodes. During peak hours, when more cable subscribers are using the Internet, download speeds are often reduced. Verizon relies on a fiber-to-the-premises architecture for its FiOS Internet service, which helps it maintain speed levels during peak hours.


Related articles:
Cablevision accuses Verizon of false advertising in lawsuit
FCC: Cablevision cable modem subscribers getting 90% of advertised speeds