Cablevision Systems today said it would file a lawsuit against Verizon seeking an end to misleading advertising claims about Wi-Fi service.
“Verizon’s claim that it has faster Wi-Fi than Cablevision is false, deceptive and designed to mislead consumers. Verizon has no public Wi-Fi network. Verizon’s in-home routers are not faster than Optimum Smart Routers and cost Verizon customers hundreds of dollars while Optimum’s are free.”
“It is not a coincidence that Verizon is making false Wi-Fi claims just as Cablevision is introducing its all-Wi-Fi Freewheel phone, which will allow consumers to avoid Verizon’s data caps and excessive data overage fees,” said Cablevision, which is filing lawsuit in federal court for the Eastern District of New York.
On 26 January, Cablevision, a cable provider, said its upcoming Wi-Fi phone service priced at $29.95 per month or $9.95 per month for Cablevision’s Optimum Online users– will be up to 80 percent less expensive than leading cellular offerings.
Freewheel, the first all-Wi-Fi service to be introduced by a cable provider, will be offered with the Motorola Moto G smartphone and works exclusively over Wi-Fi. The service will work anywhere in the world where Wi-Fi is accessible. Freewheel users will have automatic access to the Optimum Wi-Fi network of 1.1 million hotspots.
James L. Dolan, chief executive officer of Cablevision, said: “Cablevision has made investment in building its Wi-Fi network, which the company began deploying in 2007 just as smartphones were being introduced.”
Cablevision is taking this legal action so that consumers will no longer be misled and can make informed decisions based on the facts.
While Verizon does not have a public Wi-Fi hotspot network, Cablevision’s Optimum Wi-Fi network is the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with 1.1 million tri-state area access points.
Verizon charges $199.99 for its routers, which are limited to in-home use. Cablevision provides its in-home Smart Routers free to customers and it offers both a private Wi-Fi network and a publicly accessible Wi-Fi hotspot. Instead of competing with Cablevision’s premiere level of Wi-Fi service, Verizon has resorted to a false and illegal advertising campaign to mislead consumers.
In 2014, the National Advertising Division (NAD), which is charged with monitoring and evaluating truth and accuracy in national advertising, recommended that Verizon FiOS discontinue advertising claims for its Internet and television products that suggested improved service by switching to FiOS.
The NAD last year also called on Verizon Wireless to discontinue a television commercial regarding strength of its wireless coverage. In both of these instances, Verizon had to make changes to its advertising claims.