Vancouver-based national telecom carrier Telus filed a lawsuit against Shaw Communications alleging the advertisements for its ‘Fibre+’ home internet service are misleading and cause “significant customer confusion.”
Shaw launched its residential Fibre+ Gig internet product in late May in western Canada. Telus’ suit, however, takes issue with Shaw’s marketing, which allegedly attempts to promote Fibre+ as a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) offering. According to Business in Vancouver (BIV), Telus says Shaw’s Fibre+ is a rebrand of its previous Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) service.
Further, Telus says that FTTH is a superior product compared to the “lower-performance coaxial cable” that connects Shaw customers to its DOCSIS service. While it’s worth noting that DOCSIS infrastructure uses nodes that can be connected to the internet using fibre optic cable, Telus says that is a “last mile” connection and not representative of a true fibre optic service.
Telus’ suit says that FTTH customers get faster speeds and fewer outages compared to DOCSIS customers. Because of this, Telus states that Shaw’s advertising claims are “false and materially misleading.” The suit also claims that there’s no difference between Shaw’s recently-launched Fibre+ 300 service and the previously offered Internet 300 service other than the misleading Fibre+ branding.
Additionally, Telus alleges that the ‘+’ in Fibre+ is misleading since it implies the offerings are superior to Telus’ fibre optic services.
According to BIV, Telus claims it’s suffering irreparable harm and damage to its reputation as a result of Shaw’s ad campaign. It’s asking for an injunction to stop the campaign.
Further, Telus wants Shaw to publicly declare that it “knowingly or recklessly made false or misleading representations to the public.” Telus is also seeking damages for lost profits as well as costs associated with the suit.
However, it’s important to note that these allegations have not been proven in court.
Shaw’s vice president of external affairs, Chethan Lakshman, told BIV that the company received the civil claim from Telus and it will “vigorously defend” itself.
“We are proud of our Fibre+ network — previously known since 2016 as FibrePlus — and stand behind its branding and strength. We call it Fibre+ because it is truly that: fibre plus more,” Lakshman told BIV.