This South African ISP CEO stuck it to the man

When the ASA ruled against his 400Mbps fibre-to-the-home marketing, Cybersmart CEO Laurie Fialkov did what no one expected.

By - January 19, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
Laurie Fialkov headline

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) recently ruled that Cybersmart’s advertising for its 400Mbps Lightspeed fibre-to-the-home service was misleading.

Cybersmart’s FTTH service offers 200Mbps download and 200Mbps upload speeds, which the company added together to arrive at the 400Mbps figure.

An ASA complaint followed, with the complainant arguing that a company should use its download speed to promote its broadband products.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (ISPA) said Cybersmart’s approach was outside industry norms. ISPA proposed using “200Mbps upload/200Mbps download” instead.

The ASA ruled against Cybersmart, and ordered the company to withdraw its 400Mbps claim with immediate effect.

Cybersmart fights back in the best way possible

Cybersmart argued that the combined download and upload speed is what a person paid for, and that a 200Mbps/10Mbps service is very different from a 200Mbps/200Mbps product.

But instead of changing his advertising to suit the ASA’s guidelines, Cybersmart CEO Laurie Fialkov did what no one expected: he built a product to suit his advertising.

Cybersmart’s new 400Mbps Lightspeed FTTH service allows subscribers to change their download and upload speed configuration on demand.

Users can, for example, select a 200Mbps download/200Mbps upload configuration now, and an hour later move to a 400Mbps download/10Mbps upload setting.

The new service not only gives consumers an excellent broadband product with great flexibility, but it also satisfies the requirements of ISPA and the ASA.

Well played Laurie, well played.

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