Verizon, Cablevision settle Internet speed ad lawsuit out of court

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), two of New York's fiercest broadband providers, have settled their lawsuit out of court over ads the telco ran that did not accurately state the cable company's broadband Internet speeds.

On Dec. 6 Cablevision filed a suit arguing that Verizon's ads about its speeds were based on outdated information collected by the FCC.

William Kula, a Verizon spokesman, said that their ad campaign ended on Dec. 17 with plans to have new ads soon.

"Cablevision and Verizon have reached an agreement to resolve the dispute without further need for litigation," Kula and James Maiella, a Cablevision spokesman, said in separate phone interviews today.

Neither service provider would reveal the terms of the settlement.

The fight between the cable MSO and the telco began after Verizon ran ads that claimed Cablevision was delivering broadband speeds during heavy usage hours that were slower than what it advertises in its customer promotions. In its initial ads, Verizon cited data that the FCC released in August, which revealed that Cablevision was delivering only 90 percent of the 15 Mbps it advertises for its Optimum Online service between 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Later, Cablevision sued Verizon when it did not remove the ads following an updated statement by the FCC that said Cablevision improved the speeds of its cable modem service.

Debates over broadband Internet speeds, however, aren't limited to the U.S. as similar issues have arose in the U.K. Ofcom, the country's telecom regulator, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), have asked ISPs to be more honest about what consumers actually get.

For more:
- Bloomberg has this article
- here's FierceCable's take

Special Report: Speed test: FCC ranks the nation's wireline Internet providers

Related articles:
Domestic, global regulators question ISPs' actual broadband speeds
Cablevision accuses Verizon of false advertising in lawsuit
FCC: Cablevision cable modem subscribers getting 90% of advertised speeds
Ofcom wants ISPs to be honest about broadband speeds