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Comcast agrees to kill 10G branding after advertising watchdogs said it was misleading

The National Advertising Review Board found that the term could cause consumers to think Comcast's internet was much faster than rivals.

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Comcast is discontinuing its its “Xfinity 10G Network” branding to describe its internet service after a National Advertising Review Board (NARB) panel found that the term could mislead consumers into thinking that Comcast’s cellular and broadband services would offer much faster speeds than current-generation networks. Comcast rivals T-Mobile and Verizon had challenged the branding with the National Advertising Division (NAD), an ad industry watchdog, which had recommended that Comcast get rid of it in October 2023. Comcast’s confusing branding is at the heart of this challenge: “5G” refers to mobile internet, while “10G” refers to 10-gigabit broadband speeds typically delivered to homes through physical infrastructure.

On Wednesday, the NARB said that it agreed with the NAD’s decision and recommended that Comcast “discontinue use of the term 10G in the product service name ‘Xfinity 10G Network’ and when 10G is used descriptively to describe the Xfinity network.” The NARB found that the branding could mislead consumers into thinking that “10G” offered significantly faster speeds than current-generation 5G networks

The NARB also decided that using “10G” to refer to home broadband, as Comcast did, was misleading because consumers would assume that they would get 10-gigabit internet speeds on every Xfinity connection. In reality, as Ars Technica pointed out, getting those speeds requires getting Xfinity’s fiber-to-the-home connection, which typically costs hundreds of dollars more in monthly fees, installation, and activation over Xifnity’s regular cable broadband plans.

In a statement that Comcast provided to the NARB, the company agreed to stop using the misleading branding in its marketing. "Although Comcast strongly disagrees with NARB's analysis and approach, Comcast will discontinue use of the brand name 'Xfinity 10G Network' and will not use the term '10G' in a manner that misleadingly describes the Xfinity network itself," Comcast said.

The company said, however, that it still “reserves the right” to use both “10G” and “Xifnity 10G” in ways that do “not misleadingly describe the Xfinity network itself”, so expect both terms to still show up in Xfinity marketing, just, hopefully, in less misleading ways.