Policy + charging

Ad Group OKs Cox 'PowerBoost' Claims

4:50 PM -- Cox Communications Inc. has been given a hall pass of sorts with respect to how it advertises "PowerBoost," a technology developed by Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (and licensed by Cox, Bright House Networks , and other MSOs) that provides a temporary speed bump when there's latent capacity on the network and the customer is downloading a massive file.

In response to complaints by Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus announced Tuesday that Cox provided "reasonable support" favoring some advertising claims about its high-speed Internet service, but suggested that the MSO "conspicuously disclose" some of PowerBoost's "limitations" in future ads.

Primary among those limitations referenced by NAD is that PowerBoost provides a burst of speed only for the first 18 to 22 megabytes of a file download.

In response, Cox issued a statement that it was "pleased" that its PowerBoost ad claims were substantiated, noting that it would "take into account NAD's recommendations in our future advertising."

Cox, by the way, is the first MSO to announce the use of PowerBoost with Docsis 3.0 services. (See Cox Gives Wideband a 'PowerBoost'.)

The to-do with the NAD stems from complaints by Qwest that Cox was using some unsupported marketing messages about the telco's DSL service, including one that all Qwest customers had to sign long-term contracts. The telco was also up in arms about some claims tied to the PowerBoost technology, including one asserting that it "gives you an extra burst of speed up to twice as fast as Qwest's fastest DSL."

The NAD, which bills itself as the ad industry's "self-regulatory forum," said Cox "acted appropriately in discontinuing certain claims" against Qwest's DSL service.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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