What’s in a name? 6G Internet falls foul of advertising regulator over consumer confusion


After receiving complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) told the ISP that its adverts were “misleadingly implying that a sixth-generation mobile network existed and was able to be used by consumers”

This week, the ASA has announced that it has banned a number of adverts from UK ISP 6G Internet, after receiving a complaint that the company’s name could lead consumers to believe the company was offering non-existent 6G mobile services.

After an assessment, the ASA ruled that 6G Internet may no longer use its adverts in their current form, saying customers could easily be confused into believing 6G mobile services were being offered.

6G Internet said they were not aware of any complaints from consumers or regulatory bodies about the confusion, arguing that their adverts made clear that the service being offered was home internet, not mobile services.

Regardless, the company has agreed to comply with the ASA’s decision regarding their adverts and has made minor changes on their website to hopefully clarify their service offerings.

“We make clear in all of our advertising the download speeds of our services and that we provide home broadband, as opposed to mobile broadband delivered using generations of cellular technologies,” explained 6G Internet in a statement. “Whilst we have not found, or been presented with, any evidence that our advertising has caused confusion, it is never our intention to mislead customers.”

6G Internet, which provides home broadband services using fixed wireless technology connected to local wholesale fibre networks, was founded back in 2013, at a time when even 5G mobile services were still but a glimmer in the wireless industry’s eye.

Nonetheless, the company’s brand name was always going to draw comparisons to the future mobile technology 6G, which is gradually growing more prominent in the public consciousness despite being unlikely to mature until 2028 at the earliest.

For now, 6G Internet has not indicated any intention of changing its brand name but, when the 6G mobile era arrives towards the end of the decade, further confusion on the part of consumers seems inevitable.

Ultimately, UK broadband consumers still have a very poor understanding of what technologies are being used to provide services. Earlier this year, for example, Ofcom found that only 46% of customers who believed they were receiving ‘full fibre broadband’ actually had fibre-to-the-home available to them. As a result, the regulator is currently pressing operators to clarify their broadband offerings and be more careful with the terminology used in advertising.

Are the UK’s ISPs doing enough to ensure customers understand what they are paying for? Join the network operators, regulators, and the wider telecoms industry in discussion at this year’s upcoming Connected Britain conference   

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