The internet wars in Western Canada are starting to heat up, as Telus has filed a lawsuit against Shaw in B.C. Supreme Court, alleging the latter’s recently launched Fibre+ gigabit Internet marketing is “misleading” customers.
According to Business in Vancouver, the Telus suit was filed on June 10 and focuses on Shaw’s marketing of Fibre+ as it’s not a true fibre optic service based on DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification), the same tech used for cable TV.
Telus says its PureFibre internet service based on fibre optic directly connects to a customer’s home, and allows for faster speeds and fewer outages compared to Shaw’s DOCSIS-based internet.
“Since Shaw’s ‘Fibre+’ Internet services do not use fibre optic cable to physically connect customers’ homes to the network, it is inaccurate and misleading to describe such a service as a ‘fibre’ or ‘fibre optic’ internet service,” writes Telus in its filing.
The Telus suit says, “For example, there is no difference whatsoever between Shaw’s recently-launched Fibre+ 300 Internet Service and its previous Internet 300 Service – these are exactly the same product, the only difference being the misleading ‘Fibre+’ nomenclature associated with Shaw’s Fibre+ 300 Internet Service.”
Other issues in the suit include the plus symbol in Shaw’s Fibre+ marketing, which Telus says it sends a message it’s a better offering compared to its own PureFibre service. Shaw’s “misleading” advertisements have caused harm and damage to Telus’ reputation, says the suit, with the latter seeking an injection on the former’s marketing of Fibre+.
Telus says Shaw needs to disclose it is “knowingly or recklessly made false or misleading representations to the public”, while also pay for damages, including lost profits and cost of the lawsuit itself.
Shaw told Business in Vancouver in a statement the company would “vigorously defend” itself against the Telus lawsuit.
“We are proud of our Fibre+ network – previously known since 2016 as FibrePlus – and stand behind its branding and strength. We call it Fibre+ because it is truly that: fibre plus more,” said a Shaw spokesperson.