Fiber-broadband company boss accuses industry giants including BT, Sky and Vodafone of misleading millions of businesses about their internet speeds

Charge: Sasho Veselinski of G. Network

The boss of a fiber-optic broadband company has accused industry giants, including BT, Sky and Vodafone, of misleading millions of businesses about their internet speeds.

G.Network said the major broadband providers advertise “fiber” connections that involve both fiber and copper cables that have been in the ground for up to a century.

In a research paper titled “Fiber lies,” G. Network says that up to 2.5 million businesses might mistakenly believe they have all-fiber connections. It found that 59% of business leaders said they have full fiber connections, while only 16% of business premises have access.

G.Network said the potential cost of productivity due to poor internet connections could reach £ 12.9 billion, with the average employee wasting 100 minutes a week slowing broadband.

Managing Director Sasho Veselinski said: “We want clarification on how providers can market their connections. People work from home and depend on stable internet connections. Copper connections are unreliable, so customers deserve to know what they are selling. ‘

G.Network is one of a series of ‘alternative networks’ laying fiber optic cables and has focused its efforts on London. Last year it raised £ 1billion for its expansion and hopes to reach 1.4million premises over the next four years.

The company is trying to compete with BT’s telecommunications infrastructure arm Openreach, which is the largest player in the industry, and Virgin Media O2. It is present in nine London boroughs and hopes to cross nearly 400,000 homes by the end of next March. The company installs fiber street by street in the capital then connects customers when they buy a package.

He hopes to act both as a retailer – serving customers directly – and a wholesaler, with large telecommunications companies as customers.

Veselinski added, “We know that consumers and businesses don’t know the difference between all-fiber and part-copper, part-fiber connections.

“They think they’re buying fiber – marketers use words like ultrafast fiber and ultrafast fiber – but customers aren’t told it’s not full fiber. There is a need to educate businesses on what full fiber is. ‘

Veselinski said the UK should implement a system similar to Italy’s, where advertisements for all-fiber connections are labeled green, with partial and non-fiber connections marked amber or red. “In food, you have to put all the ingredients on the packaging, why not with that? said Veselinski.

The Macedonian serial telecommunications entrepreneur founded G. Network in 2016 and already offers services in a number of London boroughs including Islington, Lambeth and Kensington & Chelsea.

When asked if he would consider expanding beyond London, Veselinski said: “We are not ruling out that. We are very ambitious. At the moment we are focusing on London and are happy with it. work progress.’

A BT spokesperson said: “Our business customers are looking for upload and download speeds that meet their specific needs. We clearly state the speeds customers can expect in all of our ads. We also have a speed guarantee, which means if a customer’s broadband drops below the minimum download speed and BT can’t fix it, the customer can just walk away.