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Virgin Media has failed in its attempts to have a Sky broadband advert banned for misleading the public.

The cable broadband giant raised exception to Sky's claim that service subscribers can take advantage of 'unlimited' broadband.

Virgin Media said that because users' broadband speeds are restricted, the amount of data that can be downloaded in any one month is not unlimited.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) disagreed with Virgin Media's interpretation of 'unlimited' and threw out the complaint.

The ASA noted that there are inherent limitations in any network, which would limit a consumer's actual broadband speed and therefore the amount of data they could download over a particular period of time.

"Some of these limitations, such as signal attenuation, resulted in a greater loss of speed for DSL services compared to fibre-optic services," the regulator stated.

"However, we considered that consumers would understand that the claim 'totally unlimited' referred to provider-imposed limitations, especially traffic management policies."

The ASA concluded that the average consumer would infer that “totally unlimited” meant the broadband service was free from the inherent limitations found in the network.

And since Sky's unlimited broadband deals are not covered by a fair usage policy or any other caps, data usage is unrestricted. 

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