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The Independent Networks aftermath..
Monday 09 February 2004 11:05:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

When Independent Networks (IN) disappeared a few days before Christmas, many users of the local-loop unbundled service were left in a difficult situation of having no replacement broadband service they were able to order as the exchange was not ADSL enabled by BT Wholesale.

Users on the Ashton under Hill, Bredon, Leominster and Overbury exchanges which were affected by the demise of IN are now placing orders to get new lines as BT Wholesale has announced it has upgraded Leominster (with ADSL lines being activated in the next two days) and plans to do the others by the end of March as we previously reported.

Pro-Net, one of the companies that made the LLU service provided by IN available to its customers has been campaigning with others to get the users on this exchange reconnected as quickly as possible and they wish to thank BT and Advantage West Midlands for their help in the rescue of these users, but...

"Lessons need learning from this. The LLU process is far from perfect ,it seems that end users can be held to ransom by companies who go into Administration. This is an unacceptable situation and OFCOM have some answers to give. One very serious issue was highlighted with the fact that LLU providers are no longer licensed. A call was made to the Administrator of Independent Networks asking them to authorize BT to un-jumper the affected customers. The administrator flatly refused to do this. A call was then made to OFCOM who said this was nothing to do with them and would need to be dealt with by way of legal action. If IN had paid the BT bill, these customers would not have had broadband even if the exchange was enabled."

Danial Subhani (Managing Director), Pro-Net

Meanwhile, customers of ISP Three-K also affected by the outage are still being presented with a statement posted over a month ago saying the company is expecting to restore services "over the next 14 days". [seb]

Update 11/02/04: It seems a number of readers affected by these problems in the past may have misinterpreted this article as a new problem, rather than a reflection of the process which is now resolved. Apologies for any confusion. :)


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