Ofcom has published on its website the details of its investigation into the migration processes and charges on the BT Wholesale ADSL platform. The migration fee dropped to £11 earlier this year as a result of the preliminary findings. The document released yesterday details the reasons for the price drop, and what BT Wholesale are required to do. The real meat of the document is in a PDF that can be downloaded from here.
The whole migration area is due to be revamped with BT developing a new much more automated migration platform which will launch in two phases, October 2004 and March 2005. It is around this time that the much longed for single user IPStream to Datastream and Datastream to IPStream migrations should become possible. To give some idea of how migrations have changed in the last 12 months, between July 2003 and April 2004, there had apparently just been 1000 migrations. With the new systems in place from October 2004 Ofcom is suggesting that BT should have the capacity to support 100,000 migrations per month.
It is interesting to note that Ofcom note that according to the costs submitted by BT, migrations would cost £18, but Ofcom has ruled the migration fee should be £11 or less. Though in response to this figure Ofcom has had notifications that some providers still consider the £11 migration charge as a barrier to people migrating.
The recent MAC authorisation system should make the process from the end-users point of view much simpler now, and with the other changes on the way it appears that migration should become a lot less of a lottery. Lets hope that the vast majority of providers will embrace the new systems. Ofcom does suggest that it felt BT should have had all the systems in place six months earlier than the current timeline, if it were running as an efficient operator.
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