Migrating between BT Datastream provisioned ADSL services and BT IPstream based services has only been possible as a bulk operation to date. Today sees that change, with Freedom2Surf becoming the first ISP we know of to announce their participation in a trial that will allow a lot more people to actually migrate between service providers.
For the last year, it has been easy to migrate between IPStream based providers, but for people using ISPs like Tiscali and Virgin to name just two who use the BT Datastream service, only a lengthy disconnect and reconnect complete with activation fee has been possible. Now with the announcement of this trial, so long as your provider will issue you a MAC number you can migrate. The migration process should mean you will only have a gap of a few minutes in your ADSL service, rather than what can be days or weeks with a disconnect and reconnect.
As this is just a trial, the number of providers taking part may be limited, at this time we are only aware of Freedom2Surf taking part. Freedom2Surf has extended their free inbound migration offer until the end of May 2005 to encourage people to migrate.
A critical part to the success of this trial is that the Datastream providers will need to start issuing Migration Authorisation Codes to users. Unfortunately there is no obligation for them to do so, with the availability of migration across more products now becoming a reality, it is time for Ofcom to consider the trading practices of providers, who do things like charge exit fees for people migrating, or refuse to provide MAC numbers to people.
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