Migration between ADSL products was becoming a lot easier in 2005, but with the growth of LLU things appear to have faltered for those on an LLU service, and wanting to move to another provider. Trials are underway that should make this switching process smoother for people on an unbundled service, but trials and getting processes to work smoothly takes times.
Ofcom is is to look into the various service switching processes that exist in the UK broadband environment, which mainly means those people using an ADSL service. Some more details can be read on the Ofcom website here.
One of the major problems is that no matter how good the migration processes are at the wholesale level, since the service providers who the public have their contract with are largely allowed free reign, we end up with a myriad of 'lock-in' type clauses. This can range from charging for a MAC code, or clawing back the price of what was headlined as a free set-up or in-bound migration. Some providers even refuse to provide Migration Authorisation Codes, or are just slow at getting them.
We believe Ofcom needs to look at what is currently a voluntary migration code of practice and look at making it compulsory. As the market becomes even more competitive unless consumers are able to express their dissatisfaction with a service by easily moving elsewhere, then companies will be encouraged to offer deals which look great on paper, but in actual use are highly congested, or severely limited in what they can do.
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