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Fast24 broadband customers to be given 'walled garden'
Thursday 09 November 2006 16:46:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Fast24 customers have not had a good time this year, and now join the ranks of people from other providers who have vanished in various manners. It seems according to information published on The Register that the wholesale providers (Tiscali and Netservices) to Fast24 wall users in, with web page requests being redirected to a sign up for EzeeDSL. Basically this means customers have two options, sign up to a 12 month contract from EzeeDSL or let Tiscali/Netservices cease the connection and move elsewhere. It seems that a migration code is not going to be on offer.

This is basically exactly the same situation as occurred to E7even customers in July 2006. In view of the comments made in the migration consultation document on the Ofcom website about same situation with E7even is it is a bit surprising to see what appears to be identical tactics from the wholesalers. The relevant section is 1.15 which said "1.15 In this case, Ofcom made it clear to both Tiscali and Netservices that it did not consider it appropriate for wholesale providers to restrict customers’ choice of a new supplier. However, these wholesale providers did not change their course of action, and Ofcom was unable to take formal action to remedy the situation due to the voluntary nature of the MAC process. ".

So it looks like this may be a case of companies only doing what is compulsory rather than what would be good practice for the consumer. This case looks likely to strengthen the resolve of those pushing for migration codes to be made mandatory.

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