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Help for 6,500 Biscit customers
Friday 16 March 2007 15:31:03 by Andrew Ferguson

Around half the customers of the provider Biscit which recently went into administration are to have a reasonably easy way of migrating to a new provider of their own choice. BT Wholesale is to create a walled garden which will publicise a special helpline where they can obtain their Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) and thus change to a new broadband provider.

BT today announced it is stepping in to help broadband customers of Biscit Internet, which has recently gone into administration. BT Wholesale will be assisting Biscit customers whose underlying service is provided by a direct connection to BT Wholesale's network.

From next Monday these 6,500 customers will be able to call a special helpline to obtain a Migration Authorisation Code, or MAC, from BT Wholesale. This service will enable them to move to a new broadband service provider of their choice and will help to minimise disruption and downtime to their broadband service. Details of the helpline will be available from a web page that these customers of Biscit will be re-directed to from next Monday.

BT Wholesale recognises that consumers and businesses are dependent on communications services and that many customers of Biscit will be concerned that they will be left stranded without these services. BT Wholesale has therefore volunteered to step in so that those Biscit customers whose underlying service is provided by a direct connection to BT Wholesale's network, are able to switch to a new provider as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

From next Monday, these broadband customers of Biscit will be re-directed to a web page where they will be provided with a telephone number to contact BT Wholesale to request a MAC. The webpage will be available for a period of seven days. The customer can present the MAC to their chosen broadband service provider to obtain a new service. By using the MAC process, Biscit customers will be able to switch to a new broadband service and minimise their service downtime.

Customers of Biscit for telephone services are also advised to look for an alternative supplier, as from today they will be unable to make outbound calls, with the exception of 999 calls. Customers will continue to receive incoming calls while they look for a supplier to provide them with a full service.

Biscit Internet is the latest in a series of ISPs to fall victim to the pressures of an increasingly competitive broadband market. As a key provider of wholesale broadband services to over 700 UK service providers, BT Wholesale has an obligation in these cases to protect its financial interests, whilst at the same time balancing the needs of end-customers.

Gaby Heppner-Logan, BT Director Regulatory Affairs, said, "We recognise that Biscit's customers will be concerned about losing their services. That's why BT Wholesale is going the extra mile in this difficult situation. BT Wholesale is doing all it can to make sure that affected customers are supported by extending the deadline for disconnection and providing MACs directly to customers. This MAC helpdesk for Biscit customers will be available from next Monday and I would encourage customers of Biscit to use the service from that date. We are continuing to work closely with Ofcom and the administrator to ensure the adequate protection of Biscit's customers."

BT Wholesale offer helping hand to some Biscit Internet customers

Biscit has around 13,500 customers, the remainder are with wholesalers who then bulk buy services from BT Wholesale and thus it is down to these providers to make arrangements for Biscit customers.

Given that a migration will take a few days to happen even after a MAC has been obtained it would be wise for Biscit customers this weekend if an internet connection is important to dig out their old dialup modem, dust it off and make sure they can get online.


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