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Walled Garden for Prodigy Internet customers
Tuesday 31 March 2009 18:08:49 by Andrew Ferguson

The use of a walled garden by BT Wholesale is nothing new, but fortunately it does not happen too often. In this case customers of the broadband provider Prodigy Internet are affected, with all web requests being redirected to a page on the BT Wholesale network where people can obtain a MAC (Migration Authorisation Code) so they can migrate smoothly to a new broadband provider.

What exactly has happened at Prodigy is unclear, visitors to our forums have had a long thread running since 2nd March discussing their problems getting hold of the provider, with this action by BT Wholesale effectively closing the book. Registered users of our forums can also discuss what they are planning to do, in our Prodigy Networks section.

The Register has tried to contact the provider and failed, which is identical to the situation which Ofcom and BT Wholesale have encountered.

If you are a customer of Prodigy and you are not getting the BT Wholesale migration page, then best recourse is to contact Ofcom directly at Alternatively people can email and he will send back details of an alternate way to contact BT Wholesale.

In theory once people have their MAC they should be able to get up and running with a new provider in a couple of days. The vast majority of providers offer free migrations, but as always be aware of the length of any new contract you are signing, and penalties that may apply if you move home or stop the service.


Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
More "walled off West Bank" than "walled garden".
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
At least, correctly, it's refering them to the wholesale branch, and not the retail as per other ISP's standard procedure.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Sounds like Prodigy have maybe gone belly up. Ill shock the BT fan club though now by saying... WELL DONE to them, situations with providers in the past similar to this have happened far too often. Its good to see in this case people SHOULD be able to migrate easily rather than be left dangling and fighting to get away and get a new provider. Why this procedure hasnt be used in the past for providers that have vanished i dont know, its nice to see on this occasion people wont drive thereself mental trying to migrate away.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago it has happened in the past, but with some wholesalers they redirect you to a 'recommended' retail supplier.

Some retailers use a mixture of suppliers, which can muddy the waters and make giving simple clear advice difficult.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Interesting Andrew, i read it a bit different and that on this occasion people will be able to get a MAC to move to who they choose. Where as Fast24 customers basically had to move to EzeeDSL or wait until they got cut off and sign up elsewhere similar situation i agree but this seems better... Either way i think the way this incident with prodigy customers seems to be handled from the story is the way things should happen should any ISP go belly up (something for ofcom to consider maybe). In the past people have had huge issues getting away from other providers that have gone under.
Posted by jokily over 8 years ago
BT Wholesale has been running this process for about 18 months and it's been pretty smooth. A few ISPs have gone belly up in that time. Well done to BT for making it easy for customers when it does happen.
Posted by Kaufhof over 8 years ago
As a BT customer, I'm pleased to see them getting some praise for being the provider of last resort. In their costings, they must always have to take this sort of thing into account, just as British Gas have to. That all tends to mean that they cannot be as competitive as others who can simply cease trading.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Its not often i have a good word for BT but if this is to become the norm for those annoying ISPs that go belly up and normally leave you with nothing but hassle getting away this has to be highly congratulated.
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