Migration between providers not always straight forward
Across various UK bulletin boards including ADSLGuide there has been a fair amount of talk on problems with migrating from Tiscali ADSL. On initial viewing it appears that it is simply a case of Tiscali refusing to provide users with their CBUK numbers that are needed for a migration.
As is often the case though, upon further investigation things are not as simple. Tiscali ADSL generally carries a 12 month minimum contract, which you will be bound to, unless both parties agree on an early termination. Even if Tiscali did issue the CBUK for a migration, there is a later stage at which they can refuse the migration request, since the losing ISP has the ability to say no to a migration, precisely for contractual reasons.
Another problem, that is relatively rare, but a growing issue, is if you are actually an ADSL user with a BT Datastream type product, e.g. the Tiscali 256kbps services, or one of their other Datastream services, either their own or one of their wholesale offerings. In this case there is no migration path from BT Datastream to a traditional BT IPstream offering, a pilot for IPStream to Datastream was announced on 23rd July 2003.
It would be great if service providers could communicate these sorts of reasons to users, rather than simply stating you cannot have your CBUK number. Another problem is that while migration is much better than it used to be, BT Wholesale is still running various pilots and the whole process has yet to develop into well oiled system. Many people are probably staying with an ISP simply because they do not want to risk the extended downtime that they have seen other people suffer. Tiscali has informed us that they are working on a system that should help to make things smoother for both people joining them and leaving them, hopefully this should go into a pilot stage in the next month.
The simple fact that migration or in marketing words 'churn' between providers is growing is a reflection that the UK ADSL market place is moving on, and the cheaper 1Mbps and 2Mbps products are probably at a centre of much of this churn.