Broadband News

BT Wholesale trial to make regrading and migrating simpler

BT Wholesale is about to start a small trial on 7th April 2005, that will see several things trialled. In particular users can look forward to migrations between IPStream and Datastream products, and also the ability to migrate between Datastream providers. Currently it is only possible to migrate between IPStream providers, and to migrate onto LLU products from an IPStream or Datastream service. A second feature of the trial will be to allow people when migrating to actually change aspects of the service, e.g. the line speed, traditionally this was only possible once you had already migrated to a provider, and would thus incur a migration and regrade fee.

The trial is only available to a limited number of providers in its first stage, at present we are aware of Metronet and Freedom2Surf taking part. One assumes that some BT Datastream providers will be taking part also, but no news on which ones yet. The ability to migrate and change aspects of the service, is termed a Broadband Modify, and the sorts of things that can be changed are:

  1. Switch between different wholesale products, e.g. BT IPStream to BT DataStream
  2. Change product, e.g. Home 500 to Home 1000
  3. Changing service provider
  4. On services where it is available as an option, changing between standard care and enhanced care options.
  5. Remote reconfiguration of existing BT Wholesale controlled hardware, i.e. routers on the BT IPStream S services
  6. Changing the Virtual Path (VP) that a Datastream connection uses

The trial will use the existing Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) system. The first stage of the trial is set to last seven weeks, with more providers taking part in an expanded part two. Of course since this a trial, there may be changes to what is eventually launched.

As an example of the advantages this new Broadband Modify order offers, MetroNet are running an offer that allows you to migrate onto their service, and regrade to a different speed for just £9.95 (inc VAT), previously this would have cost £39.96. Freedom2Surf are extending their existing free migration offer as well. The basic cost to services providers is £11 plus VAT.

While this trial is seen as overdue by the people wanting to leave a BT Datastream provider with minimal downtime, the ability to migrate and change speeds at the same is very welcome as it will make for a much less fraught end-user experience, and save some money at the same time.


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