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ISP's Fear Ofcom Number Changes
By: MarkJ - 21 April, 2005 (12:46 PM)

The ISPA has highlighted concern at Ofcom's proposed alterations to the Number Translation Services (NTS) market. The changes could leave many pay-as-you-go (payg) dialup users without a connection:

Often consumers will use Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) services to access the web and do not use the associated email facilities. If numbers ranges were changed, many ISPs will have no way of contacting users to tell them about the change. Many users would be stranded without Internet access until a new account can be set-up, and ISPs could lose their customers.

ISPA believes this would be an unacceptable disruption. Many users depend on PAYG accounts to deliver invaluable access to the Internet; particularly those in rural areas where broadband is still unavailable.

Difficulties of informing users of changes to data calls include:

- Users are accessing the web through a variety of operating systems, so there will be no ‘one-size fits all’ solution.

- Ofcom proposes to use a ‘splash box’ solution which would involve the use of pop ups to inform consumers of the changes. Computers are increasingly protected through filters against spam and pop ups rendering the ‘splash box’ solution ineffective.

- Some customer support departments have no means of communicating with users, as users will simply create a connection to the Internet by inserting a phone number.

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