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BTOpenreach UK Toughens Broadband ISP Migration Process to Tackle Abuse

Friday, August 10th, 2012 (8:35 am) - Score 616

BTOpenreach, which manages access to BT’s national UK telecoms network, has set a date for the introduction of its new Cancel Other Expedite (COE) process. This is designed to help consumers switch phone and or broadband providers when their old ISP “misuses” the current Cancel Other process to prevent a migration.

The Cancel Other mechanism was designed to protect consumers from being switched to another ISP without their consent (slamming), although a number of broadband providers are known to have abused this as a means to prevent legitimate migration. Ofcom recently imposed a £30,000 fine against Axis Telecom (Axis) for just such an abuse (here).

As a result the telecoms regulator directed BTOpenreach to introduce a new industry agreed Cancel Other Expedite process, which will now officially come into effect on the 14th August 2012. This new method gives BTOpenreach the power to take over and facilitate a migration when the Cancel Other process looks to have been abused.

BTOpenreach’s Explanation

As a last resort in the process, when Gaining and Losing CPs [ISPs] are unable to reach agreement on the way forward and the current CP continues to prevent a migration from progressing (minimum of three attempted migrations), Openreach will facilitate the migration by expediting the relevant orders submitted by the Gaining CP upon receipt of a valid request with supporting evidence (as detailed in the process document).

Openreach will advise the Gaining CP of the completion of the expedite request and will provide Ofcom with monthly summary data.

The development is good news for consumers whom will now have one less difficulty to worry about when attempting to switch between ISPs. At the same time Ofcom is continuing to develop a new migration system, which is likely to support a Gaining Provider Led (GPL) solution with some degree of Third Party Verification (more details). Sadly we’re still awaiting a final decision on that.

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