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Ofcom Fine ISP Gateway Telecom £20K for Preventing Number Ports

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 (10:30 am) - Score 1,416

Phone and broadband provider Gateway Telecom (GW Telecom Ltd.) has been hit with a fine of £20,000 after the national telecoms regulator, Ofcom, ruled that they had broken the rules by “not enabling a customer to keep their telephone number when switching to another provider.”

Under Ofcom’s General Condition 18 (GC18) rule consumers are supposed to be able to keep their landline or mobile number when changing provider, except in certain situations (e.g. it’s not always possible to keep your fixed line phone number when moving to a completely different physical network or exchange area). The exact details of Gateway’s transgression will be published later, although for now we’ve been given the following statement.

Ofcom’s Statement

We opened the investigation in May 2017 after receiving a complaint that Gateway had not responded to several number porting requests for one of its customers – a small business – who wanted to switch provider away from Gateway and keep their number.

The customer’s request was originally submitted to Gateway in June 2015. Gateway’s failures therefore left the customer unable to switch providers for over two years. The number was eventually ported in September 2017, after Ofcom stepped in and facilitated this with Gateway’s wholesale suppliers.

The Confirmation Decision also requires Gateway Telecom to pay £1,000 in respect of its abuse of the porting process to the relevant customer in order to come into compliance with GC18. Further details can be found here.

Last October Ofcom also imposed a daily fine of £150 upon Gateway after the provider failed to respond to the regulator’s information requests (here), although at the time Gateway was is in the process of being struck off (here).

The compulsory strike-off action was discontinued in November 2017.

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