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Alternative UK Broadband ISPs Set to Improve Consumer Switching

Thursday, January 27th, 2022 (1:52 pm) - Score 2,400
switching man broadband isp uk

The Common Wholesale Platform (CWP), which started life a few years ago under the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (here) and has since evolved into its own organisation, has signed a deal with Mediafon Datapro to adopt the company’s new centralized migration solution for alternative UK broadband ISPs to use.

At present migrating between ISPs on Openreach’s (BT) national infrastructure is an easy and largely automated Gaining Provider Led (GPL) process (i.e. just contact your new ISP, and they’ll get the ball rolling), but this doesn’t work for operators on physically separate networks (e.g. Openreach FTTP to Cityfibre, Hyperoptic or Virgin Media etc.).

Ofcom are set to change this by implementing a new One Touch Switch (OTS) process from April 2023, which will apply to Alternative Network (AltNet) ISPs too and should help to encourage consumer switching. Now it appears as if the CWP’s new deal with Mediafon could similarly help smaller AltNets to adapt to the coming change.

According to the PR blurb, Mediafon Datapro’s Internet Services Transfer (CWP) solution is a centralized migration system, which has the capability to connect all ISPs and network access operators in the country and support managing, executing, and controlling the service migration processes. Sadly, we couldn’t unearth any further details about this product, but it’s apparently due to launch during the first quarter of this year.

Arūnas Babrauskas, CEO of the Mediafon Group, added that, in the longer term, not only will consumers benefit from the new technology, but ISPs will as well. “Service operators receive equal access to market customers, and as a result, competition is intensifying, the range of services is expanding, and quality is improving. The consumer acquires the right to choose any service provider in the country, regardless of the place of internet services usage. This frees up the market essentially.”

However, we should point out that the CWP itself is still in the early launch phase and there’s a lot we don’t know. Despite this, the CWP is understood to have the support of various ISPs (e.g. Airband) and we expect to hear more about it going forward.

UPDATE:

The original press release for this announcement referenced INCA, which represents various UK AltNet providers, as being the contracting party with Mediafon Datapro for the new migration solution. But that PR was incorrect and we have since amended the above article to correct for the media company’s mistake.

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