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 Difficulties Switching ISP (Migration)
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On 20th June 2015 Ofcom, the national communications regulator, officially adopted a new harmonised Gaining Provider Led (GPL) migration system for switching ISPs. The new method, which is based off an enhanced version of the old Notification of Transfer (NoT) system, is simply called GPL NoT+.

Under the new GPL NoT+ system consumers who wish to switch ISP simply need to pick a package from their new / chosen provider and begin the ordering process, which means that you no longer have to engage with your existing provider in order to action a switch. This stops the old ISP from either dragging their feet or obstructing your migration.

The introduction of this system also means all of the information that we held about the older methods (e.g. Broadband Migration Codes etc.) are no longer relevant and as such many of the problems that were often associated with those do not exist anymore. We have thus written a new guide to help explain how this new system works and why it's an improvement.

A Guide to Switching UK Broadband and Phone Provider After June 2015
Click Here to Read

At this time it's still too early into the introduction of GPL NoT+ for us to write about the kind of problems that consumers might experience, although it should be noted that GPL NoT+ only applies to ISPs that operate off BT's national telecoms network (e.g. Sky, TalkTalk etc.) or KC's similar infrastructure in Hull (East Yorkshire).

In other words, Virgin Media's cable platform, as well as Satellite, Fixed Wireless and FTTH/P/B operators, are not yet covered (this may change in the future) and this means that you'll need a new connection to swap between those (i.e. this can create longer downtime and or may require a new phone number).

Consumers may also run into trouble if they wish to swap from a bundled package (e.g. broadband and phone) to, for example, a standalone broadband deal because your old ISP could end up charging you more for the line rental to remain with them if they cannot also serve you broadband. We will update this section again once the new system has had a chance to mature.

UPDATE October 2020

Ofcom now intend to extend the aforementioned migration system to include alternative network platforms (plus Virgin Media) - particularly full fibre (FTTP) providers like Cityfibre, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear etc. The change will not be enforced until December 2022 as it requires a significant adjustment across the industry.

At present customers who want to switch between physically separate networks (e.g. Openreach to Cityfibre FTTP) often have to take the manual cancellation route (i.e. order the new service and then contact your old ISP to cancel), which can result in longer downtime and extra costs. Ofcom's change will end the need for that as you'd only need to contact the new ISP to begin a switch.

The regulator states that any "loss of service" that might occur during a switch will also NOT be allowed to exceed 1 working day and ISPs will be expected to compensate customers if things go wrong. Ofcom will also ban notice period charges beyond the switch date for residential customers, which is intended to prevent situations where a customer ends up paying for two services at the same time (despite only being able to use one of them).

Meanwhile the losing provider will be required to continue to supply the end-user on the same terms, until the new service is activated by the gaining provider, and to automatically terminate end-users' contracts upon conclusion of the switching process. The losing ISP will also be required to reactivate the number and all related services where a switching process fails and until the port is successful.

In keeping with all this the regulator will also be making some "limited" changes to phone number porting, which includes giving customers the "right to port their number for one month after they have terminated their contract and a prohibition on charging customers to port their number." At present it can be quite tedious to get your number back if itís lost during a switch.

Switching Changes for 2022
Click Here to Read
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