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Firsthelpline Criticises Ofcom's New Migration Rules
By: MarkJ - 14 February, 2007 (1:29 PM)

The director of Firsthelpline.com, Aamir Baloch, has criticised Ofcom's new broadband ADSL migration rules for leaving fully unbundled (LLU) customers unprotected:

It’s important that enforcement of the MAC process has come about because it encourages growth in the industry. Demand will remain strong if consumers know they’re able to switch easily, if their circumstances change, if the technology improves, or if a better offer comes along. Demand will help promote broadband competition, and therefore this move is good for consumers and suppliers alike.

Although Ofcom’s ruling on MAC codes is a step in the right direction, it still lacks protection for the 1 million subscribers to LLU broadband providers who may be looking to switch in the future.

With so many broadband options out there, making a choice on a provider is a very confusing process for consumers. And in an age of rising debt, consumers should be encouraged to shop around for the best deals – not feel hindered by switching restrictions.

In related news Ofcom issued a new update today regarding the rules, highlighting their position on consumer complaints:

Ofcom’s active enforcement programme will gather information from broadband providers about migrations and consider evidence of non-compliance, including numbers of complaints received by Ofcom. However, as now, Ofcom will not investigate individual consumers’ complaints.

Ofcom may initiate separate investigations of named providers which will be announced via Ofcom’s Competition Bulletin or may move directly under this programme to take action where, for example, Ofcom has reasonable grounds for believing that a communications provider is contravening GC22. In that case, Ofcom will announce its action via an update to this Competition Bulletin entry.

For the record, General Condition 22 (GC22) is the technical reference for Ofcom’s new migration code (MAC) rules.

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