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186k Issues Statement On V21 & Biscit Sues

Posted: 15th Nov, 2006 By: MarkJ
Both UK ISP's 186k and Biscit have now issued statements of their own, with the latter suing NetServices (NS) over its decision to “novate” some of V21's customers to a rival service provider (186k). The 186k statement is posted below:

IN a last minute rescue bid, 186k the fast growing business ISP has stepped forward to save the connections of many thousands of broadband users, following the demise of the services delivered by their troubled broadband provider Biscit CSP Limited (Biscit CSP, formerly called v21.co.uk Limited and trading as V Two One).

The rescue means that Biscit CSP Limited customers can be provided with an alternative solution, with minimal disruption to their services through ezeeDSL, a dedicated broadband provider and a member of the 186k group. Once signed up with ezeeDSL, users will receive the additional EBS (Enhanced Broadband Service) feature package* free of charge.

Commenting on the rescue, Dominic Marrocco, owner of 186k, said “We are providing an alternative channel for V Two One’s valued customers on NetServices infrastructure, allowing them to continue with the least amount of disruption possible, whilst taking the opportunity to offer the additional benefits of an LLU connection with Anti Virus and Anti Spam protection.

“Users will also benefit greatly from 186k’s Enhanced Broadband Service and financial stability.

186k understands the many mixed emotions that arise from these situations when suddenly a screen appears – without any warning - saying that their provider (Biscit CSP Limited) can no longer give the service that customers had signed up to.

Continuing, Marrocco said: “The very nature of these circumstances means that there is no opportunity to prepare and distribute information in advance. We stepped in literally moments before Biscit had their services withdrawn. This meant that there was no way to reach and warn so many users in so little time.”

A walled garden – which is a standard procedure given these circumstances - was set up by 186k to provide a conduit for the many stranded broadband users.

“To provide a transparent alternative, we have compiled many questions and answers, to help alleviate the main concerns that the users will have,” continued Marrocco.

It seems, though, that there are a core questions that need a qualified and direct answer. Our experience of other successful rescues – including E7even UK Limited and Fast 24 - has given us a great foresight into those concerns, leading us to provide the following key information:

  • 1 – 186k limited (and subsidiary ezeeDSL) are not and never have been related to Biscit CSP Limited or any of its employees.

  • 2 – We are providing an alternative solution to the users, but do not have access to any MAC codes. These still reside with the contract owner – Biscit CSP Limited. 186k and ezeeDSL do not have any legal remit to be able to get or supply these codes.

  • 3 - Biscit CSP Limited holds data on their customers. Our walled garden page does not require any personal data to be transferred to us from Biscit, maintaining a legally correct position. Any user re-contracting with us is asked for their details when completing our registration procedure.

  • 4 – 186k Limited has been trading and growing its operational base within the UK. During this time, the company has built up many divisions to help meet customer demand. EzeeDSL was created in August 2005 as a unique brand of 186k, which can easily adapt to the market’s needs, providing broadband and a host of other services.

“We have also compiled information on this rescue to satisfy official bodies such as Ofcom. I hope this helps to provide some clarity on the situation,” concluded Marrocco.

Users re-contracting with 186k’s ezeeDSL service will not be required to pay any migration or connection fees as these are absorbed by 186k to provide a very smooth and cost effective transition.

Mark Vickers, Chief Executive of Net Services plc, the wholesale network provider, said: "We are pleased that we’ve been able to offer an alternative service through 186k’s ezeeDSL, allowing end users, who have been affected by this unfortunate situation, to receive a new connection and minimal disruption.

“We are confident that 186k’s proven track record of dealing swiftly and competently in these circumstances will be of great benefit to the end users.

Unfortunately the NS/186k side of the story is not how Biscit/V21 sees it, which has chosen to take legal action against NS and is offering customers another method to resolve the current dilemma:

V21.co.uk Limited, an Internet service provider recently-acquired by Biscit, today announces that it will begin legal proceedings against NetServices plc (EPIC:NSV) seeking substantial seven-figure damages. The legal action results from NetServices decision to novate some of V21's customers to another service provider.

V21 (recently renamed Biscit CSP) has had a commercial dispute with NetServices for some months and began well before Biscit acquired V21 in October 2006. V21 represents about twenty percent of NetServices business.

Post acquisition, NetServices presented an invoice to V21 for "burst bandwidth charges" for services it claims it provided to V21's customers from as far back as December 2005. V21 rejected this invoice and launched a full audit into every invoice presented by NetServices to V21 since commercial relations were established in December 2005. The audit began last week.

In October, NetServices also refused to provide technical support to V21 customers and MAC codes allowing V21 customers to migrate to Biscit's secure and robust servers or any other provider.

Today, NetServices, whose share price plummetted this year following a profits warning, decided to take the unprecedented decision to migrate some of V21 customers to another ISP called Ezeedsl, part of the 186k group. V21 strongly recommends that affected customers contact NetServices directly on 0870 753 0900, or by email sarahh@netservicesplc.com, and ask for their MAC codes.

Armed with a MAC code, V21 customer ID and telephone number for the broadband service, users can log on to http://www.v21.co.uk/migration to be reconnected to its superfast broadband services and receive 1 months free broadband compensation. They will then be able to continue using their current email and hosting services without changing any settings whatsoever. Expected downtime to reconnection is 24-96 hours.

The situation remains both confusing and complex and it’s hard to know which side of the fence morality has chosen to rest with. Typically it’s the customers trapped in the middle that get treated worst of all. More when we have it..
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