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The NetServices/Biscit Saga Takes New Twist

Posted: 09th Dec, 2006 By: MarkJ
Those hoping to have heard the last of that disgraceful dispute between NetServices (NS) and Biscit (V21) will be frustrated by today’s news. Users that had effectively been forced to move onto the NS based ISP EzeeDSL may now be forced back to V21!:

V21 Begins Reconnecting NetServices Victims

Internet Service Provider V21 today announces that the first wave of customers whose broadband service was disrupted on 15th November by loss-making NetServices plc due to a commercial dispute with the supplier have been reprovisioned and are now online on the networks of its parent company, Biscit.

V21's fast track reconnection process continues over the coming days for those customers who have reconfirmed their broadband requirements to http://www.v21.co.uk/provisioning .

About 9,500 of V21's 40,000 plus customers had their broadband service disrupted on the 15th November because of a commercial dispute between the new owners of V21, Biscit, and NetServices, a second-tier wholesale broadband supplier. Post acquisition, NetServices presented the new owners with a burst bandwidth invoice covering broadband services that it claimed had been provided to some of V21's customers since December 2005.

Following discussions with V21's ex directors, and examination of all applicable documentation, it was confirmed that NetServices did not have the technology to accurately measure bandwidth usage on its networks until June 2006. The burst bandwidth invoice was therefore rejected and a full audit was launched into all invoices from this supplier.

The supplier retaliated by ceasing the broadband service of some of V21's customers and arranging for them to subscribe to the broadband services of one of its business partners, ezeedsl.com of ISP 186k, if they wished. In its £3 million loss-making Stock Exchange announcement of 23rd November, NetServices (EPIC:NSV) claimed that about 25% of V21's customer base had novated to Ezeedsl.

Asked for comment, Hugh Paterson, V21's chief executive officer, stated: "For many V21 customers, 15/11 was possibly the blackest day in British broadband history and NetServices has much to answer for. For very obvious reasons, bar the fact that many, if not all of my counterparts across the industry will be wary of doing business with NetServices going forward, further comment cannot be made at this stage."

When V21's authentication realms are returned to V21 by NetServices as required at termination of the contract between the two companies, V21 customers will be able to use all their V21 identities.

It's no secret that the Biscit/NS dispute has now gone to court, details of which remain scarce. It's understood that Biscit is using this to force the above change, essentially disconnecting users from EzeeDSL and opening a path back to V21.

EzeeDSL, which has recently been having its own problems with customer support and connections, isn't prepared to take the chance that it might lose customers and issued the following update (printed in full for those EzeeDSL users unable to connect):

Dear valued ezeeDSL customer

Firstly, please let us welcome you to ezeeDSL.

As you are no doubt aware, your username has not changed since the move to our service, however, as of Monday 11/12/06 your ADSL broadband username and password will need to change.

This is unfortunately beyond our control, as we are now unable to continue to use this username which your previous service provider issued to you. Ideally, this change should not have been required.

It is now vital that you follow the instructions below to ensure continuity of your service.

It is simple to complete and will take a couple of minutes!

Your new adsl account connection details will be as follows:

[USERNAME]@openadsl
[PASSWORD]

Instructions:

If you have an adsl router you will need to log onto your router to configure your new adsl username and password details

This process will vary slightly depending upon the manufacture of your ADSL router and the specific instructions will be in your router manual.

In most cases you can log onto your adsl router by using a web browser.

If you have an adsl modem or a USB adsl router your connection details are usually configured within the dialup networking settings, when you attempt to connect to the internet you will find you can change your username and password at this point.

Your existing static IP Address will remain the same so there is no need to change any router settings

In the unlikely event that you experience any problems please email support@ezeedsl.co.uk or call 08712401122

This will also enable us to make any necessary changes to your service should you have upgraded the speed of your connection, we anticipate any upgrades will take place within the next 2 weeks on a case by case basis related to your current service type.

As part of our ongoing improvements, we need to make changes from time to time to our broadband service, these improvements help to ensure reliability of the service you receive from us. As a result of this we will contact you when required to keep you updated.

We thank you for your cooperation in this matter

Season’s greetings
The ezeeDSL team

It’s unclear quite what this will achieve in the long-term, what with so many customers feeling as though they’ve been treated as little more than walking pounds signs, ripe for the taking. You can only push your users so far and we suspect that both sides may ultimately lose out. More soon..
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