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Why does Broadband admin have to be so complicated

Rising Star
Posts: 484
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Why does Broadband admin have to be so complicated

More of a frustration on my daughter's part to be honest.


She's just moved into her own place but has moved a few times from different rented flats in the last few years. Everything is simple to switch like water, gas, electric, even the council tax doesn't seem too much of an issue. When it comes to Broadband and phone though it could not be harder and every time there seems to be a delay caused by who provided the service previously, or no line active at the premises. She's now with Plusnet (for the 2nd time).  It's not Plusnet's fault its rubbish, or Sky Virgin  or BT etc, IT's not even Openreach fault but the way the UK market seems to be set up.


Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if OfCom made this much easier so the basic broadband products were sufficiently uniform that they always worked on every time and the cost of consuming the service was sorted out after a property changes hands. If it works with other utilities it shouldn't be impossible to make it work for this one. Broadband is now a basic requirement.

Just wanted to get that rant off my chest really. 

Posts: 22,725
Thanks: 9,446
Fixes: 151
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Why does Broadband admin have to be so complicated

One could argue that it was Ofcom who made it all so darn complicated...

  • LLU as use by TT & Sky requires complex logical and physical transfers of the "last mile" between BT equipment and the third party equipment in the exchange - Ofcom opening up "competition" has made that space complicated - if the same approach were implemented for switching power suppliers, we would all need our own wire to the local substation and have it swapped to the provider of choice when we changed supplier
  • Unfortunately not all providers play nicely - a verbose company used to be notorious for swapping subscribers by trickery, which resulted in Ofcom introducing (in effect) a 10 day cooling off period during which the CURRENT supplier could notify the customer of an intent to take over the line
  • Then there is the muddle between BT Wholesale and BT Openreach - CPs / ISPs need to deal with them separately and sort out any issues betwixt the two of them ... rather than doing that themselves ... rather than Ofcom mandating that BTw and BTOR fix their issues themselves

You've then got the rather unhelpful rules that dictate where the EXISTING supplier has raised a cease notice on a line, no other provider can raise new provision orders until the cease order has completed.  In the case of rented property, the current tenant understandably gives notice to their supplier, who places a cease order on the line ... thereby the new tenant is not able to arrange for a new service until after the tenant has left.  BT's systems do not facilitate the concept of "Queue this order for a new service for after the third party's cease order has completed".  The new provider has to WAIT until after the cease to place the orders ... which then take several days to activate.

You are not wrong, the supplier industry needs to do much better - Ofcom needs to make that happen and do more to support ISPs in delivering fit for purpose B2C solutions.

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