Moving house is something that everyone is likely to do at some stage in their lifetime. Moving broadband from your old house to your new one is something a number of customers ask us to do. I’d like to outline the processes that we at PlusNet perform to move your broadband from one address to another, costs incurred and some problems which we may experience along the way.
Processes and charging
In order to allow our customers to request such a house move, there is a page on our website that allows you to make this request and asks you for all of the relevant information. This page can be found here:
This page will ask you when you want your house move to occur, as well as asking you for the new telephone number and the address at which you want us to move your broadband service to. It also asks you when you want your existing service at your current address to be removed.
Because we have to pay BT Wholesale £40 to activate a telephone line with a broadband service, we give you the option to either pay this upfront, or to defer the charge. What this means is that if you choose to defer the charge, we will pay the £40 charge to BT on your behalf and if you stay with us for over 12 months, we will write off the charge.
Unfortunately, when we place our orders with BT Wholesale, there are associated timescales with cancelling and ordering a new service. Currently, a cease order takes 5 working days (although there is work ongoing within BT Wholesale to reduce this to 1 working day) and a provide order also takes 5 working days.
When you are requesting a house move and changing your telephone number, we can request a new provide as soon as your new telephone number is operational, taking 5 working days.
However, if you are keeping the same telephone number we are, owing to a long term flaw within the BT Wholesale ordering system, unable to place a new provide order until the cease at your address is completed. This means that the process will take approximately 12 working days (5 days for the cease, 2 days for BT’s database to update and 5 days for the provide) In real terms, this equates to about two and a half weeks. The implementation of the one day cease will reduce this to 8 working days, which is great news for our customers that wish to keep their telephone number when moving house – something that many people (quite understandably) choose to do.
There is also an option to do something called a “simultaneous provide”. This allows you to move both your telephone number and your broadband service on the same day. Please bear in mind though that this requires a considerable notice period, preferably about 2 weeks. You will also need to call BT Retail (150) and ask them to move your telephone number to your new address and ask them for a simultaneous provide code at the same time. You can then provide us with this code, which will allow us to request that BT Wholesale move your broadband on the same day. It’s worth bearing in mind that the success rate for simultaneous orders isn’t fantastic, partly owing to the extended lead time when placing them, along with other issues such as receiving incorrect simultaneous codes from BT (these codes are also referred to as “start reference” or “fast peter” codes by BT).
As with anything in life, problems can arise, even with something that may sound as simple as moving a broadband service. I’ll outline some of the potential problems that can be experienced which may cause delays in the re-provision of the service.
A DACS is a Digital Access Carrier System. Wikipedia has a pretty good definition of this here:
I would generally refer to DACS as simply just a line sharing device that does not support a broadband service (it also reduces the potential speed of a regular dial up service). There are two different types of DACS. An internal one, which would require a BT Engineer visit to remove it, which we would need to book with BT Wholesale on your behalf with your prior consent.
Unsurprisingly, the other type of DACS is one external to your premises. This can vary from something on the outside of your house, to something on your street, to in extreme cases, something buried under a road which then requires BT to gain planning permission from your local council to remove.
We can experience delays in internal DACS removal as we need to contact you first to find out any suitable times for BT to visit and BT generally insist on 5 working days notice in order to do this. With external DACS work, this has to go through BT Wholesale’s Planning Department to determine potential costs of performing the work. This add to the potential delays. BT also have a budget of £1,000 for DACS removal. If the work that is required exceeds this amount, they will not perform the work which unfortunately means that our ability to provide an ADSL service is impossible.
Every exchange has a finite amount of capacity. This means that they can only support a certain number of broadband services at any one time. In busy exchanges this can result in what is essentially a queue for service. When the exchange becomes “full” we have to wait for other broadband services to be removed before new orders will be accepted. This again, causes delays in the order becoming completed. We will contact BT on a regular basis to try and gain a timescale for when the orders is likely to occur, but often this is difficult owing to the length of the “queue” being unknown.
Tags-on-the-line are essentially “markers” left on the line by a previous service. Imagine you have just moved house and asked PlusNet to move your service to your new house. However, the previous owner of the house also had a broadband service with a different ISP. The previous tenant then did not ask his ISP to cancel the service or the ISP failed to remove the service from the line correct. This then results in a “Tag” being left on the line preventing us from placing an order.
We then have to contact BT Wholesale’s Tags Team on 0800-1690934, which is a service open for both ISPs and customers to call to determine what kind of Tag is present on the telephone line. They will then be able to remove any service on the line, although this currently takes 5 working days for the cease to complete (remember I spoke about one day cease earlier).
Again, this adds to any potential delays, but we will always call BT Wholesale on your behalf to get as much information about the delays being experienced before letting you know why we are experiencing problems in completing your order.
Incompatible Products are services on telephone lines that prevent the ability to have a broadband order placed. I spoke about DACS earlier, but there are a few other instances which prevent broadband compatibility. These include alarm systems, PBX’s, ISDN amongst others. If we are unable to gain this information from BT Wholesale, we may need to ask you to speak to BT Retail, as often we are unable to ascertain the type of incompatibility and BT Retail will not pass this information on to us as we are not their customer – we deal exclusively with BT Wholesale.
That’s pretty much all I can think of at this moment in time! As you can see, it’s not quite that simple process that many people may believe and I hope I’ve been able to provide an insight into why delays may occur.