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Ex-NorthPoint users start petition to boycott AT&T

'Shortsighted' telco in the firing line

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A bunch of former NorthPoint customers have started a petition following the company's abrupt shutdown of its DSL network.

The petition is not actually aimed at NorthPoint but at AT&T, which last week bought most of the DSL carrier's assets, excluding its customer base. Days later NorthPoint announced it would close its network, disconnecting more than 100,000 users in the US.

Some customers or ISPs received days' or even hours' notice of the shutdown - while others claim the first they knew about it was when they were chucked off the high-speed Internet service.

The signatories accuse the telco giant of "shortsightedness", warning they will boycott the company if it fails to reach an agreement to give them time to switch to other DSL carriers.

"While AT&T may be making the best business decision in not acquiring the NorthPoint customer base, the abruptness of service termination and lack of concern by AT&T for NorthPoint customers is inexcusable," states the document.

"At the least, AT&T could have included, in the arrangement, interim funding so that NorthPoint customers would have a longer window to migrate to a different service provider."

The petition, copied to public officials including FCC and Senate members, adds that many former NorthPoint customers are also users of AT&T's other services, such as its long distance or cable businesses.

"I can assure you that a good portion of those customers are currently terminating their other services with AT&T, will never return to the company and will encourage friends, family and colleagues to steer clear of the company," it states.

An AT&T representative today told The Register that the former NorthPoint customers were not AT&T's responsibility. He said that NorthPoint's financial situation had been known for months, adding that the ISPs should have acted sooner to transfer DSL customers to other carriers.

The California Public Utilities Commission will today hold a hearing over requests from ISPs for a temporary order to stop the shutdown of NorthPoint's network.

The AT&T protest petition has so far attracted around 600 signatures. Former NorthPoint DSL subscribers can sign up here. ®

Related Link

California Public Utilities Commission statement

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