Feeds

Ofcom to regulate switching ISP

Wants to be the MAC daddy

Business security measures using SSL

Ofcom announced proposals today to make the often knotty process of switching broadband provider more consumer-friendly.

The plan is to force ISPs to supply Migration Authorisation Codes (MACs) at the punter's request. The codes are needed to ensure continuity of connection when switching providers, but are currently dished out at the firms' discretion.

The move has been motivated by increasing numbers of complaints to the regulator from frustrated consumers left stranded by the current regime.

Ofcom plans to work with industry to thrash out the details of a standard process for obtaining MACs, and action it could take when the rules aren't obeyed. Regulators want broadband wholesalers help sort out problems where resellers have trouble facilitating MAC requests.

The move was welcomed today by price comparison site uSwitch. Broadband product manager Chris Williams (no relation) said: "From the consumer’s point of view, Ofcom’s proposal to make the current voluntary practice of providing a MAC code compulsory for all broadband providers is great news."

During the recent collapse of e7even customers complained at being forced to sign up to a particular new provider, and its failure to supply MACs.

Williams said: "We hope that their recommendation is implemented as soon as possible to enable customers to take full advantage of the current broadband price war."

Ofcom is inviting responses to the idea until October 5. If all goes well, an industry-designed mandatory process will enter consultation in six months. The full documentation can be found here. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.