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Administrators sign O-Bit-uary

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Administrators for Biscit Internet said today they have almost finished picking over the bones of the ISP, after selling a few scraps to Buckinghamshire outfit O-Bit Telecom last night.

Lead administrator Tony Thompson, of Surrey-based insolvency specialists Piper Thompson, said "there isn't a lot more to sell", but that a date for a meeting of London-based Biscit's creditors had not yet been set.

O-Bit bought the customer list, domain names, and some colocation equipment.

The five-year-old firm has more experience in business to business internet provision, but said it did make an attempt to buy Biscit's residential broadband business after Breathe's bid to buy the entire customer base was scuppered by legal wrangles.

Breathe was only able to assume 1,500 lines which were serviced at the wholesale level by EurISP. Biscit itself had picked up those and thousands more customers when it acquired V21, but lost many in a dispute with V21's main wholesaler Netservices.

O-Bit CEO Dave Breith said he had tried to pick up the remaining BT Wholesale-serviced Biscit customer base in talks which began only last Thursday, but the lines were ceased too soon to make a deal.

The firm was left to bid for what amounts to a marketing contact database of people without a broadband provider, which it has already used. In an email today it wrote:

O-Bit Telecom Ltd has acquired the customer database and it is the company's intention to minimise all possible disruption to existing Biscit customers.

After reading through this mail and you would like O-Bit to look after your internet for you and ensure that your service does not get disconnected please reply 'YES' to this email and we will do all the hard work for you, please include your name and telephone number that your broadband is connected to for our reference, we have all the other details required.

Customers who received the email were already able to migrate to any ISP they choose, after BT struck a deal with regulators last week. It set up a free helpline (0800 169 9576) to dish out Migration Authorisation Codes (MACs) to Biscit connections serviced by its wholesale division.

The 1,500 customers who have been migrated to Breathe and do not want to stay with the new provider have been promised their MAC this Thursday.

Breith said O-Bit had made a deal to keep the colocation data centre running on its current site until 20 April if necessary, and that a plan was in place to migrate to O-Bit's own kit in the next five days. ®

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