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Ofcom stings ISP £30k for silent treatment

Broadband switching investigation stonewalled

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Telecoms watchdogs at Ofcom have hit Sheffield-based ISP Prodigy Internet Ltd with a £30,000 fine after it failed to provide information to an investigation into its broadband migration practices.

The probe was launched in April after complaints that Prodigy was not complying with Ofcom's new rules on ISP switching. A new regime was imposed in February to force providers to supply Migration Authorisation Codes (MACs) promptly when people decide to switch.

Investigators set Prodigy deadlines of 27 April and 3 May to provide the information they needed. After it missed these dates, Prodigy was given a final warning on 31 May, which it also failed to comply with.

As a result, it's been stung this month for £30,000 under section 139 of the 2003 Communications Act, which governs non-compliance with a regulatory investigation.

The investigation into alleged MAC heel-dragging by Prodigy continues. The case page is here.

Since the new obligations came into force, Ofcom has been monitoring industry compliance. It said: "Where we have identified comparatively high complaint levels we have held discussions with the relevant broadband provider... Where this approach has not succeeded, we have taken a more formal approach."

Watchdogs say the average number of complaints it gets about MACs has fallen by about half since the new rules came into force. ®

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