Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/09/netservices_186k_sale/

NetServices sells out to 186K

Never saw that coming

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Broadband, 9th May 2007 10:52 GMT

NetServices, the broadband wholesaler which invoked widespread anger over a series of disputes with resellers last year, has cut and run from its consumer broadband business.

In a move which will surprise few in the industry, it has sold the custom of 174 consumer broadband ISPs to its Leeds-based favourite 186K for £1.085m. About 23,000 users will be shifted across in the deal, which leaves NetServices with only 23 business ISP customers and a reduced staff.

The long-expected sale comes after AIM-listed NetServices took a battering last year over forcing end users to join a new ISP when it got into a dispute with their current provider. In the E7even collapse, the beneficiary was 186K brand EzeeDSL. NetServices also allowed 186K to build a walled garden to mop up customers in its dispute with Fast24.

The coup de grace came when it cut off Biscit-owned V21, an action which landed NetServices at the losing end of a High Court battle. In the meantime customers had been encouraged to join...186K.

NetServices' record of putting its own interests before consumers', and particularly the long-running V21 saga which ended this year with Biscit going under, were a big motivator behind Ofcom's new rules, which compel ISPs to give consumers Migration Authorisation Codes.

NetServices boss Mark Vickers said in a statement: "186k will continue to service the transferring clients over our proprietary portal, CCP, to ensure that they are serviced as well in the future as they have been by NetServices to date."

We're waiting on a call back from 186K regarding its plans for consumers, but it's been unavailable to answer our questions throughout every one of its controversial manoeuvres in the last year. ®