Fibre operators must support consumer choice


Fibre connectivity

by DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – FIBRE network operators (FNOs) can be a stumbling block for consumers trying to change internet service providers.

This is according to the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) as many FNOs have inadequate procedures for fibre customers to change from one ISP to another.

This is causing them to experience billing problems or extended periods without internet access.

“Many fibre customers already have limited choices because only one fibre network operates in their area,” said ISPA chair, Sasha Booth-Beharilal.

“This makes it even more important for FNOs to ensure that customers have a choice of ISP and can seamlessly move between ISPs should they choose to do so.”

FNOs are seen as tending to have either insufficient or overly cumbersome processes for handling line migrations between ISPs.

Some apparently do not notify ISPs when lines are in the process of being migrated.

Others have errors in their geodata that can cause an innocent bystander to be disconnected when someone nearby orders a new line.

According to experts, when FNOs do make mistakes, the process to reconnect a customer can take several days and responses to ISPs trying to help end-users are slow.

Booth-Beharilal said FNOs were not always the cause of a problem.

“Sometimes it is the customer or their ISP that causes a troubled transfer,” the official said.

Customers forget to cancel their services when moving out, leaving a new tenant struggling to get online.

“SPs, like FNOs, sometimes get addresses wrong, which can result in another ISP’s customers going offline,” Booth-Beharilal said.

ISPA believes consumers would benefit if FNOs paid more attention to their processes for line migrations.

The association encourages FNOs to work with their ISPs and with ISPA to improve how migrations are handled.

ISPA intends to publish a set of best practice recommendations for the fibre sector soon, and offers the following tips to FNOs, ISPs and end-users.

– CAJ News



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