UPDATED: BT offers MAC hotline for Biscit users
BT Wholesale is to set up a hotline for customers of Biscit to issue the MAC codes necessary to quickly move to another ISP.
Biscit Internet, which had recently been given hope of a reprieve when Breathe showed an interest in the company recently, remains in administration with its customers left looking for a new provider.
BT Wholesale’s hotline will be active from Monday, 19 March, and accessible from the Biscit website for seven days.
A statement on the website reads: ‘Any customers requiring their MAC for ADSL services should contact BT on 0800 169 9576, and NOT Biscit, the administrator or OFCOM.’
Access to Migration Authorisation Codes will mean Biscit’s 6,500 customers can quickly move to another supplier.
It might appear that a good deal of Biscit’s existing customer base has already made the switch. When the news broke just a week ago that Breathe Internet was considering acquiring Biscit’s customer base, it was quoted as having 13,500 customers.
A BT spokesperson told us that the 6,500 figure referred to the number of Biscit customer using BT Wholesale’s IPStream products. There are also a number of dial-up customers and others using Biscit’s fixed line service which would not need the MAC hotline service.
We were told that while BT Wholesale had gone beyond the call of duty in this particular instance, it was not committed to providing such a service in the future, despite smaller providers being under increased pressure.
‘As the market consolidates and margins are squeezed, there will be more and more smaller ISPs going out of the market,’ she warned.
The hotline has been set up with Ofcom’s approval, and the issuing of MAC codes is in no way tied to Biscit customer’s future choice of provider.
Gaby Heppner-Logan, BT Director Regulatory Affairs, said, ‘We recognise that Biscit’s customers will be concerned about losing their services. That’s why BT Wholesale is going the extra mile in this difficult situation. BT Wholesale is doing all it can to make sure that affected customers are supported by extending the deadline for disconnection and providing MACs directly to customers.’
‘This MAC helpdesk for Biscit customers will be available from next Monday and I would encourage customers of Biscit to use the service from that date,’ she added. ‘We are continuing to work closely with Ofcom and the administrator to ensure the adequate protection of Biscit’s customers.’
However, it remains a positive message for BT Retail as well. The more questions hang over the future of small ISPs, the more likely customers will revert to tried and trusted names.
Biscit offered fixed line services as well, and its customers will have to move another provider for their landline, although 999 calls will still be connected in the meantime.
Biscit customers and partners who need to contact Biscit regarding issues other than MAC codes are advised to contact the administrator in writing at the following address:
53 Church Street Weybridge
Surrey, KT13 8DJ