The Internet Service Providers Association (Ispa) has voiced its criticism towards fibre network operators (FNOs) for creating obstacles in the process of switching internet providers in South Africa.
According to Ispa, some FNOs are proven to be a “stumbling block” for consumers looking to transition from one ISP to another. The association pointed out that many FNOs lack adequate procedures for fibre customers to switch providers, resulting in billing issues or prolonged periods without internet access.
Moreover, Ispa Chairman Sasha Booth-Beharilal highlighted that limited choices are already a challenge for fibre customers in areas where only one network is available. This makes it crucial for FNOs to ensure that customers have the option to choose their ISP and seamlessly switch between providers if they desire.
The association attributed the difficulties in switching to FNOs having “insufficient or overly cumbersome” processes for handling migrations between service providers. However, specific FNOs were not named in relation to these issues.
Ispa recommends that FNOs pay closer attention to their line migration processes to benefit consumers. The association encourages FNOs to collaborate with ISPs and Ispa to improve the handling of migrations. In the near future, Ispa plans to release a set of best-practice recommendations for the fibre sector.
While FNOs are often held responsible, Booth-Beharilal acknowledges that problems can also arise from the customer or their ISP. Issues such as customers forgetting to cancel their services when moving out or ISPs making address errors can cause disruptions in service.
Overall, Ispa urges FNOs, ISPs, and customers to work together to address these challenges and ensure a smoother transition process.