The Irish regulatory authority ComReg has today published a Direction on “Bitstream Port Transfer”.

It contains an obligation for Eircom, the incumbent fixed operator, to enable migration of xDSL customers from one operator to another operator.

This confirms a commitment made by Eircom to render xDSL migration operational as of 27 Jan 2004.

The full text of the ComReg Direction can be accessed by clicking here.

This Direction follows a lengthy period of debate in Ireland about the legal basis, technical feasibility, and pricing of bitstream access migration, which involved two draft Directions by ComReg, one of which is formally confirmed by today’s Direction.

The essence of the Direction is as follows (extract from text):

Eircom is directed to implement, publish and offer the bitstream port transfer product and process supporting a customer migration from one operator to another with minimised service outage for the customer. The price chargeable for this product shall be not more than that set out at v1.1 of the ADSL Bitstream Price List [T-REGS note: €60] and previously approved by ComReg.

The Bitstream Port Transfer product should be implemented by 27th January 2004.

ComReg determines that a port transfer product should include inter alia the following features:

  • Minimal disruption to service.
  • The recipient operator would enter a contract with the customer which would give authority to the operator to contractually cease the relevant service between the current operator and the customer.
  • Eircom would supply the recipient operator with a date for cessation of retail billing (where the customer was an i-stream customer) and commencement of wholesale billing. Where the losing operator was not Eircom the losing operator will be advised of the date of cessation of wholesale billing.

The Direction is of further interest, for Ireland and also for other EU Member States, because it contains argumentations by Eircom and by ComReg on the applicability of the old and new regulatory framework, and about the legal basis of the obligation to provide bitstream access and migration.