Option E too.
The customer is king, and it's the ISP's fault if the customer can manipulate the system, to their advantage (such as bandwidth hogging).
The MAC system was supposed to give customers a [more] seamless migration, but it wasn't always the case. The new system will be flawed in practice, but its intent is to give the customer the power over the supplier. That's always a good thing.
Ofcom could an should have been more effective over the past ten years. I can't say I've been keeping track recently, but I don't recall any ringing endorsements of Ofcom; rather the trend has been "about time too" or "too late". No specifics. Just the impression I got.
My own bugbears are:
- Any contract longer than monthly, and increased costs to those on monthly contracts as a result of them. It is anti-competitive (competition can't entice people away), and anti-consumer (customers fear early cancellation) in principle, and while it might create inexpensive contracts, it reduces things down to the 'price' rather than the 'value', which in BB terms has seen smaller operators disappear, while larger ones offer worse and worse services and packages (so they expand into other areas to keep ahead - They should stick to what they are good at).
- Any setup which gives a supplier any form of power over a customer (e.g. long-term contracts). I mentioned fax to e-mail recently, and while it's a small example, if I relied on it and was tied into an 18-month contract, the supplier can remove part of the service, and still hold the customer to honour the period agreed.
There should be some safeguards in place to prevent customers extracting the urine out of the migration system. We all appreciate that the typical cooling off periods of consumer law apply differently to broadband services, and that's another can of worms, but I would prefer an industry-aligned cooling off period that allows for hitches, line training, plus one calendar month (basically time for a good, solid payment period to ascertain issues), plus time to migrate out. See this (apologies if out of date, but it's still a good example):
3 Mobile - 14 days, but not if the dongle was used for three days.
BT - 14 days
EE - 7 days
John Lewis - 14 days
Plusnet - 90 days if service lower than quoted (what if no quote given?)
Sky - 8 days
Talk Talk - 10 days
Astra - 14 days
Virgin Media - 7 days
XLN - 30 days (subject to competition matching)
All tend to have costs to the customer though. Some due to physical kit. Some due to connection charges. All this does is discourage people from switching. Better the devil you know will be a regular theme for many users, as migration will be to the unknown, and if it incurs costs, people start to see their existing supplier as more valuable (cheaper to stay). Bad practice imo.
For myself, I'm on ADSL2+ and whther I stay with PN or move to another supplier, I plan to move to FTTC, but I'll have to get my hardware changed, so that's another level of cost, and many people get sick of having to shell out money for kit every 3-5 years. Is the new kit good for FFTC, but not FTTH/P? Will there be another level beyond that? If you asked folk to get their gas meter replaced every time they changed gas supplier, imagine the added hassle for that!
Maybe it will settle down when we reach the limits of FTTP (can we go much higher than that at low prices in the next 10 years?
So to sum up, and maybe this post should be in the debate thread, I am for 'wait and see', because it will take time to see if the new system actually benefits customers, or just facilitates some new level of regulation, or bureaucracy or management.
If I had the magic wand, I would get the ISPs to offer some trial or test environment so users can 'test' a given ISP versus their existing one. ISPs that opted out would be spotted, and then it's down to real competition.
If nothing else, it would reduce migrations due to home / local issues, and some customers could take the cheapest contract on offer if faced with two or more identical services.