The end of the MAC

The broadband migration process is changing, which means no more hours on hold, multiple phone calls, countless emails and endless hair pulling!

How is the process changing?

From 20th June 2015 if you wish to move your broadband service all you need to do is give your line number and postcode to the new provider, then sit back and let them take care of the work for you. Your new provider will use the info you have provided to start the migration which will automatically inform your old supplier of your intent to move.

A few days later you will receive Notification of Transfer letters from both your new and old supplier, if you’ve changed your mind you have 10 working days to tell the new provider and stop the migration, if not after 10 working days the migration will complete and you will be with your new supplier.

Won’t this make slamming easier?

Slamming (being switched to a new supplier without your knowledge or consent) is something the industry and Ofcom have worked hard to prevent and thankfully now it is a very rare occurrence. While no system is fool proof, the new migration process uses a two letter process to make sure you are aware of any pending changes to your service. If you receive a letter from a new supplier that you have not asked to take over your service you should respond to the letter straight away to say that you have not consented to the move, you should also advise your existing supplier that you are not intending to move as they will be able to stop the migration on your behalf. You are also advised to report the incident to Ofcom via the form on their website.

Does this mean no more hard sell ‘Customer retention’ processes? 

Yes! When your existing supplier contacts you to confirm the service is migrating they are allowed to include any details on time still to run on your contract or exit fees that may be applicable but they are prohibited from including any special offers, discounts or promotions to encourage you to stay with them.

What if I wish to move supplier prior to 20th June?

If you wish to move before the changes come into effect on 20th June then you will need to go through the existing process of requesting a MAC from your current supplier and submitting it to your new supplier.


Horizon Maintenance

Please be advised that there will be planned maintenance on the network infrastructure supporting Horizon Call recording and Voicemail services on Sunday 26th April 00:00 – 02:00. The purpose of these planned works is to undertake maintenance on the network infrastructure supporting Horizon Call recording and Voicemail services. During these planned works voicemail will be unavailable and Call recording retrieval will be unavailable. These services will be available again immediately following these planned works. Horizon voice services should not be affected.

Protecting your Business from Phone Hacking with Fraud Monitor

Think of phone hacking and you probably think of the on going investigations into some of the country’s biggest newspapers, what you may not think of is criminals hacking into the phone systems of businesses to illegally generate revenue but this type of hacking is actually the largest source of Fraud in the UK and costs UK businesses over £1 billion a year.

Once access has been gained to a company’s telecom network, this can be used to illegally route calls, either to international numbers or even to generate revenue from premium rate numbers, all at the expense of the hacked company.

Usually after the companies have closed (often at weekends or bank holidays to help avoid detection) the hackers have gained access to the network and called premium rate (09) and special rate (0871) numbers which they earn revenue from. In some cases this revenue is used to fund organised crime and terrorist activity.

A case in America that made it to court uncovered an international crime gang that had access to over 2,500 PBX’s and had illegally routed calls to the value of $55million dollars. Another case of note, and probably the most high profile UK victim to date was New Scotland Yard.

The average call charges faced by a company hit by this type of hacking was around £10,000 in 2011 but this has been rising with many cases now costing businesses £20,000 in a single weekend. Some companies have even been hit with bills for over £80,000. In all cases it is the responsibility of the affected business to pay these charges and to then try and reclaim them through insurance or legal proceedings.

As you can see by the figures above, phone hacking is a serious crime which is why Deep Blue has now launched Fraud Monitor. Fraud Monitor protects your business by monitoring call patterns for suspicious activity and sending alerts to take action if anything suspicious is found.

How does Fraud Monitor work? Our systems will automatically analyse your call records everyday looking for any deviations and if fraud is suspected we will contact you immediately and arrange outbound call barring to stop any further charges being generated. If we are unable to contact you then we will suspend the service until we can confirm that the line is once again secure.

What else can be done? In all cases we advise affected parties to notify the police as soon as the hack is brought to their attention. The called numbers should also be reported to Ofcom and Phonepay Plus.
As with computer hacking, there are measures to reduce the risk of being hit, however, as fast as these measures close one door, the hackers find ways to open another.

One of the common ways access is gained is through services such as voicemail which allow you to dial into a network externally, but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of this happening. Ensure all ways of accessing your network are password protected (just as you would put a password on your wireless internet network), change these passwords often, don’t share passwords, make passwords as long and complicated as possible (many hackers have sophisticated methods that can crack passwords 16 digits long) and keep all access codes secure (some victims had calls from individuals claiming to be from telephone companies asking for codes to do work on the network or to update their security).

It is also worth considering what kinds of calls you make; does your business need to be able to call premium rate or international numbers? If not, consider call barring features so if your network was compromised, it would be harder for extensive call charges to be built up.

If phone hacking is something you are concerned about or if you would like to discuss this further, please contact Rachel on 0333 240 9100 or at

Washout summers and Openreach delays

The football is back in full swing, the schools are opening their doors ready for the new term, summer is winding down and we are getting wound up! From early year hosepipe bans to floods and some of highest levels of rain since records began in less than a few months, this summer has been a soggy one to say the least and it looks like the knock on effects of this unseasonal weather are set to be with us long after our (almost non-existent) tan lines have faded!

Floods, high winds and storms have afflicted many areas of the UK causing fault levels well above what would normally be expected for this time of year. Even here at Deep Blue we have not escaped unscaithed, having suffered a lightening strike earlier in August which caused quite a bit of damage and disruption (luckily our FeaturePlus Disaster Recovery plan was set up and ready to go!).

While Openreach are doing all they can to get all faults resolved as quickly as possible this is, to say the least, a mammoth task and engineers are having to be re-deployed across the country to restore service in some of the worst hit areas. The effect of this high workload is an increase in lead times for new line installs. At the moment some areas are seeing lead times of over 25 working days. As stated before, Openreach are doing all that they can to clear their workload and get everything back to something resembling normal (it would be nice if the weather could be a bit more co-operative!) and it is hoped that these lead times will start to decrease soon, but in the meantime we would advise anyone looking at adding new lines or moving site to allow extra time for these delays.

If you would like more information on current lead times in your area, disaster recovery set ups or would just like to know what it is like to be hit by lightening give us a call on 0333 240 9100 or email us at

Advanced warning to our customers in 01423

There are planned exchange works scheduled on Wed 17th Aug that may affect some broadband users in the 01423 area. While the works are being carried out some users may experience a drop in service for 10-15 minutes. If you experience a loss of service for longer than this switch off your router, leave for 5 minutes and then restart it. If this does not resolve the issue then please contact the office on 0844 848 2300

Zen Broadband – Phishing Scam

Some Zen internet customers have reported getting emails claiming to be from Zen. The email states that their service will soon be terminated and gives them a click through link to go to if they do not want to lose their broadband connection.

This is not an email from Zen, it is a phishing scam designed to gather end user data, if any customers do receive this email they are advised NOT to click on the link or give out any of their details. Zen are currently investigating this issue.

A Moving Story

Just imagine, it’s your first day in a brand new office. The desks are in place, the PCs up and running, customers have been informed – but your phones aren’t working. This is a major crisis for any company that depends on calls or the internet for its business.

If you’re facing office relocation, there are 101 things to organise, cancel, pack and arrange but your phone lines and numbers are one problem you can be totally relaxed about.  Deep Blue is experienced in ensuring a smooth transition between locations, taking over the communication with BT and ensuring all your services move with you – including broadband.

Just let us know when you are moving, where you are moving to and which lines and services you will need and we do the rest. Any additional costs are quoted in advance and we will keep you informed of any engineer visits and installations.  So if you are moving or adding new offices, give us a call today for valuable free advice or click here to visit the relocation section of our website.

Talking Broadband for Business

The Internet is key to so many aspects of business nowadays, but with some providers it is not always clear what you are getting. Below are some of the key areas we get asked about, to help you understand broadband for your business.

‘Up to’ speed vs actual speed- while many providers state an ‘up to’ speed, you are very unlikely to achieve this, even if you are close to the exchange. Factors affecting the speed you ultimately get include; the capacity of your local exchange, the line length from your premises to the exchange and the quality of the copper in the line (unless of course you are receiving fibre). Speed tests can be run to give you a more accurate expected speed for your site.

Loss of speed- do you notice your broadband speed varying throughout the day? It may be that your current provider isn’t supplying you with business grade broadband. Business grade broadband is more robust and more resilient and is especially worthwhile if you work outside of standard office hours, such as evenings and weekends, when general traffic is likely to be higher.

Fibre broadband vs traditional broadband Fibre broadband is the latest revolution to the internet market. With faster download speeds and upload speeds, it allows you to get even more from your broadband service. Unlike traditional broadband, which uses copper wiring, fibre broadband uses fibre optic cabling which means faster broadband with less signal degradation.

Can I get fibre? – To receive fibre broadband your site will need to be connected to an upgraded cabinet within an upgraded exchange area. Sites positioned too far from an upgraded cabinet as well as sites directly connected to the exchange will not be able to receive fibre broadband.

To find out if you are in a fibre enabled area, or to get more information on any of our products and services, please contact the office on 0844 848 2300 or by filling in our email contact form here.