At the start of this year UK ISP Vodafone confirmed that they were scrapping their own Demon Internet ISP brand and migrating its remaining users on to more modern services (here). Unfortunately some customers of the provider’s ADSL service, which was the only broadband product they still sold, will not be among them.
Demon started life by offering dialup (narrowband) based internet connectivity and a few other services, although for the past few years they’ve only been offering ADSL / ADSL2+ based copper line broadband packages to small business customers and skipped the newer generation of “superfast” Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) services.
At the time of the January 2019 announcement Demon still had around 15,000 customers and many of those will have been taking an ADSL based service. Most of those were initially lead to believe that they would be migrated to Vodafone’s own broadband plans as part of their “decommissioning programme for the ageing infrastructure that delivers the Demon Broadband Service.”
However, ISPreview.co.uk understands from some of those ADSL customers that they will not be migrated, which is because Vodafone are now only moving subscribers who can access an alternative FTTC based product. Sadly this means that if you’re on an ADSL package with Demon, but outside the reach of FTTC, then you’ll have no option but to find a different ISP. Charming.
Extract from Vodafone’s Letter
“The services listed will close from 12 June 2019, so your current service won’t be available after that date. Unfortunately, due to Vodafone’s business decision to move away from ADSL technology, we are unable to offer you a replacement service.”
Related customers are instead being advised to contact one of Vodafone’s “appointed partners“, which at present only seems to include Onecom and iTalk. “Alternatively, you could choose to move to another third party direct or indirect provider … If you choose to move to a third party provider, your service will need to be in place with them well before 12 June 2019,” said Vodafone’s letter (without being specific about what “well before” actually means).
We had wondered how Vodafone would handle this as they stopped selling ADSL based packages sometime ago in order to focus upon FTTC, although their existing base of ADSL users have continued to be supported and so the capability does exist. Similarly Demon’s packages were all sold without phone line rental included by default (optional), while Vodafone’s products included line rental, which added another layer of complexity.
At this point it’s unclear precisely how many of Demon’s customers have fallen through this particular crack. We asked Vodafone for a comment yesterday morning but, in being Sunday and a holiday period, we imagine their PR team was a little short-handed. We’ll update again once they respond. Credits to Peter for providing a copy of the letter.
Meanwhile Demon’s website was recently updated to include the more ambiguous promise to “wherever possible” offer “suitable alternative services.”