Late last week news emerged that a German court had found Internet access to be an ‘essential part of life’ and an ISP had been ordered to pay compensation to a customer who had suffered from a loss of DSL service for 2 months in 2008/9. This unusual decision prompted us to ask, can we really compensate for broadband outages and how would that work in reality?
- ISPReview.co.uk: Should Compensation Always be Mandatory for Broadband ISP Outages
Whilst end user broadband customers are probably jumping for joy at this remote possibility, in reality such a practice really isn’t practical and here’s why:
The wholesale channel
Firstly, we believe this would never work in practice because of the UK’s channel supply model. Most UK providers are reliant on Openreach to fix faults and maintain the major BT based network which runs throughout the UK. In addition to this, unless they are LLU or cable based operators, they purchase their services through BT Wholesale and many then sell these services on to reseller partners who in turn sell to end user customers. So consider for a minute, who would pay the compensation? The end user would claim from the reseller, who would try to claim from their wholesale provider, who would in turn try to claim from either BT Wholesale or Openreach – you can imagine how much time and red tape that would cause!