Migration Authorisation Code – MAC

The MAC (sometimes known, tautologically, as the Mac Code) is a code you request from your (non-cable) broadband provider when you want to switch to another non-cable broadband provider. The new provider then co-ordinates the switchover, keeping the time you spend offline to a minimum. It is always advisable to try this route as if you simply cancel your broadband connection then sign up to a new one you may have days or weeks in between with no broadband at all.

The MAC was previously voluntary and not all applicable broadband providers signed up to it. This meant some customers found it difficult or impossible to obtain a MAC from their existing supplier, which meant they either had to cancel completely and set up from scratch with a new provider or stay with the current provider – often on a slow and/or expensive broadband package.

Earlier this year a new condition came into force, introduced by industry regulator Ofcom. All broadband providers will now have to use MACs where applicable, and they have to give customers a MAC within five days of such a request. ISPs are not allowed to charge anything for switching (though even after a switch they can still pursue a previous customer for contractual rights).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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