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O2 Wholesale UK Tells ISP Partners to Stop Worrying About the BSkyB Sale

Tuesday, Mar 26th, 2013 (11:31 am) - Score 1,746

O2 Wholesale, which supplies business clients with internet connectivity solutions, has told their ISP partners that it’s “business as usual” at the firm. The comment follows O2 and BE Broadband’s (Telefonica) £180m sale of its fixed line home broadband and phone business to Sky Broadband (BSkyB) earlier this month.

The controversial deal (here), which was first rumoured in January 2013 before finally being confirmed on 1st March 2013, saw BSkyB pick-up the operators fixed line consumers but left O2Wholesale to be managed under a separate arrangement.

As part of the deal O2Wholesale is to be retained by Telefonica UK, although Sky would still take over the technical ownership and day to day operations of their unbundled (LLU) network (i.e. Sky will integrate the current ISAMs into their own platform). In short the O2Wholesale division became a customer of Sky’s under another wholesale agreement, which some might view as being potentially disadvantageous to future flexibility and development.

O2Wholesale today claims that this deal has been “well received” by its partners, yet clearly the firm still felt concerned enough about the impact of the Sky sale to issue another press release telling everybody that there’s nothing to worry about (i.e. no need to swap suppliers). It’s even managed to line-up a small selection of loyal partners to help reinforce the message.

Dan Cunliffe, Head of Partners and Strategy at O2Wholesale, said:

We know that our partners choose O2 Wholesale because of our support, training and unrivalled commitment. Early discussions with our partners following the announcement show that these continue to be a top priority for them and they remain as committed as ever to working with us.”

Elsa Chen, General Manager at Entanet, added:

It’s business as usual at O2 Wholesale and we know we can rely on their continued support and dedication to Entanet. We have been a partner with O2 Wholesale for a while now and have seen first-hand the team’s commitment to its partners and the channel.”

Terry O’Brien, Managing Director at Daisy Wholesale, concluded:

Our partnership with O2 Wholesale is built on us being able to deliver outstanding customer service to our end users. O2 Wholesale has provided us a high quality product that has had real success for us. I remain focused on providing our partners with great quality products and look forward to hearing more about how this develops from O2 in due course.”

Separately O2’s consumer division still appears to be fighting tooth and nail to hold onto an extra contingent amount of up to £20 million, which BSkyB will only pay upon the “successful delivery and completion” of the customer migration process.

As a result the operator has been busy offering attractive deals (e.g. 12 months free broadband and £100 – £200 rebates off mobile phone bills) to customers whom can be persuaded not to leave the operator for pastures new. Clearly not everybody is a fan of Sky’s acquisition and the related uncertainty that surrounds it.

The acquisition itself is due, subject to regulatory clearance, to complete by the end of April 2013. However the consumer migration process is not expected to begin for another 5 months or so and it will take around 18 months to complete. More details are expected to surface about Sky’s offering to O2’s customers in the not too distant future.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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