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Broadband ISP UKFSN Dissolved But Will Continue to Function

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 (1:40 pm) - Score 2,796

The UK Free Software Network (UKFSN), a small internet access and web hosting provider that helps to fund free software projects from its profits, has today officially been struck off and dissolved by Companies House (company no. 05292112). But happily the ISP is not dead and will continue to operate.

Ordinarily a dissolved company would close and be removed from Companies House. As part of this its cash and assets would then transfer to The Crown (state), unless a process of company restoration is started. But at UKFSN the situation is a bit more complex.

Name & Registered Office:
UK FREE SOFTWARE NETWORK LIMITED
FLAT 4, 199A
SHENLEY ROAD
BOREHAMWOOD
HERTFORDSHIRE
ENGLAND
WD6 1AT
Company No. 05292112

Status: Dissolved 18/06/2013
Date of Incorporation: 19/11/2004
Last Return Made Up To: 16/11/2011

The boss of UKFSN, Jason Clifford, has since informed ISPreview.co.uk that he operated the company’s service under license and had always owned the domain and ran UKFSN for a couple of years prior to registering the company. Clifford states that he took the decision to cease that arrangement and instead run UKFSN as a sole tradersome time ago“, which means that “customers should not see any change as a result of this” and the service will continue.

Unfortunately the situation has coincided with some troubled “technical changes” (planned upgrades) to the ISPs email and web hosting services, which didn’t go according to plan and caused a number of the providers customers to fear for the future of their service.

UKFSN Web Hosting Status Update

The server hosting the UKFSN web service started to develop problems so it was necessary to migrate to a new server urgently. Doing so meant a major software upgrade as the old hosting environment was rather dated.

Unfortunately the current version of Debian has changed a number of system components that are critical to the UKFSN service including 3 specific changes which caused serious problems on the new platform which did not manifest until after the migration had been done. Some of these were very difficult to diagnose and required a lot of work to fix.

It’s taken several days to get things sorted out but I think everything is working properly as of this morning.

Clifford said that he intends to make a full announcement to UKFSN customers about the current events this evening, which should hopefully clarify any related concerns. In the meantime the ISP doesn’t appear to be going anywhere and it’s business as usual (at least for now), albeit without the company status.

Hopefully the next update will shed a little extra light on the reasoning behind Clifford’s decision, which is still unclear. Credits to TB’s forum members for spotting this (here).

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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