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UPDATE4 No Warning as Little Known UK ISP net365 Cuts Off Broadband Users

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 (4:15 pm) - Score 2,577

A little known Bradford-based ISP called net365, which supplies broadband services to students, as well as residential, healthcare and business users, appears to have cut-off some or all of their internet access customers following an alleged dispute with one of their suppliers (FluidOne).

The details are currently unclear, although there’s already enough information to perk our interest. Firstly, many of the customers affected appear to be those who were also caught up in the December 2016 collapse of broadband services from Fast.co.uk, 186K and Firenet (here), which was also cut off due to a similar dispute (i.e. the ISP failed to pay its bills).

As one customer, Harry, told ISPreview.co.uk today: “Not sure if you have been informed of this already but as of yesterday we have lost our broadband service (cut off without warning) from Net365 … Net365 had picked up some of the Fast ISP customers when Fast got cut off at Christmas. So this is the second cut off!!!

The development has also been confirmed by another broadband provider, which has chosen to remain anonymous but claims to have received similar calls from concerned net365 subscribers. The ISP also noted that the effected lines were all tagged with ‘WBMC – FLUIDATA LTD – WBC‘ and that related customers have been referred by net365 to another little known ISP called Legend Telecom.

Simon Stokes, FluidOne’s Head of Indirect, told ISPreview.co.uk:

FluidOne’s DSL platform is geographically diverse and fully operational, supporting ADSL, FTTC FTTP and now FTTPoD. A suspension of services is the last resort in any long-term commercial dispute and through our processes, would not take place with less than two weeks’ notice.

We are not at liberty to discuss any individual partners, however end users of the FluidOne DSL platform can switch to other ISPs on the platform and have services operational within a few hours.”

Oddly Legend Telecom, which was only established around Easter of this year, doesn’t have a working website (at the time of writing) and they share exactly the same building address as net365: 167-169 Sunbridge Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, BD1 2HB.

Company Details for Legend Telecom

Company Details for net365

We also note that the Director of net365 (DIXON, Jonathan David) lives at the same address as one of Legend Telecom’s Directors (DIXON, Jacqueline Linda). Customers who contact Legend are apparently being told that it could take around 10 working days to reconnect them (note: another user was told 20 days) and this perhaps lends some weight to the suggestion of a fall-out with their supplier (FluidOne).

We have of course contacted both parties involved and are still awaiting a response.

UPDATE 4:38pm

We’ve added a comment from FluidOne above.

UPDATE 4:54pm

After checking our database we think that iDNET, FastNet, Abzorb and Link Connect all make some use of the FluidOne platform and so should also be able to offer an almost seamless migration, although affected customers should ask those ISPs first.

UPDATE 8:33pm

The director of net365, Jon Dixon, has kindly furnished us with a detailed summary of events from their perspective, which helps to explain today’s situation.

Statement from net365

As of the 14th of August 2017, at around noon we had 101 broadband connections (all ADSL and FTTC) knocked offline due to an ongoing dispute with one of our our upstream carriers FluidOne (formally Fluidata). Around 90% of these lines are ex-186k customers who came on board when Fluidata disconnected 186k for unknown reasons just before Christmas last year.

Despite 101 lines being offline many of these connections are for machine-to-machine communications and backup lines for resilient systems so while it is inconvenient the number of businesses impacted it is unlikely to cause lasting damage. We do however regret there are 2-3 small businesses that are badly impacted by this event and they are in the process of being issued emergency 4G routers to get them back online ASAP while Legend Telecom completes the transfer to them.

Our relationship with Legend telecom would be easier to understand if I explain our company’s history. In 2008, I created a system for provision of internet for Student halls of residence and this expanded to include student houses soon after. During the governments broadband connection voucher scheme 2-3 years ago we took on a huge amount of small businesses in the Leeds/Bradford area connecting directly to our microwave access network. Due to the nature of how the two product areas operate this created a nightmare for support and with different views expressed in the office between key staff members it was decided to split the company and staff into 2 smaller ones. This started around 3 months ago and is still on-going.

In the new roles Net365 would go back to what it was best (designing managed broadband systems for student halls and houses) as this is something I have always had a passion for and the three support staff that requested it would create a new company and buy only the business customers/infrastructure required to support them. Antony, who is the director of Legend Telecom ,is very dedicated to his cause and this way I could guarantee all the existing business customers would be well looked after going forward. Legend Telecom and Net365 share a building at 167-169 Sunbridge Road. The building in question is a 6 story specially converted mill that houses 2 data-centers and is more than big enough for both companies. Both companies will continue to trade in their dedicated fields and continue to expand.

The nature of the dispute with FluidOne (formally Fluidata) started just after the onboarding of the ex-186k customers around January/February time when Fluidata incorrectly billed for activations (to the tune of over £3k) that had not taken place and ceased lines that were not supposed to be ceased resulting in customers getting cut off and us requiring circuits to be expedited within BT to get people back online at huge expense! This took months to resolve and was only finally resolved by us writing off the expedited orders as a loss on our side and FluidOne correcting the original billing issue. Problems did not stop there.

3 Months ago work was undertaken to build the Legend network with its core in London and at the same time consolidate Net365s infrastructure from 2 other data-centres in the north of England to London. Net365s core network was successfully re-built and Legends new network was complete in London except for the cross connect to FluidOne. The request to move the FluidOne cross connect from Manchester to London was put in at the same time as the order for rackspace/transit/peering/leased lines from all the other companies. All the other companies completed their works 2 months ago.

Despite constant requests to our new account manager (4th one since Christmas) and support excuses were made or requests ignored to move the connection. Because of this delay we could not decommission the mostly unused racks/lines still supporting the fluidata platform costing us thousands of pounds each month. The last resort to limiting the damage fluidone was causing was to withhold payment until the circuit was moved or close the platform that would result in loss of customers since a username change would be required on the end users router if we moved supplier.

Fluidone was informed of this and they reacted by shutting off the lines with no notice to us or our customers and attempting to get another provider to take over the lines to avoid losing them altogether. It makes me think did 186k simply not pay their bill or did they have the same problems we did?

I will do all in my power to help the customers affected by this but ultimately there needs to be regulation laid down by Ofcom to clean up the telecoms industry abusing smaller players.

UPDATE 16th Aug 2017 – 2:20pm

FluidOne has issued another statement, which calls into doubt some of the claims that have been made by net365 above.

FluidOne Statement:

“At FluidOne we endeavour to support our partners through all business situations and will always do our best to reach a positive outcome for all parties. Unfortunately we can confirm that we have taken the difficult decision to suspend a partners’ service after they had repeated issues paying bills and has not been able to meet an agreed payment plan that was put in place at the beginning of the year.

We refute the explanation given with the account being full of inaccuracies. Therefore we have to view it as libel and have referred the matter to our legal counsel for review.”

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar captain-cretin

    It is FluidOne I feel sorry for, their are getting taken for a ride, over and over again, by seemingly the same people, but operating under different names.

    • Avatar Matt

      I think this is why Legend Telecoms are saying its going to take 10-20 days to get connected as they’re having to migrate away completely. FluidOne probably have had enough and sussed they are similarly connected people and doing some damage limitation.

  2. Avatar Peter Knapp

    Legend Internet – says it all if you’ve been in the business a few years…

  3. Avatar Colin

    I’m not sure it is Net365/Legend this article should be going after.

    I know they have done everything possible to make things work with Fluid Data/FluidOne or whatever they are known as these days.

  4. Avatar correlator

    Your mother is the other director and 50% shareholder of Legend Jon, why only mention Antony? Smells like a phoenix for the impending CCJ.

    • Avatar Colin

      Why the continual digs? The response above is fairly open and honest. therw are two sides here. My dealings with Net365 and Legend have always been straight forward and honest in nature.
      A small business trying to do something positive.

    • Avatar correlator

      It seems unlikely fluid would screw over a reliable partner in this way and cause concern for its many other small reliable partners. That Legend is trying to on-board with fluid via the back door / alt entity seems strange when they had such a bad experience in their previous incarnation as outlined, that Jon would mention an asset transfer to another entity but not mention his family is a director and own 50% of shares in that buying entity seems even stranger. These are the hallmarks of someone doing a phoenix and defaulting on their liabilities to HMRC, their suppliers and consequently other small business and consumers. These are not continual digs, they are factual statements pending clarification. I have no part, competition or interest in any of the wider industry or parties, except having experienced first hand the damage that similar dodgy practices have caused to others. I am sure I am not the only one smelling and thinking the same, so you could say I am trying to help him should I be wrong / welcome the clarification.

  5. Avatar Kyle james

    Defo a bunch of scammers well known in the broadband would

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