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Shell Now Favourite to Gobble Post Office Broadband Division

Monday, December 7th, 2020 (2:51 pm) - Score 3,864
postoffice uk broadband

A report claims that UK ISP and energy provider Shell Energy has now emerged as the preferred bidder for the Post Office’s telecoms division, which specially relates to its base of around 500,000 broadband and phone customers that is currently said to be valued at c.£100 million.

The situation arguably began last year (here) after the Post Office put out a Prior Information Notice (PIN), which sought suppliers for a “range of goods and services in order to continue to provide telecommunications services” to consumers (prior to this they held a managed service agreement with TalkTalk’s Wholesale division). Since then we’ve heard very little from them and they’ve yet to launch any ultrafast broadband plans.

However, back in late October 2020, a report indicated that Shell Energy, Sky Broadband and TalkTalk had all expressed some level of interest in acquiring the Post Office’s telecoms base, but at the time it was unclear which held the strongest position.

Today Sky News has reported that Shell Energy, which is home to around 130,000 broadband customers and was only fairly recently established (in 2018) through the acquisition of First Utility, has emerged as the “preferred bidder” in the process. Both Shell and PO have declined to comment.

Both providers hold a similar position within the market and have similar products, although Shell has also launched a number of ultrafast packages and they may benefit from greater take-up of their energy products. One potential issue here is that the PO’s telecoms base is significantly larger than Shell’s and so the latter would need to rapidly scale-up their support teams in order to cope (not so easy), otherwise any migration could be a very choppy ride.

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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.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Mark says:

    Why would anyone even choose to use PO broadband? They’re more expensive than most of the other providers … It’s not like Zen and AAISP who charge more but provide a much better service with lower latency, better support etc

    1. A_Builder says:

      Strangely PO is still a trusted brand among some sections of the community.

      Most people don’t understand the difference between PO, PO Counters & RM etc which is very confusing anyway.

      I agree there is zero sense in using an ISP that doesn’t really have anything going for it.

      A lot of the copper based brands are really going to struggle to differentiate themselves in the new era of FTTP where price will be pretty much the differentiating factor and so I can see a lot of consolidation as we are seeing here.

    2. MikeC says:

      People will see it as a trustworthy brand due to how long the Post Office has been around for, they will have issues with their previous ISP and see an advert or have it mentioned in their local PO and they will probably just dive in without any thought or prior knowledge. Just because you wouldn’t do it, doesn’t mean others have the same view.

    3. Danny says:

      You say expensive? I got it for my mum at 19.95 a month for 2 years with 36mbps download which is ample for her usage. But I think its a pretty decent price for what it is.

    4. Optimist says:

      Some of us remember when BT was part of the Post Office!

  2. Joan says:

    Shell Energy are a hell isp

  3. martin says:

    My mother’s been with the PO since they took over FUEL broadband. Never a complaint to be fair. Didn’t know they were piggy backing on Talk Talk as I believe they are awful.

  4. Groucho says:

    We were told Shell take over on the 16th March. We have been with the Post Office since Fuel gave up, and have been perfectly happy. Good price and really fast. Shell not got a good reputation for their ethical stance, so will probably look elsewhere. A shame really.

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