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Budget ISP Origin Broadband Looks to Appoint an Administrator UPDATE

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 6,432
origin_uk_isp_logo_image_2021

The owner of the InfolinkGazette has reported that UK ISP Origin Broadband (company number 07486862), which back in 2018 had to be rescued by creditors after hitting problems with “substantial bad debts” (here), has filed a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator after racking up over £20m in losses.

Administration often occurs when a company, such as one that is in financial difficulty, is put into the hands of an administrator (Origin’s latest accounts do appear to point toward some financial stress). The administrator then decides whether they can help the company to continue running or sell it off for a good price.

During administration the company is protected from legal action by people or organisations who are owed money (creditors) and nobody can apply to wind up the company. Administration can also mean that the company doesn’t have to pay all its debts in full, but if deemed necessary, they can still be wound up. Ofcom also has a “supplier of last resort” process for tackling situations where an ISP collapses.

At the time of writing, The Gazette’s page for Origin (here) does not yet show that such a Notice of Intent has been filed (it can take several weeks for them to catch up with the courts). But Greg Connell, who is the founder of the InfolinkGazette, which proclaims itself to be a publisher of “rich insolvency information“, has publicly reported that such an intention was filed in the High Court on 23rd August 2021.

Greg Connell, MD of InfolinkGazette, said:

“Origin are one of many smaller broadband providers that are competing with the big players like BT or Virgin Media, and racked up over £22 million of accumulated losses”.

We asked Origin about this and got the following response.

A Spokesperson for Origin Broadband said:

“The company has undertaken a formal process for new investment, and is at an advanced stage of discussions with a number of interested parties.”

In the meantime, we note that two of Origin’s key Directors, Oliver Joseph Bryssau and Andrew Paul Simpson, last year helped to setup another telecommunications company called Consumer Choices Limited (company number 12563238).

Consumer Choices Limited exists within the same postcode as Origin (S63 7EF is registered to both), but appears to offer a broadband and energy comparison service. The same postcode is linked to the ezeee.co.uk comparison site, which includes Origin as one of its ISPs.

In addition, Origin Broadband’s website now makes reference to another ‘Origin’ company called ‘Origin Broadband Services‘ (company number 12091431), which was setup in 2019 (Origin Broadband Ltd. was setup in 2011) at the same postcode as the others and has the same two directors.

Elsewhere, Ofcom said that Origin had not yet formally flagged their situation to the regulator.

UPDATE 6:55am

The High Court case number for the NOI appears to be CR-2021-LDS-000381.

UPDATE 8th September 2021

Greg Connell has noted that Origin Broadband filed another Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator in the High Court yesterday (7th Sept). “Clearly the directors were unable to clear all the hurdles and get the Administrator appointment over the line, which normally indicates a problem with creditors, shareholders or charge holders. The company is controlled by Faro Capital Ltd, who not surprisingly hold a fixed and floating charge,” added Greg.

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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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14 Responses
  1. Buggerlugz says:

    Didn’t know you were allowed to use “Phoenix companies” for delivering ISP services. How dodgy.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      The practice does carry some negative connotations, particularly for creditors, yet is perfectly legal. But the rules would tighten were they to go another step and dive into liquidation, although it looks like they’re making efforts to avoid that.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phoenix-companies-and-the-role-of-the-insolvency-service/phoenix-companies-and-the-role-of-the-insolvency-service

  2. Just a thought says:

    It’s often the suppliers, so of whom are small business to that carry the brunt of the cost. At least a phoenix company is usually of a similar name and business so they can be classed as the devil you know. If it goes into liquidation directors have to set up something completely new and then they are an unknown to the suppliers…….

  3. Billy says:

    It’s hardly surprising that they are in trouble. I was an Origin customer for several years, but only because of their ridiculously low prices; Their customer service and general incompetence has had them marked for failure for a long time.

  4. Spencer says:

    Don’t like seeing anyone potentially lose their job or a business go down but how they handled Digital Region network customers back in the day will always leave a sour taste in my mouth.

  5. Jim Simm says:

    I changed my mind about committing to an 18 month contract with Origin on the day it was installed. I was getting my ‘broadband’ via copper cable entering my house. I was told I was one day too late and so Origin held me to the 18 month ordeal.
    Administration could not be more appropriate for this vile company. Customer service were unpleasant to say the least.

  6. Mark ANDERSON says:

    Administration can’t come quick enough for this terrible company con merchants

    1. Richard says:

      Im at the end of my contract with plusnet, and i was considering signing up to origin on the pay up front deal. If i paid upfront and they then went bust then would i loose out?

    2. Ged Bromley says:

      Yep, you be one of the last in the queue to get your money back.

  7. Richard says:

    Would have thought that if they went bust you would just get moved to another ISP to continue the contract there, so if you have paid for 12 months and have 10 left then the next payment with the replacement isp will be due in 10 months?

    1. Mike Nield says:

      I seriously doubt that another ISP will provide you with x months of their service at zero cost to you because you paid Origin up front.

  8. Brett says:

    We have a business leased line with them. Not had much bother apart from when a 3rd party dug through a backbone…
    I assume our line would just be handed over to someone else whilst in contract (2 more years).

  9. Michael says:

    Halifax are still offering this company as a Cashback Extra on my account!

  10. John says:

    It may be OK slating this company but you should take a moment to consider its workforce before passing judgement. Shame on you.

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