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Cuckoo Launch Service to Get Broadband Online Within 24 Hours

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 (10:01 am) - Score 3,216
Packfleet-Cuckoo

UK ISP Cuckoo has today launched a new “world-first” service called “24-Hour Eggspress Wi-Fi“, which claims it can beat the “industry’s standard 14-day wait time” when switching broadband providers by getting customers online “anywhere” in the United Kingdom within 24 hours. But there’s a little more to it than that.

Firstly, we should point out that the reference to a 14-day wait time above is likely to be reflective of Ofcom’s existing migration rules, which primarily apply to Openreach’s UK network (they won’t be extended to more networks until early 2023). Ofcom’s rules specify a 10-working day migration window, which only becomes 14 days if you include the two weekends.

NOTE: One of the reasons for Ofcom’s 10-day switching window is to allow time for a process that reduces the risk of SLAMMING (i.e. seeing your service switched to a different ISP without consent).

Despite how the official press release may sound, the new 24-Hour Eggspress Wi-Fi solution has not found a magic way to switch the physical line connection within 24 hours. Instead, it reflects an approach that we’ve seen other ISPs adopt in different ways before (usually as a backup), which involves sending customers a temporary 4G based mobile broadband dongle to get them online while they wait for the fixed line to go live.

As for the 24-hours claim, Cuckoo aims to achieve this by partnering with London delivery startup Packfleet to “launch a world-first same-day internet trial to get Londoners connected within a matter of hours” (Relish actually tried this in 2016 – they’re now part of Three UK). In other words, it’s not yet available nationwide, but they do plan to do that, at some point.

Alex Fitzgerald, CEO of Cuckoo, said:

“We’ve made ordering broadband faster and easier than ever before. We’ve all been there – whether you’re moving homes or switching providers, setting up a new internet connection can be nightmarish. It might sound crazy to some of the other providers, but we think no one should have to sit around for more than 14 days for a reliable internet connection. It shouldn’t have to be such a painful or pricey process to set up a new connection – so we’re on a mission to end these antiquated methods.

Brits have been suffering with sub-par broadband products and terrible service for far too long. We’ve got big plans to shake up the market and bring customers great broadband products, flexible contracts and fair pricing – this is just the start.”

The product itself sounds like a reasonably good idea, but there are a few catches to consider. The first one stems from the fact that it’s not free and attracts an additional £40 charge when you place your order. For that, you get a 4G USB Dongle (modem) loaded with “unlimited data” (a 5G solution is being considered for the future), which will work until your fibre is activated. After that, you have to return the dongle (in a pre-paid envelope after 30 days), or you can keep it for an additional £40. Not cheap.

Furthermore, migrations that occur on Openreach’s network usually only have a short period of actual downtime (until then your old service will often continue to work), thus there’s a question mark over whether people really need such a dongle. Not to mention that most modern consumers will already have access to a mobile broadband connection via their existing mobile contract (Smartphones can be turned into temporary Wi-Fi Hotspots).

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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
6 Responses
  1. Jonny says:

    It’s a better option than managing it yourself when doing a house move, for example. £40 seems reasonable.

  2. Anon says:

    Yeah not sure why you’re so cynical about this one mark, looks like a good initiative

  3. Mark Jackson says:

    That’s the job, to question and provide context where relevant, rather than simply to regurgitate every press release like it’s the second coming of Christ. In this case it’s a useful feature, but people do need to be aware of the caveats / costs and alternatives.

    The press release also doesn’t mention 4G until right at the bottom in the editor’s notes, which makes it initially sound like they’ve found a way to cut the physical line migration.

    The claim of being the first to do a similar sort of same-day delivery is also wrong, Relish did it before.

  4. Barry Wilkinson says:

    4g not available here!

  5. Meh 4G says:

    This doesn’t sound that good actually, not worth it.

    Cuckoo is normally pretty good as they stand up for consumers on contracts, but this is just a gimmick.

    Consider that a 4G unlimited usage sim card is £18 per month on Smarty (uses Three’s network), with no contact. Tether your phone to your PC and you have all you need while your physical line is setup.

  6. J says:

    If there’s an existing ONT FTTP can be activated next day

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