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FullFibre Ltd Drop UK ISP Zybre from Network as Provider Faces Strike-Off UPDATE2

Friday, May 5th, 2023 (8:48 am) - Score 3,600
ZYBRE-UK-Map-Logo

Customers of broadband ISP ZYBRE (Air Broadband) are facing more uncertainty after one of their remaining network partners, FullFibre Limited, informed related users that they’d taken the “difficult decision to no longer work” with the provider. On top of that, ZYBRE has also received a “First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off“.

At this point, it’s probably fair to say that the situation around ZYBRE is still as confusing as it is ugly for the ISP’s customers (summary of events). Since March, the provider has found itself in dispute with several of its network partners, such as CityFibre, OFNL and LilaConnect (VX FIBER), which has caused a great deal of uncertainty and some users have opted to leave. We asked Zybre for an update last week, but received no reply.

Since then, the situation appears to have deteriorated, again. At the start of this month, some of Zybre’s remaining customers informed us that their records at Companies House had been updated to report that the provider has now received a “First Gazette notice for compulsory strike-off” (here).

Such legally binding official notices tend to indicate that a company is at risk of being struck off from the official register of companies. Such notices can be raised for various issues, such as non-payment of tax, failing to inform Companies House of a change in address or a failure to publish company accounts etc. (Zybre’s accounts have been overdue since earlier in 2023).

If a company is struck off the register, it will typically cease to exist as a legal entity, cannot trade and its assets (e.g. property or bank accounts) will be forfeited to the Crown. Not to mention the reputational damage this outcome incurs.

Companies House Statement

The Registrar of Companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Company will be struck off the register and dissolved not less than 2 months from [9th May 2023].

Upon the Company’s dissolution, all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the Company are deemed to be bona vacatia, and will belong to the Crown.

However, this is only the first step towards compulsory strike-off, which means that Zybre may still be able to rescue the situation (sometimes this may simply require a company to publish their accounts). But this hasn’t been the only recent development.

Customers on Zybre who take their FTTP broadband network from FullFibre Limited (Fibre Heroes), which is deploying across 35 UK towns, have just been told that they’ll need to switch provider by 6th June 2023. But don’t worry, as they won’t cut you off if you haven’t managed to switch by this date.

Customer Letter from FullFibre Ltd

Dear XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX,

As a valued customer on our FullFibre network, I am writing to you about an update to your broadband services.

Following careful consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to no longer work with ZYBRE, your current internet services provider. It is extremely important to us that, as a customer on our network, you are provided with an excellent service at all times, and this decision is a reflection of this.

What does this mean for you?

Up until the 5th June you’ll continue to receive your internet connection and additional services from ZYBRE as normal. We recommend you start looking at the many alternative suppliers on our website during this time to find the best broadband provider for you needs.

However, from the 6th June we will be turning ZYBRE’s internet connection off and transferring your internet connection to our system. This will ensure you can continue to access and use the internet as you do today should you not find a suitable alternative during this first 30 day period.

Keeping you connected

We know this news will come out of the blue for you. To give you plenty of time to find an alternative internet service provider (ISP) and maintain your internet access, we will provide you with 60 days of FREE internet connection from 6th June.

What do I need to do?

You will need to find an alternative ISP provider on our network.

FullFibre’s ISP partners now include BeFibre, FACTCO, Gigabit Networks, iDNET, Link Broadband, Merula, OctaPlus, Redline, Squirrel and Worcester I.T Services. Meanwhile, there’s been no word of progress from Zybre on the possible sale of broadband customers to Home Telecom (TalkTalk), which was originally dangled at the end of March.

UPDATE 9th May 2023

We’ve had an official statement from FullFibre Limited, but it doesn’t add much to what has already been stated above.

A Spokesperson for FullFibre Ltd said:

“FullFibre is no longer working with ZYBRE, however, we continue to work with our other ISP partners to connect homes and businesses to ultrafast broadband across the UK. We wish ZYBRE the very best for the future.

Whilst this in no way affects the majority of customers on our network using many of our other ISP partners, who can expect to experience services as normal, we are working to ensure a seamless transition for those it does affect, and to this end we are offering all ZYBRE customers our full support to find a new service provider. This support includes 60 days of free internet whilst they consider their options.

It is extremely important to us that those homes and businesses connected on our network are provided with an excellent service, and we routinely make decisions on a daily basis that reinforce this practice. This latest decision is a reflection of this.”

UPDATE 10th May 2023

Zybre has issued a new email to customers on the CityFibre side of their network, which informs of a new agreement that will see them migrated to rival ISP OCTAPLUS (here).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
14 Responses
  1. Avatar photo John Hill says:

    I got the same letter this morning [Sat 6th May], was with AirBroadband then got moved to Zybre about 2 months ago.

  2. Avatar photo Maarten Roes-Francken says:

    I too received this letter from Full Fibre but I have never received any notification from Air Broadband about being moved to Zybre; nor have I had any communication from Zybre. The last I heard from Air BB was on the 1st May Air Broadband when they sent me an invoice and took £35 by direct debit from my account. Question is, should I simply just switch right now , to an alternative ISP and stop my direct debit to Air Broadband?

    1. Avatar photo Andrew Hannay says:

      I’m still getting invoices from Airbroadband, however I’ve checked my direct debits with my bank and they’ve not taken anything for April and May, The direct debit is still active so may be worth checking whether it’s the same for you

    2. Avatar photo James says:

      I’ve seen similar reports on Facebook. I cancelled it in March so they didn’t take anything anyway but it’s good to see customers aren’t being billed needlessly.

      I suppose accounts must’ve got shut down as part of the Air Broadband petition to wrap-up in March. The invoices come from Air’s Xerox system which seems automated. Imagine this should get shut down eventually if it hasn’t already (guess we’ll find out on the 15th).

  3. Avatar photo Mick says:

    There’s another “Zybre group” related to the same owner and registered at company house : https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/NI692132/filing-history

    1. Avatar photo James says:

      Looking at their website, Zybre Limited (the one with the pending strike-off) is the ISP.

      Zybre Group I suspect is a overarching management company that oversees One Box Media, Zybre Limited, and the former Air Broadband.

      Interestingly the addresses on companies house all seem to be proxy addresses so no wonder they didn’t get the strike-off warning letters!

  4. Avatar photo Martin says:

    Good. I wish the rubbish City Fibre would be as clear as FullFibre Ltd.

  5. Avatar photo Martin says:

    Just received an email from Zybre saying I will be migrated from Zybre (on CityFirbre) to Octaplus

  6. Avatar photo James says:

    This seems to be the e-mail people on CityFibre have been recieving:

    “We understand that you may have experienced some frustration with our service and as a result our customer experience over the past few months, we would like to offer our sincerest apologies for this. In order to address and resolve these issues, ZYBRE has reached an agreement with Octaplus Networks, and CityFibre will support migrating of our existing broadband subscribers.

    What does this mean for you?

    You can rest assured that your internet broadband speed will remain the same, and there will be no change to your existing contract terms. Octaplus Networks will ensure a high degree of service to support all customers joining their platform.

    What about my payments?

    It is important that your payments with ZYBRE, EdenOak (Digital Home) or Air Broadband are up-to-date, so please ensure any outstanding payments are made, once paid you should cancel any direct debit you may have with ZYBRE, EdenOak (Digital Home), or Air Broadband. You can make payments via our payment hotline on 02393003713.

    What are the next steps?

    Your existing broadband service will be migrated to Octaplus Networks starting from Friday 12th May 2023 onwards, between 00:01hrs and 08:00hrs, and you will be provided with free internet access until 31st May 2023, giving time to set up new direct debits with Octaplus Networks.

    Do I need to do anything else?

    The day before migration, please ensure the CityFibre network termination box and the WiFi Router are connected to a power source and remain switched on. On the day of migration, wait until 08:30AM to test your internet connection. If it’s not working, simply switch off the power to both the CityFibre termination box and router, wait for 1 minute and then restore the power.

    If you are still unable to connect to the internet, please contact the Customer Service team at Octaplus Networks by phone on 03333355385 or email switchover@octaplus.co.uk and they will assist.
    Octaplus Networks will send an email to confirm your migration has been completed successfully.

    What if I don’t want to migrate to Octaplus Networks?

    Octaplus Networks is an Internet Service Provider and Network Operator based in the UK, established in 2022 to offer a better standard of broadband nationwide.
    They are committed to offering the best possible support, at industry-leading prices, giving outstanding value for money.

    If you choose not to migrate to Octaplus Networks, your service will still be migrated, and you will be offered free internet until 31st May 2023, giving you ample time to do your research and migrate to another CityFibre ISP, with no penalty.

    If you have any further questions or would simply like to talk to someone about the migration, please contact the Customer Service team at Octaplus Networks by phone on 03333355385 or email switchover@octaplus.co.uk and they will be happy to help.
    FAQ Page: http://www.octaplus.co.uk/zybreoctaplus

    Thank you for your custom and understanding.

    Yours faithfully,

    Jonathan Robinson

    CEO, ZYBRE”

    1. Avatar photo Forever Alone says:

      I love that the link to the FAQ page is a 404. Classic.

    2. Avatar photo James says:

      It is quite funny and typical… from what I can figure out, I think the actual link is https://octaplus.co.uk/zybreswitch/ seems to be if CityFibre customers want to continue with Octaplus past the 31st May grave period.

  7. Avatar photo Paul says:

    Very interesting!

    I haven’t received an email, but had switched (by force) a month back. I also cancelled my DD mid-march. I wonder whether I’ve escaped!

    In the email it says “It is important that your payments with ZYBRE, EdenOak (Digital Home) or Air Broadband are up-to-date, so please ensure any outstanding payments are made”. There are a couple of ways of reading this, but it might either mean ‘monthly payment’ or it might, possibly, mean ‘monthly payments plus exit fees’. I think probably the former – and really hope so for all of the hassle that they’ve caused.

    Personally – and this is just me – I would not be switching from a failed fairly new company (Zybre) that blamed their failures on the takeover of customers from other failing companies (Air/Digital Home) to an even younger company (Octaplus was incorporated in March 2022) which hasn’t yet had to file any accounts which is taking over the customers of several failed companies…

    For those that do, I hope that history does not repeat itself.

  8. Avatar photo Spider says:

    Punctual like a clock, I received my third (so far) invoice from AirBroadband (does it even still exist as a company?) requesting payment for the month of June , even though they ceased supplying broadband services on OFNL since March, and after a million unanswered emails.

    Positive side: I have opened a complaint with Ombudsman (who are great by the way), and within minutes it seems the Ombudsman was able to get in touch with someone at Zybre – they must know their tricks.

    Case in ongoing, I will update you here.

    I’d reccomend anyone who has gounds to do so to complaint against Zybre with the Ombudsman:

    1) you need to have allowed for 8 weeks since your last complaint email to Zybre for the Ombudsman to accept your case
    2) you need to supply evidence (PDF prints of emails are perfect)
    3) when you complain, remember to :a) ask for Zybre to provide your personal data usage (GDPR SAR request) and request that it’s all removed after the complaint is resolved (this will have to also cover the invoicing platform Xero.com which they use to spam us with fake invoices) b) you can also ask for compensation for the waste of time , however given the current Zybre accounts situation I don’t think you’d ever be compensated.

    1. Avatar photo James says:

      Yeah, have also gone through the process with the Ombudsman who have been really helpful so far, and hopefully I am nearing the end of the whole ordeal soon. As long as you provide lots of evidence (phone recordings, emails, letter from infrastructure provider) and follow the terms of the ombudsman it’s all good.

      To say the whole situation caused by Zybre / Air Broadband has been stressful is however an understatement…

Comments are closed

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