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GoFibre Blames Supplier as Some Users Knocked Offline for Days UPDATE3

Friday, Jul 7th, 2023 (1:27 am) - Score 3,200
GoFibre-Engineers-Helmet

Approximately 30 customers of GoFibre‘s (BorderLink) alternative full fibre broadband network in Scotland (e.g. Stonehaven) have been left to suffer internet connectivity problems for several days. The ISP has accused one of their “legacy” connectivity suppliers of being responsible – something the supplier strongly denies.

In case anybody has forgotten. GoFibre currently plan to deploy their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across 500,000 premises in the North of England and Scottish Borders area by around the end of 2025, which is being supported by a huge investment of £164m from Gresham House (here).

However, some of the operator’s earliest customers, in Stonehaven, recently began informing us that they’d been left without broadband connectivity since Monday (3rd July). Customers were then informed, via email on Wednesday, that this was because “one of our key suppliers suddenly went into liquidation, and this has now been identified to be the cause of your service outage.”

Extract from GoFibre’s Customer Notice

In order to rectify the service outages, we have deployed our civil engineering team and fibre installation team to build a separate infrastructure that will provide you with your service going forward. Our engineers have been working tirelessly throughout the day and during the nights to get this network build complete and I am pleased to let you know that we are now at a point where we can schedule the final build of this network.

We will be scheduling the final works for Friday 7th July between 12pm – 2pm. During this time, you will have complete loss of connection while we switch the remaining infrastructure over to our new build.

We completely understand your frustration at these issues and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.

After digging a bit deeper, ISPreview was informed by GoFibre that the company involved in the liquidation is Scottish ISP Caleycom, which tends to serve North East Scotland and also offers its own mix of fixed wireless access and full fibre broadband plans. The company details for this business confirm the status of being in liquidation, but Caleycom has denied that the outage was caused by them (more on that below).

A Spokesperson for GoFibre said:

“We can confirm that less than 30 GoFibre customers in a part of Aberdeenshire have experienced disruption to their broadband speed as a result of one of our small legacy connectivity suppliers, Caleycom, going into liquidation.

We were already in the process of upgrading the network from G-PON to XGS-PON in the area and removing the need for the leased line connection, so this is now being accelerated and is due to be completed this week. No other customers are expected to be impacted across GoFibre’s network.

Customers affected have been informed that the final works for the upgrade are scheduled for Friday 7th July between 12pm and 2pm. During this short time, customers will experience a loss of connection while the remaining infrastructure is switched over to the new build. We do apologise for any inconvenience.”

The hope is that all will go well today and customers will then be back fully online by the mid-afternoon. Customers of the new service typically pay from £36 per month for a 100Mbps package on a 24-month term with an included wireless router, which rises to £69 per month for their top 1000Mbps plan. The latter also comes with a bonus Wi-Fi extender (this can optionally be taken on other plans for just £5 per month extra).

UPDATE 8th July 2023 @ 6am

ISPreview has since received feedback from both Caleycom’s former network engineer and their new owners, Converged Rural Broadband, both of which have disputed GoFibre’s claim.

According to the feedback, Caleycom were indeed placed into Liquidation, but we’re told this was a planned move and all assets, customer contracts and staff have reportedly been successfully transferred over to the new entity. The rapid pace of the change lends credibility to this.

According to Caleycom, GoFibre did not hold a “formal contract” (informal arrangement) with them for supply of the relevant circuit and were informed, as far back as April 2023, that it was the last remaining connection on their legacy backhaul network and would be withdrawn this summer – followed by several reminders.

However, the relevant circuit is allegedly said by Caleycom to still be live (traffic is flowing over it) and has not been cut off, which suggests that this might not be the direct cause of GoFibre’s connectivity woes in the village. Caleycom states that, thus far, GoFibre have not reached out to them for support during the outage.

A Spokesperson for Caleycom said:

“Caleycom’s assets have been bought to form: Converged Rural Broadband Limited, and no services/customers have experienced any outages whatsoever in relation to this change. All services continue as before.

Notification is being issued to customers (but some details regarding direct debits had to be clarified first which is almost complete). GoFibre have not reported any issues to Caleycom/Converged Rural Broadband Limited in regards to this purported issue.

At the time of writing, we’re still waiting to hear back from locals as to whether Friday’s work has restored the service.

UPDATE 10th July 2023 @ 11:39am

We’ve had an update from GoFibre.

A GoFibre spokesperson said:

“We can confirm that our customers who were experiencing disruption to their broadband connection in Aberdeenshire last week, are now back up and running as of Friday and are connected directly to GoFibre’s XGS-PON network now. We’re picking up with Converged Rural Broadband Limited directly.”

UPDATE 13th July 2023

Converged Rural Broadband Limited state that they’ve yet to hear from GoFibre.

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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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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Neil Christie says:

    Statement from Caleycom:
    Caleycom’s assets have been bought to form: Converged Rural Broadband Limited, and no services/customers have experienced any outages whatsoever in relation to this change.
    All services continue as before.
    Notification is being issued to customers (but some details regarding direct debits had to be clarified first which is almost complete).
    GoFibre have not reported any issues to Caleycom/Converged Rural Broadband Limited in regards to this purported issue.

    1. Avatar photo Martin says:

      A rather odd way of doing things, I’d have expected to see it go into administration, then have the assets transferred. Normally administration is used to keep it as a going concern, and liquidation to close the company for good

  2. Avatar photo Stoney Don says:

    I’m a GoFibre customer in stonehaven and it’s been shocking for a while so not sure this is the only factor

    Over the past few weeks it’s been up and down like a fiddlers elbow

    Also the article says it’s been off since monday, that’s just not true. it’s had periods all week of being donw and slow but is currently online just VERY slow

    I also have a friend who’s wiht Caleyucom in Neterley area and he says his has been rock solid recently and the company is changing but no loss of service. Not sure the ins and outs of that bit but his connection has been far better than mine has been

    Worth asking the Caleycom guys for comment?

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      Looks like Neil Christie (the comment above yours) has commented, he’s one of the directors of Caleycom.

  3. Avatar photo TJ says:

    It begs the question though, why is a sizeable company like GoFibre using a tiny provider like Caleycom to provide a critical leased line connection for a FTTP network in the first place. You’d think they would go to the actual underlying provider direct (BTW, TTB, Sky etc).

    There’s something fishy going on…

    1. Avatar photo Jesse Moore says:

      More likely than not that Caleycom didn’t pay the underlying provider of the circuit and so disconnected the service.

    2. Avatar photo Neil Christie says:

      “ More likely than not that Caleycom didn’t pay the underlying provider of the circuit and so disconnected the service.”

      No circuits have been cancelled or gone offline, all are monitored

    3. Avatar photo x_term says:

      @TJ why fishy? The early deployments of Hyperoptic in London were similar, a leased line to the building and then distribution via cat6 wiring. As the article states too, it wa probably one of those and in the early stages of a business like this it may be a decent compromise. Clearly they are moving them to the new, own network.

    4. Avatar photo TJ says:

      @x_term: if you read my comment in its entirety, you’ll note that I’m not questioning the use of a leased line. I’m questioning why GoFibre would use a tiny provider that could go belly up at any time to provide a critical backhaul service.

      Although there are many companies that sell leased lines, there are only a few network operators (typically BTW/TTB/Sky) that actually have a presence in the local exchange and can order an Openreach EAD circuit to a premise. I very much doubt Caleycom have their own presence in the exchange hence my question of why GoFibre used Caleycom for this connection in the first place rather than a “reputable” company that wasn’t teetering on the edge of liquidation..

      Also, the update posted today says GoFibre didn’t even have a contractual agreement with Caleycom. For a business in the connectivity industry with contracted customers, this is insane! I’m not privy what other deals GoFibre has made in the past but it sounds like the company is being run by clowns.

      Also, I very much doubt Hyperoptic has ever used a tiny operator to provide a critical backhaul at any time in its existence so that comparison is irrelevant, unless you can demonstrate otherwise?

    5. Avatar photo Oli says:

      As someone that works in the industry, it’s not uncommon to do deals like this on a short-term basis while providers are waiting for their own lines to be put in as these can often run at 6 to 12 months lead time. If someone nearby has connectivity then brief sharing agreements are done. Unusual to run one for what seems like an extended period though

  4. Avatar photo Davvy says:

    Jeezy peeps min!

    What a shambles from GoFibre.

    The tried to talk me I to signing up with them but glad I gave that a body swerve. Imagine selling connectivity to customers and not even have a co tract with your own supplier

    Then having months of notice of it being withdrawn and doing nothing about it!

    Heard so many horror stories from others in Stoney and some in Montrose so can’t say it’s surprising

  5. Avatar photo Stoney Don says:

    Love the fact that GoFibre have provided an update but haven’t chose to rebuke any of the details put forward by the supplier.

    Smoking Gun?

Comments are closed

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