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UK ISP Zzoomm Sees 33 Percent Full Fibre Take-up in Henley

Friday, Oct 13th, 2023 (8:21 am) - Score 2,168
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Broadband ISP Zzoomm has reported that take-up of their multi-gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network in one of their first locations to go live during early 2020, the Oxfordshire (England) town of Henley-on-Thames, has now hit 1 in 3 premises (roughly 33%) and growing.

The operator, which is being fuelled by an equity investment of £100m from Oaktree Capital (here) and a £100m debt facility via an international banking consortium (here), has – based on the last update a few months ago – so far covered 150,000 UK premises (Ready for Service) across 29 locations (an extra 50,000 since February 2023) and they’re also home to over 12,000 customers (up from 3,700 in 2022).

NOTE: Zzoomm has largely focused their rollout on smaller towns in parts Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, North Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, West Yorkshire and Cheshire.

As part of that, Henley-on-Thames was the provider’s very first build and the local project aimed to cover 6,800 premises in the town. The network in the town first began to go live at the start of 2020 and the build itself was completed by the end of December 2020, which means that homes and businesses have had around three years to adapt.

In that sense it’s good to see Zzoomm achieving a decent take-up of around 1 in 3 premises (they haven’t given an exact figure), although on the flip side Henley-on-Thames is somewhat of a rarity in today’s market as the operator doesn’t appear to have any significant gigabit-capable rivals in the local market. Clearly pulling customers away from Openreach’s more established, albeit far slower, ADSL2+ and FTTC (VDSL2) based services – sold via hundreds of ISPs – is still a tough job.

Matthew Hare, Zzoomm’s CEO, said:

“The construction of our Full Fibre network in Henley-on-Thames was a watershed moment for local homes and businesses, because the old copper network in the area really held residents back. For the first time, homes and businesses in Henley had a choice of network. And what a choice: our Full Fibre infrastructure that is totally fit for the future that blows you away. We’re delighted to have welcomed one third of all the homes and businesses as customers to Zzoomm in Henley, our very first Zzoomming town.”

The news follows shortly after the same provider announced that they’d achieved a strong take-up rate of 20% in the towns of Sandhurst and Crowthorne, which occurred only 7 months after finishing the build. Customers who take the residential service typically pay from £29.95 per month (currently discounted to £19.95) for an unlimited 150Mbps (symmetric speed) package on a 12-month term with an included router, which goes up to just £64.95 (currently discounted to £54.95) if you want their top 2Gbps tier.

Meanwhile, Zzoomm’s original aspiration, which saw them aiming to reach 1 million premises across 85 UK towns with their full fibre network by the end of 2025, still looks to be in some doubt after the operator appeared to slow their build and cut jobs during the spring (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
13 Responses
  1. Avatar photo James says:

    33% take up, that sounds great and I assume it now makes the build profitable.

    But that’s without any other FTTP competition in the area.

    So how will Altnets survive when they have one or maybe two other networks overbuilding?

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      As Zzoomm’s other examples of take-up show, this sort of thing varies a lot between locations, and so it’s unwise to draw too much of a generalisation from one town.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      A lot of places won’t have other altnets, I am shocked we have one here in Hereford, which is Zzoomm. I am glad they’re doing okay, but they really need to get better customer services and need to stay reliable.

      Not sure how well they will do here, Hereford is a strange place, with strange people.

    3. Avatar photo timeless says:

      lol l agree with the Hereford comment, and support does suck.. but l believe most of their problems are down to the hardware they provide, lve had a couple of downtimes which have been down to maintenance but since l use my own hardware l have pretty good uptime, in fact recently l upgraded to the 500meg connection (though it took a few calls).

    4. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @timeless. they have a newer router which is the one they supplied to me, but it is still not great. I had a muck around with it and I have never used a router where the UI is so slow, it is awful. the look of it awful as well, just like a white brick. They really should have chosen something better. No doubt they had a deal with Icotera, but the router is not a good router.

      I use my own, so any problems I have are Zzoomm or their suppliers and this is the problem, I have had more problems in the short time I have been using Zzoomm than I had in the 9 years with plusnet FTTC. We will see how it goes in the next 8 months left on my contract, if I have too many problems I will go back to FTTC.

    5. Avatar photo timeless says:

      @Ad47uk

      to be fair l never used their hardware, immediately put mine in and my install went weird for some reason it was slow on their tests and they said they would come back but never did but the problems sorted themselves out, l signed up back when they were doing the first six months free so l was paying more for the 150 package but recently recontracted and upgraded to the 500 package which is cheaper.

      thinking about upgrading my routers at some point to something better but my current do their job well enough.

  2. Avatar photo John says:

    That’s impressive, retention will be tested when Openreach build but perhaps that’s equally due some respect for successfully identifying viable towns and getting the early mover advantage. Particularly as this was all traditional build based on older articles.

    Looking at other providers who aren’t achieving this take up, some are building in more rural areas where take up should be far higher given the poor existing network.

    All in all, Well done to Matthew and the team he’s building, they are clearly doing the right things.

  3. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    Just shows the importance of being first in the street and getting first bite of the cherry. The altnet building in Banbury where I live (Swish) is now 2 years and growing behind Openreach and I think will struggle to get decent take up.

  4. Avatar photo Fred says:

    First mover advantage is absolutely key, well done Zzoomm

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      Not just first mover advantage which is simply being first, the important thing is capitalising on that FMA. Make sure everybody knows, having a really good marketing database and matching that your own comms and mailing/calling/door knocking activity.

      Too many altnets have crap sales and marketing and don’t capitalise on FMA, sounds like Zzoom have done it right.

  5. Avatar photo Vince says:

    First mover only gets you so far in ISP land.

    Once the major players who can bundle services the altnets don’t have as an option arrive, people will switch. It’s just how it goes and is not likely to change.

    More consolidation of altnets will happen yet.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      What services? Sky maybe yes if you want Sky Tv, but what services do any other offer? Bloated Toad more or less offers what you can get anywhere these days, Now TV and Netflix, you may get a bit of money off for the first few months on a contract with BT.
      Some people have no interest in bundled services, I certainly don’t, I have said for many years all I want is a connection to the net. I expect there are many people who wants the same. That is one good thing about a ALt net, they will not badger me about other services as they have no other services. To be fair to plusnet, once I told then I have no interest in their TV service and I don’t have a Tv licence, they did leave me alone and the same with their mobile phone service when I give it a try and left, never got anything from them after.

  6. Avatar photo Resident Expert says:

    We have a resident expert on Zzoomm, Feel free to ask Adrian (@Ad47uk) a question.

Comments are closed

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