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Broadband ISP Zen Internet Tops 200,000 UK Subscribers

Friday, Apr 5th, 2024 (12:01 am) - Score 3,000
zen internet uk isp

Rochdale-based UK ISP Zen Internet has informed ISPreview that they’ve passed an important milestone after their broadband subscriber (circuit) base surpassed the 200,810 mark, which represents an increase of 14,810 on the total of 186,000 that was published in their last annual accounts to the end of September 2022.

The news comes only a few months after the provider revealed that they had finally completed their exchange rollout (unbundling) programme (here), which means that 86% of the United Kingdom are now within reach of their cheaper on-net based Ethernet (leased lines) and broadband products (e.g. FTTP).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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37 Responses
  1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

    8% increase in 18 months.

    I wouldn’t be shouting that from the rooftops.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      For an established player 8% is pretty fantastic. I bet BT, Sky and Virgin didn’t increase their customer base by 8% in the same period. Would interesting to know how that splits between Openreach and CityFibre customers.

    2. Avatar photo Jon Motsom says:

      Yeah but it’s 8% on 186,000 subscribers compared to millions… So in comparison it’s pretty poor. 18k subscribers the other big players could get in months

    3. Avatar photo Munehaus says:

      200k customers for Zen isn’t bad, especially given they traditionally targeted the more technical and premium user. However quoting growth in % is pretty meaningless as if I had one customer last year and two today, that’s 100% growth. 🙂

      200000 customers is about 1 in 141 households, so well under 1%.

    4. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      If I wasn’t on BT I’d quite fancy going with Zen, so I’m hoping that CityFibre acquires Fern sometime in the not too distant future. I don’t see much point in leaving BT to go with Zen on Openreach, the price differnce wouldn’t be worth it.

    5. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      Tell me you’ve never ran a business without telling me you’ve never ran a business.

    6. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      > 18k subscribers the other big players could get in months

      Or in the case of Talktalk, they could lose 40K in a year.


  2. Avatar photo Phil says:

    They are not cheap, currently Vodafone is the cheap big ISP

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      Who said anything about cheap?

    2. Avatar photo JimB says:

      Not cheap but not expensive either, after the disaster that was BT business for 2 years. I have been with them for about a decade. They were certainly cheaper than BT business for the equivalent price and though I lost 24/7 phone support the hours they do cover I can actually talk to folk who know what they are doing.
      Since I am a woke sort the fact that they are a B Corp is a nice touch.

    3. Avatar photo Gary says:

      I would actively avoid them for subscribing to the bcorp nonsense. Not just Vodafone but there are a few other cheaper ones with more trust pilot reviews

    4. Avatar photo Speedy says:

      @Gary – you actively avoid companies that can prove they treat their staff well and who make efforts to be environmentally sustainable? Er, why?

    5. Avatar photo Alistair says:

      It is just a pointless certification, your company can treat you well without it

      Fibre companies by default cut on energy usage, so they are “environmentally sustainable” by default. Many actually allow work from home, making them more “environmentally sustainable” than Zen who makes people commute to the office

    6. Avatar photo Speedy says:

      Sure, companies *can* be just as good (if not better) without the certification, but going out of your way to avoid it is a strange thing to do.

    7. Avatar photo Gary says:

      I hate virtue signaling, the world would be a better place if companies stick to making good products rather than passing an agenda. It is just a way to ram in ESG nonsense

      Many bcorp companies actually are notorious for doing evil, like Nespresso and their parent company Nestle. It really means nothing besides wasted time and money, which then has a chance of being reflected on the price, without making it a better product

    8. Avatar photo Chris says:

      “Alistair says:
      April 5, 2024 at 1:34 pm

      Many actually allow work from home, making them more “environmentally sustainable” than Zen who makes people commute to the office”

      I work for Zen and this statement isn’t true. Of course there will always be certain roles that can’t be performed remotely or where the benefits of working together in-person are clearly tangible, but since COVID, Zen has being extremely supportive of remote working.

      The majority of my colleagues work from home, those that do commute generally do so because they want to be in an office environment for their own personal reasons – remote working doesn’t suit everyone.

      Other colleagues live in parts of the country where commuting is unfeasible due to distance – Zen filled their roles knowing that remote working was, and still is, the only realistic option for those people.

    9. Avatar photo Ian says:

      Woke nonsense bring back leaded petrol.

    10. Avatar photo Na says:

      B Corp charge a lot of money for companies to have the right to say they’re a B Corp and they have rules that mandate their members must state they’re a B Corp and use the B Corp logo as often as possible in any marketing.

      It’s making someone rich.

  3. Avatar photo Sam P says:

    I saw the Zen logo and got all excited about 1.8gbps being ready.

    1. Avatar photo Rik says:

      I work for Zen and I’m excited for 1.8 Gb speeds, too!

      As for the customer growth mentioned here, we don’t really advertise apart from some social media and we rely on word of mouth from our customers and the awards we win, plus the support of sites such as this to help grow our customer base. It’s great to see us hit 200k users. Onwards and upwards. They’re a great place to work that looks after their staff and customers.

    2. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      Awesome to hear, Zen have been spot on for me.

      I have just managed to get a family member to sign up, so just like you said, word of mouth!

      Congrats on 200k

  4. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

    @Jimb, as a VERY longstanding Zen customer I am truly sorry to report that “know what they are doing” is no longer true. Just this year, one incident where the support lady spent an hour trying to prove a fault on my router was the cause of me being unable to get to just one website, a month or two later they demonstrated that they don’t know what blacklists are while using that as an excuse to drop the fault and leave me on my own. When the local altnet arrives I’m off with no hesitation.

  5. Avatar photo Gilbert says:

    => When will, the 200,000 Zen Internet Subscribers, have access to NETGEM TV ?!

    .Do you remember (Jul 6th, 2020):


    .The long-awaited NETGEM TV offer:


    1. Avatar photo name says:

      Don’t think enough of Zen’s customers want it for that partnership to make sense. Unless it’ll support the Freely service once it’s launched, Netgem is basically any Freeview box or smart TV with some extra channels – nothing really special about it.

    2. Avatar photo Gilbert says:

      “Nnothing really special about it”?!

      On the contrary!

      => Netgem unifies TV, streaming and cloud gaming:

      “Consumers seek fresh television experiences. The unified NETGEM Cloud Gaming/TV/ streaming offer, showcasing more immersive TV, addresses the real challenges for a ISP partner:

      transforming television into a hub for sharing entertainment for the entire family, increasing revenue per subscriber through innovative services, and fostering customer loyalty to the entire content ecosystem.”

      A unified entertainment hub allows NETGEM immersive subscribers to turn their TV – or mobile device – into a gaming console, seamlessly switching between TV and video content and games.

      See the Zeop exemple:

    3. Avatar photo name says:

      Gilbert, you’re not a real person are you? You’re a bot, let’s be honest

    1. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:


  6. Avatar photo Chris Sayers says:

    I’d rather deal with a UK based call centre, than some overseas calls centre where I have real difficulty understanding them, like my ongoing dealings with TP Link and an under warranty router, WiFi works fine, the wired connection drops, then bounces back, dig out ZEN supplied router, working perfectly.

  7. Avatar photo D says:

    Sadly Zen are no longer my “provider of choice” for my SMB clients who just need a basic business grade line.

    Their CS has fallen through the floor over the last few years, it used to be you could talk nerd to nerd and figure out a line issue but now it’s just a script like any other ISP.

    1. Avatar photo john says:

      It’s inevitable as companies grow from niche to mainstream. The kind of person who can talk ‘nerd to nerd’ is not going to want to work for a company where they spend most of the their day talking to typical customers. I’m sure Zen still employ people like that, for now, but I guess you can’t talk to them without going through the script bots.

    2. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

      Do A&A still offer the service where they’ll transfer you to a techy who knows 2 programming languages if you say “shibboleet”?

    3. Avatar photo Na says:

      “The kind of person who can talk ‘nerd to nerd’ is not going to want to work for a company where they spend most of the their day talking to typical customers. I’m sure Zen still employ people like that, for now, but I guess you can’t talk to them without going through the script bots.”

      The nerds are still at Zen but have progressed into network engineering, system, or management and are trying to improve the situation from within. 😉

      Under a previous leader the plan was for huge growth which caused huge pain for staff and customers. Recruitment couldn’t keep up and customer facing staff were burnt out by constant never ending call queues as a result.

  8. Avatar photo Ellen says:

    I am halfway through my first contract with Zen,and have to say i am more than satisfied. Price for one can’t comment on CS as I have never had to use them

  9. Avatar photo HA if only says:

    All shades of no.

    Network that just flops over repeatedly, gateways that route your data half way around the country before going anywhere and adding tonnes of latency (more than the base of the connection itself), congestion, poor bandwidth management, QoS that impacts latency and throughput, outages upon outages.

    Just one thing after another and yet you’ll be the only customer reporting it, apparently.

    1. Avatar photo Brian says:

      Not true though is it.

    2. Avatar photo HA says:

      Yes, Brian, it is.

      You only need to go so far as to check their status page to confirm how things in the network keep falling over and their latency issues as well as throughput are widely documented in reviews on this very site, TBB, Kids, dslr and others.

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