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Upp’s UK Full Fibre Service to Close on 1st June 2024, Says Virgin Media

Friday, Apr 26th, 2024 (10:34 am) - Score 4,840
Upp-Engineers-Jacket

Remaining customers of full fibre broadband ISP Upp (i.e. those who have not yet agreed to migrate to Virgin Media), which was last year acquired by UK network builder nexfibre from investment firm LetterOne (here), will shortly start to receive “final termination of service notices” ahead of the service ending on 1st June 2024.

The deal – as agreed in September 2023 – should help to expand the reach of nexfibre’s own gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which is currently in the process of building its wholesale network to cover “up to” 7 million additional UK homes – staring with 5m by 2026 (i.e. those homes not currently served by Virgin Media’s own network). Virgin Media are currently the only retail ISP on this network.

NOTE: Both Virgin Media (VMO2) and nexfibre are parented by Telefónica and Liberty Global.

Under the deal, nexfibre acquired Upp’s existing network assets, which reflects a full fibre infrastructure that covers around 175,000 premises in the East of England and includes roughly 4,000 customers. Nexfibre’s own network currently covers 1 million premises and rising fast (here), although they’ve yet to merge Upp’s network into that total. But nexfibre aren’t a retail provider, thus the customer base ended up going to Virgin Media.

Readers may recall that Virgin Media began – in January 2024 (here) – notifying Upp’s existing customers of their intention to withdraw the old service “sometime this year” (no firm date was set). At the same time they also started encouraging them to migrate to Virgin’s packages (this will require an engineer visit to replace some of the existing kit, albeit at no extra cost).

Just to be clear, Virgin Media are still harnessing Upp’s underlying network infrastructure (via new owner nexfibre) and are offering new packages that are “equivalent to their current Upp service“, which was made a lot easier with Virgin’s recent launch of symmetric speeds (here).

The latest developments

Over the past week we’ve begun to hear from a small number of Upp’s remaining customers, specifically those who have, thus far, chosen not to migrate their service to Virgin Media. The feedback notes that Virgin are now being more proactive in contacting those that remain on the old service. Such customers are at risk of disconnection if they don’t migrate before the service is closed, which we’re told is due to occur on 1st June 2024.

Some of those have also claimed that Virgin Media’s customer service staff have called them to warn that they may be liable to pay early termination charges if they don’t migrate in time, but this is not correct. Even the T&Cs update from earlier this year made clear that existing customers will be able to “cancel your services with Upp without any financial penalty by giving 30 days’ notice“.

A Spokesperson for VMO2 told ISPreview:

“Upp customers will not receive an early termination charge if they chose not to take a Virgin Media service. Every customer has been invited to join Virgin Media and notified that their Upp service will end.

We will shortly be serving final termination of service notices to remaining customers and are currently calling and door-knocking on customers we’ve yet to hear from. Upp services will end on 1 June and customers that wish to remain on the network should pre-order a service by 30 April.”

Some readers might be wondering why a few of Upp’s remaining customers are choosing not to migrate. As one of those who complained said: “I told them I was not interested in joint VM due to poor customer service in the past.” But there may be others who, for one reason or another, are genuinely not aware of the looming service termination and hence why Virgin Media are now putting in the extra effort to reduce the risk of an unexpected disconnection.

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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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17 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Insertfloppydiskhere says:

    Lovely activity from Vermin media. ‘Waiving the termination fee’

  2. Avatar photo Roger says:

    Was fun whilst it lasted. eNNIs now in place in Stamford and presumably Diss, just the BNGs in Telehouse and Slough to disconnect.

  3. Avatar photo Alex says:

    Purely from a value for money perspective, customers who are happy to migrate might be best off waiting until mid May, and signing up to Virgin Media as a new customer with an install date of 1st or 2nd June. That way they’ll get a new customer price, rather than a rollover of the equivalent of their current package for a new 18 term

    1. Avatar photo Alan says:

      Didn’t see the explicit date on the Upp page when I first looked, maybe it was added later. However, the warning (in red) at the end of April is “It is really important to know that if you do nothing, your broadband will stop working on June 1st 2024.” That date has not been mentioned in any emails and there has been nothing in the post, would anything VM have done so far stand up as “giving notice”? The “sign up” page for VM is still denying there is any VM service at existing Upp postcodes. Whether VM extend the deadline, when they might open new applications or if they actually do put them at the back of a long queue is only going to be apparent as June approaches.

  4. Avatar photo Stephen Johnson says:

    I’m pleased UPP equipment is being installed in Borth Norfolk and like the idea of 2Gbs symmetrical but the idea of having Virgin Media to deal with puts me right off, I do hope Nextfibre can onboard other ISPs soon or they will be compromising their customer numbers.

    1. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      The good news about broadband is that you almost never have to interact with your service provider.

      Same goes for almost everything else too.

  5. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

    “a full fibre infrastructure that covers around 175,000 premises in the East of England and includes roughly 4,000 customers.” Just over 2% of premises passed. That seems pretty poor.

    1. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      This is why UPP was happy to be rescued from almost certain bankruptcy. And if UPP customers don’t want to move to VM, then do they know what the alternatives are?

    2. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

      @Roger, if they know enough about ISPs to not want to move to Virgin then probably yes.

    3. Avatar photo Alan says:

      Upp has had some setbacks over the last couple of years. The first advertising was entirely by leaflet, visibility wasn’t all that high given most leaflets though the door go “straight to bin”. The deals were good, fixed price symmetric service with an initial “free” period but credibility low. They never took the steps needed to appear on comparison sites, for example, which might have encouraged a largely non-tech customer base. When the Ukraine invasion happened it was noticed there was Russian involvement in the financing, which led to suspending sales and looking for a buyer from elsewhere. The initial sales stalled not so long after they started, so 175,000 premises might have been a theoretical reach at one point, but no new customers for over a year now. Upp was sold, but the new owners appeared to be looking to sell the existing licence on ASAP. Maybe 4000 customers is low, but in the residential areas it was selling into many would stop reading at “no landline”; those who appreciate a fast but “no frills” service are probably thinner on the ground than some imagine.

  6. Avatar photo Scott says:

    I have an engineer visiting next Tuesday to start the migration to VM.

    However, I’m reading I’ll probably be getting a Virgin Hub 5x, which cannot do Modem Mode currently.
    If this being the case, I’ll be cancelling straight away.

    BTW I’m in Diss.

  7. Avatar photo mike says:

    I dodged a bullet. They never quite got to my street. I was keen to sign up with Upp to ditch Vermin Media. Imagine having to be forced back to that utter shit show of an ISP.

  8. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    Well I have had the VM faceplate installed recently now just waiting for the router to arrive, however sliglty annoyed that the hub5x is only WiFi6, that is a little poor along with having to use their hub, peronally I find it a bit poor that consumers are in some instances being hamstrung into outdated equipment with the fibre being plugged directly into the hub5x i would expect this to be atleast WiFi6E to allow for the use of Tri-band, I would prefer being able to use my own equipment, i currently use a Linksys Hydra Pro 6E instead of the Velop mesh router provided by Upp at the time of install.
    This router performs so much bwtter than the Velop but looks like I will have to take a technological step backwards to keep FTTP

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Switch WiFi off on the 5x, put your kit into access point mode and should be good to go.

  9. Avatar photo greggles says:

    Acquisitions always seem to have an end game of killing the old company, if they didnt do that customer retention rate would probably be close to 100%.

    They could still merge certain things over like route traffic over parent company’s network, use parent company’s call centre, but keep the same packages and brand for the existing customers so it doesnt feel like they moving over.

  10. Avatar photo Morris Day says:

    The gent who called me last week was delighted to tell me he was waiving the connection charge to vm. As it is, I’m halving my download speed for the same price as upp, and having a fraction of the upload speed. Nice of them not to charge me a connection fee to return to 80s cable TV technology.

  11. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    It would also be nice if a notification/communication was provided on when the router or if required an engineer visit is going to happen especially with the service being removed on 1st June as I’d prefer to get it all done before the service is removed.

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