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Trooli Changes UK Ownership Structure and Replacing FTTP Modems

Wednesday, Jun 5th, 2024 (11:39 am) - Score 2,920
Trooli engineer near manhole

Alternative UK broadband ISP Trooli, which is backed by Agnar UK Infrastructure (here) and has already extended their full fibre (FTTP) network to cover 334,000 premises (RFS) across England and Scotland (here), has started informing customers about both an unusual change of home “telecom equipment” and of their ownership structure.

Firstly, customers of the provider have informed ISPreview that Trooli recently sent out a new notice, which informed them about how they are “reorganising parts of the Trooli business“. This is said to involve moving all existing customers who have an agreement with Trooli Ltd – either within contract terms or monthly rolling out of contract terms – to a new “customer management system” with Hermod Retail Limitedfor the provision of broadband services“.

NOTE: Trooli’s network is mostly found in towns and large villages across parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, West Sussex and Wiltshire in England. As well as parts of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife in Scotland (formerly Axione UK).

The announcement states that Hermod Retail Limited is part of the same group as Trooli Ltd, and is trading as Trooli, and indeed a quick check via Companies House shows that both companies share the same address and two of the same French Directors (Maxime Buisson and Elie Nammar). Hermod Retail Limited was only incorporated in February 2024.

Customers are then told that the service currently provided by Trooli will “remain the same“, including their associated terms and conditions and policies (inc. privacy policy). “The only change to you is that your contract will be with Hermod Retail Limited, rather than Trooli Ltd,” added the announcement. Customer accounts are then expected to be migrated gradually “over the coming weeks“.

Generally speaking, broadband ISPs don’t need to migrate customers between different companies purely for the sake of adopting a customer management system, which makes us suspect that this might be more in the service of separating the business into a separate retail and wholesale (network) side. In theory, such a change might open up new opportunities for Trooli to pursue, while potentially also making the network easier to sell.

Replacing Customer Modems / CPE

In addition to the above, some of Trooli’s customers have also recently recieved another unusual notification, which informs them about an “upcoming scheduled maintenance activity that will involve changing the telecom equipment at your property” (we believe this will be taking place in a couple of months’ time). The change is described as being “essential to ensure the continued and uninterrupted service on which you rely.”

To efficiently carry out this equipment upgrade, we have partnered with a trusted and experienced company, Fibre Optic Installation Ltd, which specialises in telecom installations. They will contact you shortly to arrange a convenient time to access your property and complete the necessary changes,” added the notice. The upgrade process itself is “expected” to take no more than a maximum of 45 minutes.

The notice includes no information about precisely what “telecom equipment” is being changed, which could impact either Trooli’s Optical Network Terminal (ONT) or their broadband router. But since generally ISPs don’t need to send out engineers for router replacements, then we rather suspect this relates to a change of ONT.

In full fibre networks, the ONT is an optical modem that gets installed on the wall, inside your home, and is then connected to your router. But such unexpected ONT swaps are extremely rare and normally only occur in very specific circumstances, such as during a key change of network platform, or to replace faulty / misconfigured kit or for security reasons. For example, Openreach will replace the ONT for ISP customers who upgrade to one of their new 1.2 or 1.8Gbps tiers, while Lit Fibre had to swap some ONTs after a software update went wrong (here).

Some of Trooli’s customers have asked the provider’s support agents about this and were told that it isn’t due to a fault, but relates more to an upgrade that allows the operator to harness better equipment. But clearly more context is needed to help explain both notifications, and we’ve asked Trooli to comment, although over the past year it’s often been hard to get them to respond to any of our queries – PR is perhaps not their strongest point.

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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
15 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Sam says:

    Not had anything from them yet Mark, But once I do I will let you know.

  2. Avatar photo Jay says:

    As a new customer I got an Adtran 631 ONT and I wonder if they want to upgrade older customers so people can take advantage of their faster packages

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You normally wouldn’t need to do that unless an upgrade was actually requested.

  3. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

    A possible cause would be if the ONT has default login credentials that fall foul of the UK’s recent cyber-security requirements that came into force at the end of April? Whilst the requirements are very basic, it’s not been uncommon for ONTs and hubs to have standard or easily guessed passwords.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      ONTs usually have no access from the customer side at all. Operator side with no authentication to the device itself, to reach it at all you’re sending from the OLT, only that can send OMCI.

    2. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      You’d be able to do this remotely.

  4. Avatar photo Jefferson Humber says:

    I received this email last week and rang them to query it since it was so vague. The person I spoke too didn’t know much about it but said it was an ‘upgrade’ unit. The ONT I have currently installed in May 2023 is a 621 XGS-PON which is rated to 10Gbps…… seeing as they only offer a max of 2Gbps service now, I can’t see this needed to be replaced for that purpose. Who knows……

  5. Avatar photo Jack says:

    Very curious about the ONT change, maybe if they are separating the business and creating a wholesale side and retail they need to have the ONT as an asset belonging to wholesale and this swap is the easiest way to do that and changing the ONT to a different model at the same time.

    I thought most Altnets just install the 10G version as standard, I know Zzooomm do.

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      They’d just split of the OLT, ONTs and passives (iirc Trooli feeds cabinets with Openreach Ethernet lines) as a whole unit. I cant see why it would need new ONTs unless they were swapping OLTs as well (very unlikely).

  6. Avatar photo DD says:

    They’re a very strange network, they’ve built onto half of my road. My cul-de-sac is a T junction and the main part and top right part of the T can get Trooli, the remaining part of the T can’t – makes no sense to me! I suspect they’ll be taken over in the next 2 years.

    1. Avatar photo MikeP says:

      That’s pretty standard for all the Altnets when in “land grab” mode, maximising the homes passed measure. Build the easy bits, skip the hard bits, move on.

  7. Avatar photo Tim says:

    The ONT replacement is to update to a new model. The original black / grey ONTs have an issue whereby under a loss of power, they are tripping into a failsafe mode and sometimes need a few reboots to get them to come back online. The new units, which are white in colour with a Trooli logo on the front, apparently do not have this issues.

    1. Avatar photo Steve says:

      I contacted Trooli after receiving this email and was told what Tim has said above.

  8. Avatar photo Marc says:

    We have 12 units: a white unit with the word, “Adtran”. The other is black, with a triangular logo.
    I had understood that these ugly units screwed on to our wall on the inside of the house, were necessary to obtain the ultrafast broadband, but is this true?
    Also, if I switch to another provider, will these new installation become redundant – or can they be used by other providers?

  9. Avatar photo Marc says:

    I mistyped: I meant 2 units, not 12

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