Customers of ISP Air Broadband which were taken over by ZYBRE in November 2022 and ZYBRE’s customers have today faced a fresh wave of internet outages and customers on City Fibre and ONFL have had letters to say Air Broadband/Zybre are being removed from their networks.
Zybre take over
This morning (10/3/2023) many of Air Broadband and Zybre’s customers woke up to find their internet connection not working which is the latest in a long line of issues facing customers of either ISP.
Air Broadband is an ISP best known for selling competivily priced services on a number of Full Fibre networks including City Fibre, ONFL, MS3 and Full Fibre Fibre Heroes.
They offered social tarrif from £20 per month and did not increase their prices during contract.
We used to recommend Air Broadband until recently when we began receiving complaints from customers about their service with Air Broadband.
The issues started when ZYBRE acquired Air Broadband back in October/November 2022 since then there have been multiple reports of speed issues, outages and routers and other equipment not being delivered.
In recent weeks the situation has deteriorated further and it has been extremly difficult to get hold of either company by phone or via email.
A reliable source a now ex member of staff at both companies told us last Friday (3/3/2023) that ZYBRE had without warning made all of Air Broadband staff redundant and had also done the same with most of the staff at ZYBRE.
This may well explain the difficulties in getting hold of anyone at either company.
When we tried Air Broadband’s telephone numbers are out of service and ZYBRE lines got the we are closed message despite it being within their specified opening hours.
A check on companies house reveals ZYBRE is overdue on providing accounts.
It has been reported that both City Fibre and ONFL have issued letters to Air Broadband and ZYBRE customers on their networks that there internet may go down at anytime.
City Fibre has stated in an FAQ page on their website
“It has come to our attention that Zybre/Air Broadband is in breach of its contractual obligations to CityFibre and a number of other suppliers. Customers have also raised major concerns regarding the quality of service they received from the company.”
ONFL have said similar in letters sent out to their customers.
Both network’s have said they will maintain the connection to Air/ZYBRE for as long as they can in ONFL’s case for another week at least to give time for customers to migrate over to a new provider.
Both companies are trying to make the migration as smooth and as fast as possible to minimise disruption to customers.
Full Fibre Fibre Heroes customers were also impacted by todays Outage
In a tweet Fibre Heroes said
“We are aware of a technical issue that is affecting ZYBRE customers on our FullFibre network and are working with them as a priority to resolve. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will post updates accordingly.”
They later Tweeted to say the issues had been resolved which means for now customers of Air/ZYBRE on Full Fibre Fibre Heroes network should be working and ones we know of are working now at time of writing.
Fibre Heroes website did remove ZYBRE off their list of partners last week and Air Broadband was removed serval weeks ago.
I have reached out to Full Fibre for a statement.
Meanwhile ZYBRE have put out a message on their website citing a ‘Major Outage’ caused by a ‘Fibre break’
The next update was due by 16:00 but has not appeared.
It is not entirely clear at this stage what Zybre’s future is but based on what we have been told its not good.
What to do if your impacted?
The big question is what do you do if your impacted by this situation?
City Fibre and ONFL are strongly advising their customers to migrate onto a different provider but state its up to you to deal with your current contract obligations with Air/ZYBRE.
If you have exhausted trying to get a resolution to issues and compaints with Air Broadband and or ZYBRE then reporting it to Ofcom is the next step.
Usually you would try the ombudsman as a next step but when I checked with CISAS they came back with:
I have searched our systems and have been unable to find either parties listed with CISAS, Ombudsman Services or Ofcom.
You may therefore wish to contact Ofcom regarding this matter.”
Reporting to Ofcom it seems is the next best step.
We have reported this to Ofcom ourselves and they are looking into serval complaints in relation to Air/ZYBRE.
This raises a wider question as to what should happen in these situations.
When an energy supplier goes into administration and or is no longer fit to provide a service Ofgem steps in and customers are automatically migrated to another supplier with no loss of service.
There is currently no equivalent process for the telecoms industry which means customers may face outages and loss of money.
With Internet access becoming more and more of a vital utility especially when the PSTN network is switched off maybe the goverment should do more to safeguard customers.
With the broadband market being saturated this may well not be the last time customers face this situation.
We did try reaching out to ZYBRE but have not had a response and can not get though to them.