Trooli Changes UK Ownership Structure and Replacing FTTP Modems

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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