Trooli Consolidates Full Fibre Network with Axione UK in Scotland

Alternative broadband operator Trooli, which was last year acquired by Agnar UK Infrastructure (here) and had been aiming to build their gigabit-capable full fibre (FTTP) network to cover 330,000 premises across England by the end of 2023, appears to now also be harnessing Axione UK‘s once separate fibre network in Scotland.

In case anybody has forgotten, Axione UK – a subsidiary of French provider Axione – started a £300m project a few years ago to build a new open access (wholesale) and gigabit-capable broadband (FTTP) network to 4 million premises. The project has mostly focused on North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife in Scotland (e.g. Shotts, Ashgill, Kirkmuirhill, Law, Lesmahagow, Stonehouse, Strathaven, Cupar and St Andrews).

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.

However, we’ve not heard a peep out of Axione UK since 2022, while Trooli hasn’t said much on their future network plans since last summer. But independent data from Thinkbroadband does reveal that Trooli had successfully expanded their full fibre broadband network to cover 334,000 premises (RFS) in England by January 2024 (here), which pleasingly exceeds their previous target.

One key point to note above is that Paris-headquartered Vauban Infrastructure Partners (VIP) technically backs both Axion and Trooli (the latter via Agnar UK Infrastructure). Suffice to say that it had long been expected that the two would consolidate their physical fibre networks into a single operation, but the exact plan for when and how this might occur has not previously been confirmed.

When two became one..

The MD of Scottish ISP Scotnet, Stuart Glendinning, recently told ISPreview that the two networks have now largely been consolidated and, as a result of that, Trooli are already promoting themselves to customers covered by Axione UK’s network in Scotland too (apparently at a price point that is causing Scotnet some concern).

Stuart Glendinning said:

“Axione’s parent company bought Trooli last year and decided to consolidate as a single provider and rebrand the Scottish network as Trooli. At that time, we were Axione’s only wholesale customer … In Scotland Axione had only managed to pass circa 17k premises with the first customers going live at the start of 2023.

Before Axione had even told us that Trooli were taking over, Trooli’s Retail dept had written to every passed premises in Scotland offering them a winter deal which was basically 900Mb/s service for £25+VAT per month, with free connection, free router and free WiFI extenders. That’s significantly below the real wholesale cost of the service.”

The consolidation similarly appears to have been reflected in a recent change of details on Companies House, which publicly lists AXIONE UK INFRASTRUCTURE LIMITED (13355887) as being renamed to TROOLI HOLDCO THISTLE LIMITED on 8th April 2024 (here). The address (18 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4AE) is also identical to the one used for TROOLI LTD (04366668).

The other question mark is over what the future build plans are for the now seemingly consolidated network. So far as we can tell, Trooli still seems to be expanding their network, at least in parts of England, while the coverage page on Axione UK’s website for Scotland states (here): “Unfortunately due to changes in strategy all other deployments have been stopped.”

Meanwhile, the coverage page on Trooli’s website currently makes no mention of Scotland, although Axione UK’s partner page has started listing both Trooli and Scotnet as being ISP partners for the network. We also attempted to put one of Cupar’s (town in Scotland) postcodes – KY15 4LF – through Trooli’s website, which returned a “GREAT NEWS, WE CAN CONNECT YOU!” message. But it would be nice if Trooli didn’t require potential customers to enter their lots of personal details before showing their package options.

In terms of packages, Trooli are currently offering their top 900Mbps (300Mbps upload) tier for just £29.99 inc. VAT per month (normally £39.99), which is on a special discount with a 24-month term and free installation (Scotnet charges £49.99 per month for this). Alternatively, you can take a 150Mbps (50Mbps upload) package for £29.99 or 500Mbps (200Mbps upload) for £34.99 from Trooli – these two packages aren’t on a discount like their 900Mbps tier.

Trooli has not responded to our requests for a comment.

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