With news of the post office scandal filling headlines this month, you might be worriedly asking yourself ‘Wait – am I a post office broadband customer?’
As recently as 2021, the Post Office had 465,000 UK broadband customers. Today, even if you never cancelled your account, they have none.
Here’s the full story of what happened to post office broadband and who’s supplying their customers now.
The end of post office broadband
In 2021 the post office supplied broadband and landline telephone services to close to half a million people.
An ‘Openreach’ provider, the Post Office didn’t own any broadband infrastructure. Instead, they used the UK’s biggest broadband network to supply broadband and phone services to their customers. This is the same network that’s used by Sky, EE, and BT, among other suppliers.
Despite significant growth in the previous year, however, 2021 is also the year the post office sold its telecoms business. The reason given was a desire to ‘focus and invest in [the post office’s] core products and services– mails and parcels, cash and banking, bill payments and travel.’
The 465,000 Post Office broadband customers were purchased by Shell Energy, who also supplied broadband at that time. Also an Openreach supplier, Shell was able to take over the broadband supply with no interruption.
It wouldn’t last long though, and Shell Energy was soon searching for a buyer of their own.
What happened to Shell Broadband
Shell broadband continued for two years with the new influx of customers. In June 2023, at the end of a five-month review process, Shell determined they would leave the domestic energy and telecommunications market entirely.
The buyer this time was newer energy company Octopus Energy, who were excited at the opportunity to take on Shell’s existing domestic energy customers. For the 1% of UK broadband customers supplied by Shell, there was no noticeable change.
As before, broadband supply continued uninterrupted, with customers being informed directly of the switch to Octopus.
What the end of post office broadband shows us
In 2024, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of broadband customers who still think they’re being supplied by a dead company. After two transfers of ownership in three years, it’s not surprising that some may have lost track of exactly who they’re paying bills to.
Unfortunately, this can also lead to overpaying. You should pay the same for your broadband contract when a new supplier takes over – at least at first – but if you’ve not renewed your broadband in the last two years you’re likely paying a higher out-of-contract price.
There are lots of fantastic options on the UK broadband market right now, wherever you live. If you’re looking to get back in control of your broadband then book a free call with one of our Connections Experts here or using the link below. They’ll look at all the options at your address to find the perfect package for you and answer any questions you have about switching.
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