Home Telecom’s Strategic Move: Understanding the Acquisition of Cuckoo’s Openreach Base

Cuckoo’s Openreach/TalkTalk base has been acquired by Home Telecom (part of the Telecom Acquisitions Group). An undisclosed number of customers will now be served via Home Telecom. Here’s our take on the major announcement.

Cuckoo stands out from the crowd with its unique branding and “high level” of support for customers seeking a more personal relationship with their ISP. Cuckoo originally broke into the market in 2019, presenting the message that a new “standard” had been created for everyday broadband users and that having to sign long term contracts for poor service was a thing of the past!

The brand launched with a modern, young vision to change a very traditional industry. They were one of the first to offer customers 30 day rolling contracts and set out to make lots of UK firsts, with revolutionary tech and a young-minded approach. The ISP operated on the TalkTalk network, on what is called a “Layer 3” offering (buy at X, sell at Y, without having to have you’re own network infrastructure). This model makes the most sense for any new ISP wanting to operate on a national scale.

Jump forward to 2022 and Cuckoo as a brand and ISP are acquired by Giganet (a Fern Trading brand). For customers, business was as usual. Although we noticed some changes in leadership (which is expected after such an event), we could still see the brand putting out incredible content and ideas to further shape the vanilla market for a national broadband player.

Fern Trading has a number of networks (the companies laying and managing the new fibre cable) and ISP’s (internet service providers) under their belt. Swish Fibre (network & ISP), Jurasic Fibre (network & ISP), Giganet (network & ISP), All Points Fibre (network), and Vorboss (network & ISP, business only). They announced last year that Cuckoo would be their new retail arm, serving customers directly on the Fern Trading networks, and AllPoints would be the network wholesaler to Cuckoo and other ISP’s.

So, jumping further forward, to March 2024, Home Telecom now takes the TalkTalk/Openreach base from Cuckoo (not the brand, just the base) and to me, that makes perfect sense. If Cuckoo is the retail arm of the Fern Trading networks, then why would you continue to grow a customer base on a legacy network (Openreach/TalkTalk) that you don’t own. No one knows for sure why the acquisition was made, but for us, that would make complete sense.

Now, choosing the right ISP to sell to, would have been crucial. Cuckoo provides an above tier service to its customers, and there are limited options in the market that share the same vision.

Enter Home Telecom. Home Telecom has a 4.5 Trustpilot rating on Trustpilot across 10,000+ reviews. For broadband, thats unheard of! They also serve the “renting space” for home users who need more flexible contracts, which is another positive for customers who are currently on a 30 day rolling term with Cuckoo. Home Telecom sits under Telecoms Acquisitions Limited (TAL). They own multiple consumer ISP brands, like Fleur, Eclipse Telecom, and, of course, Home Telecom.

So, when Nigel Barnett, Managin Director of Home Telecom, made the statement, “We can reassure customers that all Cuckoo Internet terms and prices will remain the same,” we thought thats absolutely accurate!

Cuckoo themselves have a 4-starTrustpilot across 2000+ reviews. So it could be that customers actually receive an increase in serviceability.

The deal brings the total number of customers now managed by Telecom Aquastions Group to circa 100,000. Eleven ISPs offering broadband services to residential customers have now signed with TAL for ongoing service and support via partnership or acquisition agreements.

TAL isn’t slowing down anytime soon either. Barnett says TAL’s business strategy is to acquire circa 3,000 customers per month through organic growth, then expand further, fuelled by the acquisition of residential bases from broadband providers.

TAL is certainly on a mission. They’re also leading the way in network integration, offering customers multiple networks on a national scale. Currently, Home Telecom operates on Openreach, F&W Network, MS3 Networks, Virgin, Freedom Fibre, Cityfibre and more! That means customers who have full fibre with one of the smaller networks (any that arent Openreach), will benefit from more competitive pricing with the same 4.5 star service! Technically, Home Telecom (and some of the other TAL brands), are one of the largest full ISPs in the country.

Much more is to come from this space! To make sure you hear it first, make sure to register on our mailing list!

Jonny Rae

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