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IndustryInternet service
Founded1994; 29 years ago (1994)
FoundersDavid Rowe, Keith Teare
Defunct2015 (2015)
FateAcquired by Interoute
United Kingdom

Easynet was a managed services provider and delivered integrated networks, hosting and unified communications services to organisations globally. The company was later renamed Easynet Global Services, and a sister company, Easynet Connect, was founded in 2008 which focused on providing internet access connectivity to small-to-medium size companies in the UK.[1]

The company was headquartered in United Kingdom, and had offices throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, and the US.


Easynet was founded on 1 August 1994 by David Rowe and Keith Teare, with the office based at 44-46 Whitfield Street, London. This was located above what would later become the UK's first internet café Cyberia, London, with Easynet supplying Cyberia's internet access.[2]

In March 1996 Easynet floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at 100 pence per share, thereby raising £2.6 million. Then in July 1996 Easynet acquired Pavilion, a small ISP with 1,600 subscribers, for £215,000. However by September 1996 and just six months after the float, the share price had fallen to 38.5 pence per share. This was attributed at the time to bad press, general deterioration in the technology market, and increased losses.

On 23 January 2001 Easynet became the first operator in mainland U.K. to unbundle a local loop of copper wire from British Telecom's network and provide its own broadband service over it. [3] Later in 2004, Easynet was the first to challenge British Telecom in the wholesale broadband market when it announced its 8Mbps LLUStream service.[4]

In June 2001 Easynet acquired Ipsaris from Marconi Communications in an all-share deal worth £300 million. Ipsaris was a network provider owning one of the largest backbones in the UK at the time, with 3,500 kilometres of optical fibre running alongside the UK canal network. The deal resulted in Marconi owning a 72% stake in Easynet. However, by March 2002 demand for space on the Easynet network had slumped and Easynet effectively mothballed the Ipsaris fibre optic network. The value of the entire network was written down from £350 million to £15 million, and 90 staff members were axed in an effort to reduce costs.[5] [6] [7]

In July 2003 Marconi sold 32% of its stake in Easynet for £40.5 million and in September 2003 it sold its remaining 40% stake for £56.7 million, in an effort to pay off debt and increase the liquidity in Easynet shares. [8] [9]

On 16 March 2004 Easynet acquired Novaxess Beheer B.V., a Dutch broadband company that had at the time unbundled 84 exchanges across the Netherlands and supplied 4,500 business customers. The deal was worth £26.2 million and was partly financed by a vendor placing of 6.35 million new shares in Easynet at a minimum price of 130 pence per share. [10]

On 31 December 2005 the Office of Fair Trading regulator cleared the acquisition of Easynet by British Sky Broadcasting despite concerns raised by rivals.[11] Easynet was purchased and owned by British Sky Broadcasting, from 2006 to 2010. Under Sky, much of the original innovation was lost, but the brand continued. In 2010 BSkyB sold the Easynet brands and customer base to Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.[12]

In 2013 LDC sold its stake in Easynet to MDNX, backed by private equity firm Equistone Partners Europe who took a majority stake in the newly formed group. This new group would continue to trade under the Easynet brand.[13]

In October 2015 the Easynet Group of companies was acquired by Interoute for £402 million.[14]


A pair of Easynet floppy discs

Dynablock, originally developed by Ben Grimm at Wirehub! Internet, acquired by Easynet in 2002, is a name which was used by Easynet from 2001 to 2003 for their Dialup Users List DNSBL of Internet addresses that appeared to be assigned dynamically, i.e. to dialup and residential broadband users.

Updates of Dynablock stopped December 2003 but it became the basis for NJABL and SORBS own dynamic IP lists. The dynamic list parts of NJABL and SORBS have been developed independently since then, with NJABL using the 'dynablock' name for their list.

In early 2007, NJABL passed their data along to The Spamhaus Project,[15] for using in their PBL service.[16]

Banned Advertising Campaign[edit]

Banned Easynet advert - Dec 2002

In 2002, a campaign created by HHCL for Easynet's broadband services showed both male and female bosses punching their employees for wasting company money, and employees punching their bosses for slow internet speeds. One of the advertisements which appeared in the London Evening Standard, showed a man being punched in the face by his male boss, with the slogan: "When your MD finds out you're spending up to 85% too much on your internet connection". A second advertisement showed an image of a woman punching a man in the face with the slogan: "When your employees discover that their internet connection could be 140 times faster". The Advertising Standards Authority banned these adverts ruling that they could cause serious or widespread offence, and that they condoned violence and anti-social behavior. [17]


  1. ^ Lahtinen, Sebastien (8 January 2008). "Easynet launches new service for SMEs" thinkbroadband.com. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  2. ^ Dennis, Tony (8 September 1994). "Instant cafe" TheGuardian. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  3. ^ Richardson, Tim (24 January 2001). "EasyNet coughs up to Battersea first" The Register. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  4. ^ Coates, Ron (13 December 2004). "Easynet takes on BT in wholesale broadband" CNET News. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  5. ^ Wallen, Joanne (27 June 2001). "Marconi distances ipsaris through Easynet merger". Citywire. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  6. ^ McIntosh, Bill (28 June 2001). "Marconi backs Ipsaris network into Easynet". Independent. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  7. ^ Wray, Richard (1 March 2002). "Telecoms slump forces Easynet to axe 90 staff". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  8. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (5 July 2003). "Marconi sells shares in Easynet". The Times. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  9. ^ White, Dominic (5 September 2003). "Marconi sells rest of stake in Easynet". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  10. ^ Richardson, Tim (16 March 2004). "Easynet buys Dutch broadband outfit". The Register. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  11. ^ Wray, Richard and Milmo, Dan (31 December 2005). "Watchdog clears BSkyB acquisition of Easynet". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  12. ^ Jackson, Mark. "UK ISP Easynet Global and BSkyB Agree Sale to Lloyds Development Capital − ISPreview UK News". www.ispreview.co.uk. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  13. ^ "MDNX buys Easynet from LDC" insider MEDIA 18 December 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  14. ^ Preece, Caroline (8 September 2015) "Interoute acquires Easynet for £402m" CloudPro. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 December 2006. Retrieved 26 April 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "The Spamhaus Project - PBL". www.spamhaus.org.
  17. ^ Whitehead, Jennifer (4 December 2002). "Watchdog rejects humour claims for punching ads" campaign. Retrieved 27 July 2020.