Zen Internet

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Coordinates: 53°36′10.08″N 2°9′36.36″W / 53.6028000°N 2.1601000°W / 53.6028000; -2.1601000

Zen Internet Ltd
Industry Internet
Founded (1995)
Headquarters Rochdale, England
Key people
Richard Tang (Managing Director)
Products Internet Services
Number of employees
413 (May 2012)
Website http://www.zen.co.uk

Zen Internet is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Rochdale in Greater Manchester, England.


Founded in 1995[1] by Managing Director Richard Tang after a drink in the pub,[2] Zen Internet was one of the first Internet Service Providers in the UK. Zen began by providing Internet access to schools and small businesses in the Rochdale area. Its website claims it has since moved from 2 employees in 1995 to 413 at the start of May 2012 and in 2004 achieved an annual turnover of £14.2 million along with a customer base of more than 77,000 broadband users nationwide.[3]

In 2006 the company won several awards at the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) annual awards ceremony. These awards were: "best business ISP", "best heavy business broadband", and "best uncontended service".[4]

The company featured in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 from 2003 to 2006 as well as featuring in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2004.[5]

In early 2008 Zen Internet moved all its employees from their purpose-built HQ on Moss Bridge Road in Rochdale into the much larger Sandbrook House offices located at Sandbrook Park (Rochdale), a move part funded by the North West Regional Development Agency.[6]

In 2010 Managing Director Richard Tang was named Customer Service Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young at an awards ceremony in Manchester. This award recognised the retraining scheme introduced by the company in the Rochdale area.[7]

Market position[edit]

Zen has always focused on the UK business market although it does have a large consumer broadband customer base. Zen's mission statement is "to provide the best ISP service in the UK"

They were one of the early ISPs to offer 'self-install ADSL' and recognised the advantage of not relying on other providers for backbone.[8]


Zen have six main product areas:

  • Broadband
    • Fibre Broadband
    • ADSL
    • SDSL
    • DSL Hardware


Powered by Redback, Foundry, Juniper and Cisco hardware the Zen core network spans over five POPs, two in their home town of Rochdale, Telecity in Manchester, Telehouse in London and a fifth POP is available in Leeds.

They are a member of the major UK peering points including LINX, LONAP, ManNAP and IX Manchester. In 2005 they unbundled the Rochdale exchange followed by the Bury, Oldham and Blackfriars exchanges in 2006 to provide an LLU service to local residents and Businesses.

In 2008 Zen Internet stated they would not be speaking to or partnering with Phorm, a controversial advertising company hoping to purchase user data from UK Internet service providers.[9]

After the BBC proposed changing their content delivery provider for their popular iPlayer service, Zen Internet warned that costs would increase once the move to Level3 was complete.[10]

Zen Internet are currently a member of the CISAS (Communication and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme), an alternative dispute resolution scheme giving access to independent and speedy conflict resolution.[11]


  1. ^ Stuart Turton (13 August 2008). "Zen Internet". Times Online.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  2. ^ Rachel Bridge (6 March 2005). "Drink in a pub led to online fortune". London: PC Pro.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  3. ^ http://www.zen.co.uk/About.aspx
  4. ^ Alfred Hermida (24 February 2006). "UK rapped on data retention law". BBC Online.  Retrieved on 3 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Sunday Times Tech Track 100". Fast Track.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  6. ^ Neil Roscoe (10 April 2008). "£2m grant helps Zen Internet to expand within the region". NWDA.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  7. ^ Claire Spoors (18 June 2010). "Richard Tang named Customer Service Entrepreneur Of The Year". Ernst & Young.  Retrieved on 19 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Trouble ahead for broadband providers". BBC News. 25 January 2002.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  9. ^ Chris Williams (29 February 2008). "Broadband big boys waiting on data pimping". The Register.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  10. ^ Chris Williams (22 August 2008). "BBC iPlayer upgrade prompts new ISP complaints". The Register.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.
  11. ^ "CISAS Members List". CISAS.  Retrieved on 20 November 2008.

External links[edit]