|Founded||1997 (as Plusnet Technologies Ltd)|
|Andy Baker (|
Landline telephone services
Plusnet plc is a British
This section does not
Plusnet's origins go back to 1 February 1997, when Choice Peripherals, a PC computer-peripherals company launched Force9 Internet. Heavily involved in early Plusnet was founder of Choice Peripherals, Paul Cusack (Chairman), who later went on to create the hardware retailer
The first Force9 Internet products followed the
As the business grew, Force9 was split out as a separate operation from Choice Peripherals, with new premises and an
Although the company was named Plusnet, the brand was first used for products by the business sales team at Force9, for
In April 1998,
This coincided with the April 1999 launch of Force9's version of 'unmetered' dial up - which gave 0800 free call rate internet access during weekend hours. The website was re-branded as F9 in order to promote it.
In June 2000, the Force9 brand was changed to Plusnet. This coincided with the introduction of the Surftime dialup internet products, the first real 24/7 unmetered dial-up service in the UK.
Plusnet continued to see month on month growth in the dial-up market, and this growth was further augmented with the launch of a 512 kbit/s
Plusnet continued to develop their product set over the next few years as new broadband speeds and technologies became available. The initial broadband product performed at a speed of 512 kbit/s, and required a BT Engineer to visit the customer premises to install the service. As time went on, the maximum speeds increased to 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s and, today, up to 16 Mbit/s. In January 2002, Plusnet launched a 'Self Install' broadband product that the end user was able to set up themselves without the need for a visit to the premises by a BT Engineer.
In November 2005, Plusnet acquired Parbin Ltd and its consumer ISP MetroNet - which at that time provided a range of 'pay as you go' broadband packages. As part of the Parbin acquisition, Plusnet assumed ownership of several other brands; Pay as You Host, INUK and Port995.
On 16 November 2006, it was announced that BT were making an offer for all shares in Plusnet. The BT deal, worth approximately £67 million, was declared unconditional on 24 January 2007 (after
On 5 March 2007, shortly after the BT acquisition, the Plusnet chief executive, Lee Strafford, and the finance director, Neil Comer, were dismissed by BT. Strafford was replaced as CEO by a former BT employee, Neil Laycock, who had been with Plusnet in various senior roles for the preceding three years.
BT bought the Brightview Group in July 2007, and Brightview's subsidiary Madasafish became a trading name of Plusnet.