Victorian-based telecommunications wholesaler and billing platform provider iBoss has disconnected thousands of customers after entering a court-ordered administration on Friday.
In a notice to customers on Saturday, the company's management revealed that iBoss, its sister business One Telecom and the pair’s parent company, AsiaPac Communications – a subsidiary of telecommunications wholesaler Conec2 – had entered administration as a result of carrier service restrictions with their supplier.
It is understood that iBoss and One Telecom supply Telstra Wholesale, AAPT and Vocus services to customers through a third party, the Australasian New Energy Group, a business owned by Conec2 owner Cameron Adams.
According to iBoss management, ANEG's carrier service access had been restricted, which meant it could no longer provide services to iBoss.
“We have no choice but to be placed into administration,” read the notice, which was sighted by CRN.
Customers' phone and internet services begun being cut off en masse on Friday afternoon, CRN understands. Up to 10,000 customers are estimated to be affected.
“Please be assured that the main priority of the administrators is to get your end users services up and running again as soon as possible and they have immediately entered into discussions with the carriers to achieve this goal,” iBoss management told customers.
The parent company of iBoss is former telecommunications wholesale provider ispONE, which was controversially acquired by fellow wholesaler Conec2 after entering administration last year.
Last year, ispONE went into administration following high-profile legal battles over unpaid bills and contract disputes with former wholesale partner, Telstra, and former client, Kogan Mobile. One Telecom had also been in administration prior to the sale.
CRN understands that on Friday, the Victorian Supreme Court ordered iBoss, AsiaPac and One Telecom into administration with Ferrier Hodgson, the insolvency practitioner that oversaw the controversial ispONE acquisition and sale to Conec2.
A recently commenced legal fight between ispONE founder Zac Swindells and Conec2 owner Cameron Adams revealed the pair set up the AsiaPac business as a vehicle for the ispONE acquisition prior to it entering administration.
As part of the court case, Swindells last week asked for and was granted an injunction against Adams operating as a director in AsiaPac, iBoss or One Telecom after alleging Adams was working to sideline Swindells out of the businesses.
Swindells' lawyers argued Adams’ actions – which included cutting off Swindells’ access to certain business bank accounts and appointing directors to the three businesses without consultation – could potentially damage the operations of iBoss, AsiaPac and One Telecom.
Out of the ashes?
Despite iBoss now being in administration, a company could soon be reborn from the ashes, with a company name search on corporate regulator ASIC revealing an entity by the name of “Tboss” having been registered in Victoria just two months ago.
While no description is available for the company, the business’ five shareholders are all current iBoss employees.
According to the documents, iBoss’ chief technical officer, commercial director, wholesale manager and operations manager all received 100 of the new entity’s 1000 ordinary shares.
Swindells, who is listed as Tboss’ main shareholder, has been issued 600.
Adams and Swindells have been contacted for comment.
Up for sale
Administrators have begun the process to sell off the assets of the three collapsed companies, and are understood to have commenced discussions on Saturday with around four interested parties in an effort to sign off on a sale by Sunday night.
One party is understood to have been shortlisted to acquire the customer base of around 25,000 retail customers, in a deal that is likely to be worth around $500,000.
The iBoss billing platform is understood not to be up for sale as part of the process. CRN understands iBoss customer Medion holds a security over the billing platform, which gives it certain rights to the platform if certain events occur.