, a wholesale telecommunications service provider, claims that a new number porting agreement
could put it on the verge of ending, or at least eroding, some of KCOM's
) telecoms and broadband ISP monopoly in the Hull
and East Riding
At present KCOM, which is also known as Kingston Communications, still holds Significant Market Power
(SMP) in the area. Rivals have persistently complained that KCOM offers no real equivalent to BT's WLR3 (wholesale line rental) services, or even SMPF/MPF wholesale access.
Aql's new move might not go that far but it does offer an alternative to KCOM's existing setup, which ties subscribers' telephone numbers to their fixed line subscriptions. Under the new agreement these numbers can be ported away from KCOM's existing network and onto another fixed line, mobile or IP
telephone based alternative.
Aql's Sales Director, Paul Greaves, said:
"We see the Kingston porting agreement as likely to act as a catalyst to competition in the Hull area and I'm sure we'll see new specialist operators cropping up. An example of such an operator is theonenetwork.co.uk, who can merge your office and home numbers onto one mobile device from GBP5 per month."
In reality the development, despite being extremely positive, is still unlikely to free Hull from KCOM's grasp. Ofcom
are still said to be consulting separately upon enhancements to the processes involved in securing wholesale access to KCOM's assets, though we've yet to see any firm movement on this.