Interview with Hull UK ISP KC (KCOM Group) - Page 1 - ISPreview
Interview with UK Broadband ISP KC (KCOM Group)
By: Mark Jackson - November 29th, 2010 : Page 1 -of- 5
"without including contention, upload speed, latency and down/up load allowances then the USC is merely an exercise in tokenism"

KC KCom UK Office Building PictureUK ISP KC LogoKC (Karoo), part of the KCOM Group PLC (Kingston Communications) with a history that stretches back over a hundred years to 1904, is today an incumbent broadband and phone communications provider for consumers and businesses in the Hull and East Yorkshire (UK) area. The KCOM umbrella also includes several other firms, such as UK ISP Eclipse Internet.

The provider is certainly no stranger to controversy and often receives criticism from rivals and customers alike, many of which remain frustrated by the operators tight hold over its dominant position of Significant Market Power (SMP) in Hull and the related lack of competition. For its part, KC has spent millions on improving the regions infrastructure and recently become quite outspoken on the many issues of UK broadband policy. wanted to know more about how KC approached the thorny issue of competition in Hull and its views on the current governments approach to broadband.  To that end we have been able to pluck KC's Director of Consumer Affairs, Nick Thompson, from his busy schedule in order to answer a few choice questions about this year's main events.

The 2Mb Universal Service Commitment (broadband for all by 2015)

Q1 - The UK government recently delayed its target of 2012 for making a minimum broadband download speed of 2Mb (Megabits per second) - Universal Service Commitment (USC) - available to everybody in the country, instead pushing it back to 2015.

During April 2010 KC commented that a download speed of 10Mb would make for a better "sustainable broadband for all" target, ideally being delivered by the governments 2015 deadline. Do KC plan to adopt this as their own official goal and was the government's original 2012 timetable ever achievable (expensive quick-fix Satellite solutions notwithstanding)?


KC have committed to achieving 100% 2Mbps service by March 11.  Moving on from that achievement we will increase our service ambitions, a key part of which is to ensure that we deliver a consistent standard of service to all our customers across both urban and rural locations.

Given that Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire has a more pronounced rural population, 30% of population compared to the UK's 20%, our sense is that the 2012 target lacked ambition and could have been achieved with the right level of application and desire.

Q2 - Should the USC also be considering other factors, such as upload speed, affordability, flexibility (usage allowances) and latency performance?


At KC we believe that without including contention, upload speed, latency and down/up load allowances then the USC is merely an exercise in tokenism.

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