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UPDATE Delay Fears Strike KC’s Fibre Optic Broadband Rollout in Hull

Tuesday, Jun 10th, 2014 (9:23 am) - Score 824

KC’s plan to make their ‘up to’ 350Mbps capable fibre optic (FTTP/C) Lightstream broadband network available to 45,000 premises accross Hull in East Yorkshire (England) could be facing a significant delay after KCOM Group’s latest preliminary results appeared to change the projects timescale.

UPDATE 10:23am: Since we wrote this article KC has been in touch to state that the December 2015 date mentioned in their financial report is actually wrong and it should in fact still be March 2015 as originally planned. Good news. The original article is below.

At the last count in May 2014 KC’s Lightstream deployment (here), which is incidentally dominated by their true fibre optic Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/H) network with only a little hybrid-fibre (FTTC), had passed 32,000 homes and businesses with 9,000 customers connected (28% uptake).

The progress has so far been good and under the current plan KC’s Lightstream service is expected to reach a total of 45,000 homes and businesses (premises passed) by March 2015 (here), which looks to be feasible given the current pace. But the latest results from KCOM Plc. appear to be hinting at a 9 month delay, although oddly this is still described as being “on target“.

KC’s Fibre Roll-Out Update – Q1 2014 Results

In KC, progress in our fibre deployment remains strong and we continue to exploit the investment in our fibre network to grow sales of broadband and related data services. Take-up remains strong and we are on target to provide 45,000 premises (c30% of the addressable market) with access to high speed fibre-based services by December 2015. Our current take-up rate of 27 per cent is well ahead of the national average, and is delivering an average revenue per user (ARPU) uplift of in excess of £5 per month.

We are scoping the next phase of this investment (beyond December 2015) and will provide an update on this at the interim results in November 2014. While subsequent phases of this deployment will require additional capital investment, it will create a future proof infrastructure capable of very high speeds, well in excess of current and forecast market requirements. We believe our decision to deploy fibre to the premises (FTTP) is the most financially attractive over the longer term, as well as being the most beneficial for our customers.

Admittedly a delay would not be unexpected, given that progress often appears to slow as networks expand into areas with smaller populations (same amount of work for fewer premises passed etc.). However it’s difficult to see how a nine month difference between the original March 2015 and new December 2015 targets could be described as “on target“. ISPreview.co.uk has hailed KC in the hope of some clarity.

On the other hand it’s good to see that KC are now planning the next phase of their fibre optic deployment and it will be interesting to learn whether their roll-out continues to be dominated by FTTP/H into the more rural areas, where slower FTTC might begin to look like a more economically viable solution.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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