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KC’s Fibre Optic Broadband Network to Cover 60,000 Hull UK Premises

Saturday, February 21st, 2015 (7:47 am) - Score 1,901

The incumbent telecoms operator for East Yorkshire and Hull, KC (KCOM), has quietly announced that their superfast “Lightstream” fibre optic (FTTP/C) broadband network is to be expanded beyond the current target of 45,000 premises by March 2015 and will add another 15,000 homes and businesses to their footprint by around spring 2016.

At the last count KC’s network, which is dominated by their ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/H) technology (this is 350Mbps capable, although their consumer packages only go up to 100Mbps), had already achieved a total coverage of 40,000 premises passed, with an impressive 12,000 having already subscribed (around 30% uptake).

Funnily enough the 40,000 figure also reflects roughly 30% of KC’s addressable market, which means that they’ve still got a lot of work ahead in order to ensure that their network reaches nearly everybody. As a result the expectation has always been that KC would continue beyond March 2015 and it was thus just a matter of waiting for the confirmation.

Sue Helmont, KC’s Director of Consumer Services, said:

We’re delighted to announce our plans to make Lightstream available to thousands more of our customers during the next year. We’re seeing demand for superfast broadband grow as households spend more time online. We want our customers to have the best-connected homes and businesses in the UK, and our continued investment in Lightstream is all about achieving just that.”

Admittedly not everybody has been happy with the pace of KC’s work, which is one of the downsides to focusing your deployment on rolling out a pure fibre optic network (i.e. it’s more expensive and takes a lot longer, but ends up being more future proof). One interesting question is whether the expansion will continue to be dominated by FTTP or if KC will cut its costs and top achievable speeds by quickening their deployment via the use of more hybrid-fibre FTTC, but for now the focus remains on FTTP.

Most of the money for KC’s new roll-out looks likely to come from the £200m finance package that they secured last year, although KC hasn’t revealed precisely how much the latest deployment phase is costing. Meanwhile the ISP has also updated their Lightstream roll-out page to reflect the changes, which reveals that their network will see expansion in the areas of Beverley High Road, Brough, Ferriby & Melton, Cottingham, Beverley and various other parts of West and East Hull.

UPDATE: 7:54am

We understand that KC may have just reached their 45,000 goal, which would be slightly ahead of target.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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3 Responses
  1. Steve Jones says:

    One thing that helps make this viable is that KC can count on the entire revenue stream, not just wholesale. That also avoids a lot of overheads on advertising and sales effort and structural separation issues.

    A nice thing is that KC publish their complete package prices including line rental. It’s about time all ISPs were forced to do headline it that way, at least where they are selling as part of full bundles. I don’t see it happening voluntarily in a competitive market though.

  2. “It’s about time all ISPs were forced to do headline it that way”

    Yup, it is about time they were made to do this. I just hope that one day the ASA will receive sufficient complaints about, for example, “free” broadband that costs £16 pm etc that they will ban such adverts.

    The headline price should, in my view, relate to the primary use of the “telephone” line – which these days is most def not telephony for the vast majority of users.

  3. MikeW says:

    KC’s addressable market is around 180k households – over 140k in Hull and the near villages, with more spread around in Beverley, Brough and Hedon, a few thousand dotted around smaller villages, and exchanges doubling up with BT in places further afield, such as Driffield and Market Weighton. If we allow the usual figure of 10% extra for business – there ought to be around 200k premises they could reach.

    They are a long way short of passing 30% of their market – and at 15k properties per year, they are a long way off hitting a BDUK-style target of 90%. Another 9 years???

    Don’t be fooled into thinking their existing coverage is heavy in Hull either. It seems like a lot of the announcements target the wealthier villages surrounding the city.

    Tell me again why Hull CC aren’t running a BDUK project?

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