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KC Brings Cheap 1000Mbps Fibre Optic Broadband to Hull Businesses

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 (7:31 am) - Score 1,959

The incumbent telecoms operator for Hull in East Yorkshire (England), KC, has announced the launch of several new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “Lightstream” fibre optic broadband packages for businesses, with download speed options of 250Mbps, 500Mbps, 750Mbps and 1000Mbps.

The operators dominance of Hull’s fixed line phone and broadband market might not be facing much of a significant challenge at the consumer end, although there are a number of rival and business focused pure fibre optic and Ethernet ISPs in the area (e.g. MS3, Cityfibre) that are beginning to threaten.

As a result KC has now seen fit to leverage the growing coverage of their FTTP based Lightstream infrastructure by launching a new range of ultrafast broadband packages.

Director of KC Business, Alan Worthing, said:

More than 2,000 local businesses across the region are already using Lightstream and they’re telling us it’s making them more productive and efficient. We’ve introduced our new, faster packages in response to this and to coincide with the Government’s voucher scheme, which is making it more affordable than ever for local firms to benefit from ultrafast internet speeds even if our Lightstream roll-out hasn’t reached them yet.

We launched the new services last Wednesday and received our first order for the 1Gbps service the following day, so we know there’s demand for even faster services. We’re looking forward to making them available to more businesses in the coming months.”

The new options appear to lack some of the more advanced features of KC’s Leased Line solutions, such as dedicated (uncontended) traffic and a strong Service Level Agreement (SLA), although they make up for that by being cheap, flexible (add unlimited usage for an extra £10 per month) and incredibly fast.

Lightstream Business Broadband (Prices +vat)

Office Light 250
Up to 250 Mbps download speed
Up to 125 Mbps upload speed
150 GB monthly download allowance
Multiple IP addresses
100MB business webspace
Email an-spam and anti-virus protection
24 month contract

PRICE: £30 a month

Office Pro 500
As above plus..
Up to 500 Mbps download speed
Up to 250 Mbps upload speed
600GB monthly download allowance

PRICE: £60 a month

Office Ultra 750
As above plus..
Up to 750 Mbps download speed
Up to 375 Mbps upload speed
600 GB monthly download allowance

PRICE: £85 a month

Office Ultra 1 Gb
As above plus..
Up to 1 Gbps download speed
Up to 500 Mbps upload speed
750 GB monthly download allowance

PRICE: £120 a month

The danger of offering such solutions is of course that you also risk undercutting your own leased line market, which is one of several reasons why some believe that BT has been slow to deploy similar FTTP/C solutions into business areas. Never the less KC clearly recognises that the goalposts are moving with the ever improving performance of consumer broadband and ultimately the time has come to adapt.

One thing that isn’t mentioned in KC’s official press release or their website summary is that the new packages are available alongside a special offer, which gives subscribers either £10 or £20 off per month for the length of the contract if businesses sign-up for 24 months.

It should be noted that the official products page only sells 24 month contracts and so the above discounts have been applied automatically, which means that the normal (non-offer) pricing should actually start at £40 +vat per month (250Mbps) and rise to £140 for the 1000Mbps option.

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Mark Jackson
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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20 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris Conder says:

    If only this was available everywhere! The rest of the country is stuck on obsolete copper.

    1. Avatar PeterM says:

      Yes agreed. I pay about £60 per month for my bonded line here in West Sussex, that runs at about 5Mbps. The KC Office Pro 500 would run at 100 times faster for the same price.

    2. Avatar Col says:

      Copper is……. the new Fibre!

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Businesses can’t order fibre across the rest of the UK?

      Really, when did that happen? 😮

    4. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Chris Conder:
      Some posters still believe that fibre-broadband is everywhere available in the UK, outside the KC coverage area. This is clearly not the case. Fibre-broadband is hardly available at all, in most cases it is only copper-based VDSL. Even leased lines (which is not the same as FTTP fibre broadband) is not universally available from BT, and certainly not at comparable fibre broadband costs. Not even BT’s Fibre-on-Demand can be ordered any more.

    5. Avatar TheFacts says:

      @GN – Who believes that?

    6. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: “Who believes that?”

      What exactly are you referring to?

    7. Avatar TheFacts says:

      ‘Some posters still believe that fibre-broadband is everywhere available in the UK’

    8. Avatar GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: Haven’t you read this forum thread?

    9. Avatar FibreFred says:

      I am sure he has read it and come to the conclusion no-one said that hence his question to you

  2. Avatar NGA for all says:

    There are cerainly showing what can be done. There capital costs for the project per premise for FTTP seem to be inline with Google $500 per premise and not inconsistent with what Analsys Mason have reported in rural Cornwall.

    It brings more pressure on the need to understand the actual subsidies per premise being paid in all the early BDUK projects for FTTC. The amount of funds available to do FTTP should be large, but BT is not resourced to do the work.

    1. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      Not a huge surprise – remember a BT guy commenting that FTTP cost 4 times as much and took 4 times as long to build?

      It’s made a ton easier if you have the kind of access to poles that Google have been provided, that saves a fair amount of money over the UK finding poles distasteful and demanding infrastructure be built underground until very recently.

      I would suggest that some idea of the costs involved can be drawn from Virgin Media’s budget for their Project Lightning infill, however this is likely to actually cost considerably more than Openreach would have to spend to pass premises with FTTP as in many areas VM will have no pre-existing infrastructure to use while Openreach now have a fibre deep network in many areas and pre-existing ducting.

    2. Avatar NGA for all says:

      @Astro…This seems to be primarily a resource and training/engineering practice issue for BT. The public money is in place, and we hope the NAO/PAC works means BT’s VDSL cabinet costs are being managed which means the monies may not get spent or get wasted.
      I have seen NESTA quote Huawei cost of £3k for G.Fast kit, which looks nuts for serving customers from a DP.

  3. Avatar TheManStan says:

    Comparing apples and pears NGA… KC is an urban build with a very limited geographical footprint and Cornwall is a mix with mostly rural builds. It is not logical to compare any costs between them, beyond any FTTP in urban areas.

    1. Avatar NGA for all says:

      Limited comparison maybe but this AM piece suggests where BT can be forced out of bed on the matter the engineers can do the work for much less than the economists modelled.
      http://www.analysysmason.com/Research/Content/Comments/FTTH-rural-areas-Apr2014-RDTW0/
      Just as FTTC will be shown to be less than £3bn (out of the 2008 est of £5.1bn) the incremental cost of extending fibre into the D-side will be a fraction of the £25bn estimate as it too will be an overlay network and could and should be programmed in over a target of 25 years but done in 15, using a modification to the current FLA M cost recovery.
      BT’s resource issue looks to be a bigger blockage to this than any other factor, although BT Group myth making machine on cost/investment needs to be overcome.
      The KC effort needs to be applauded, as does BT’s ongoing engineering effort.

    2. Avatar TheManStan says:

      Resourcing is always an issue… KC is looking at close to 18-20 years based on current speed of deployment.

      As for BTs predicted costs, that been explained many times and anything pre-2009 is pretty much wet finger in the wind… and has no value and none should use it. BT revised all their costs downwards once builds began. Their initial cost for national FTTP (~95-99%) was £21BN, which was revised down to £15BN, but people still use the £21BN.

    3. Avatar NGA for all says:

      @The Manstan – Thanks. BT Group and indeed Ofcom still using the BSG £25bn mumber.
      Even £15bn or £600m pa over 25 years is really helpful. I had estimated £4k per dp-manifold and d-side extension assuming re-use of FTTC e-side upgrades. If customers pay for the drop wire, I would not be too far away from the £15bn.
      The first £600m will be stuck in the BDUK contracts and clawback arguements rather being used to kick start more FTTP clusters in rural areas.
      There is enough spare within the £1.2bn phase 1, given the identified cost of VDSL cabinet, to fund an incrmental 2,000 workers on ground for the next 3 years.
      Do you have public reference for the £15bn? An online PDF would be helpful.

  4. Avatar ILoveFibre says:

    Whilst this is to be applauded people should take notice of the CIR/EIR rates on the KC Business website. The headline speeds are just burst rates, for example on the 1Gb package they are only guaranteeing customers 100Mb speeds.

    1. Avatar Astroturfer says:

      If a service guaranteed at 100Mb with a burst of 1Gb isn’t adequate a shared solution is probably a bad idea.

      I think it’s great that they are giving a clear CIR. Check the specifications on the Openreach 330Mb product.

  5. Avatar Astroturfer says:

    I’ll take the 1Gb service, with the uncapped supplement, for my home office please.

    Oh wait… no such options. 🙁

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