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KCOM Hails 40,000th Lightstream Fibre Optic Broadband Customer in Hull

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 (7:29 am) - Score 760
kcom engineer on side of building in hull

East Yorkshire ISP KCOM has today confirmed that their “ultrafast” Lightstream fibre optic broadband (FTTP/C) network in Hull, which is costing about £60 million (total capital investment) to roll-out or roughly £400 per premise, has just connected its 40,000th customer.

At the last update in November 2016 we were told that the new network had already been expanded to cover 104,000 local homes and businesses and was aiming to reach 150,000 premises passed by December 2017 (around 75% of KCOM’s overall network in Hull and East Yorkshire). The vast majority of this deployment is being done via 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/H) technology, with roughly 8% also being covered by their slower (up to 75Mbps) Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) service.

We guesstimate that KCOM has added another c.10,000+ premises to their coverage since November 2016 and that would give them a total of around 115,000 premises passed, which with 40,000 customers should equate to a good take-up of 34.78%. This is roughly in keeping with some of the Government’s more mature Broadband Delivery UK contracts with Openreach (BT), which unlike KCOM’s roll-out are dominated by the cheaper and slower FTTC technology.

Gary Young, KCOM’s Executive Vice President, said:

“I’m delighted that we have passed this major milestone for Lightstream. It means that 40,000 householders in Hull and East Yorkshire are now receiving unrivalled ultrafast broadband that’s transforming the area and making it a real force to be reckoned with in the UK when it comes to connectivity.

The demand for Lightstream has been phenomenal and we are connecting a new customer every 30 minutes. Our £60m investment in infrastructure is now bearing fruit and bringing real benefits to the region, making it a great place to live, work and do business in.

We are the only company rolling out full fibre technology as standard which is not only the best now, but is future-proofed meaning Hull will be at the forefront of the digital revolution for decades to come.”

We should point out that the 1Gbps (1000Mbps+) figure given for FTTP performance above reflects KCOM’s top business connections, while residential consumers are generally offered a maximum line speed of 250Mbps (30Mbps upload) on the same service.

Otherwise the operator’s capital expenditure for the next 2 financial years’ is expected to be “greater than£40 million per annum, which largely reflects their increased investment into fibre. This is partly being fuelled by KCOM’s earlier £90m sale of their UK network assets (excluding Hull and East Yorkshire) to Cityfibre.

However we’d be very surprised if KCOM didn’t at some point announce another extension to their deployment in order to tackle the remaining 25% of their existing network. At that point it’s possible we might start to see a greater proportion of FTTC being used because it can become very expensive to roll-out FTTP into smaller / more challenging communities.

A detailed availability update can be found on KCOM’s website: https://www.kcomhome.com/products/broadband/lightstream-rollout/.

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW

    As of last October, KCOM were running at passing 4-5,000 premises per month, and they needed to keep going at that kind of rate to hit their 2017 target. Somewhere around 115-120k seems plausible.

    KCOM’s checker shows they have plans beyond 2017, with some areas running into the middle of 2018. It also reports that their aim is to convert the full network by 2020.

    How much will be FTTC is a good question. In a reverse to the usual rollouts, what KCOM have left is significant parts of the city, particularly the council estates, and less so the rural parts.

    • Don’t forget to account for disruption to that progress around XMas and New Year for obvious reasons.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Yeah, that’ll have an effect.

      On the other hand, KCOM burst into action over that period to provide FTTP to the area where MS3 were targeting 😉

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