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KCOM Ready to Bring Ultrafast Broadband to Everyone on their Hull Network

Monday, November 27th, 2017 (11:23 am) - Score 980
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The incumbent phone and broadband provider for Hull in East Yorkshire, KCOM, as told the UK Government’s Digital Minister, Matt Hancock, that they will hit their target of 150,000 properties on their fibre optic network (FTTP/C) by the end of 2017 and will then extend this to “everyone in our network.”

The news will not come as much of a surprise to our readers, after all KCOM has so far done a good job of keeping to their deployment targets. On top of that the operator’s response to Ofcom’s earlier consultation on a new 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) has already revealed that by the end of 2020 they “expect that every residential and business customer (both in the Hull area and where our network is available in East Yorkshire) would be able to connect to our NGA fibre network” (here).

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

“I am delighted that we will reach 150,000 properties by the end of 2017, as promised.

This is a major milestone for KCOM and will bring real benefits for businesses and households in Hull and East Yorkshire. Providing ultrafast connectivity to Hull has already established it as the digital capital of the UK and shows our commitment is as strong as ever to create a city that is fit for the 21st Century.

It also paves the way for the final phase of our Lightstream deployment that will bring ultrafast broadband to everyone in our network.”

Matt Hancock, UK Digital Minister, said:

“KCOM has done a tremendous job in rolling out full fibre broadband for the homes and businesses in Hull.

Full fibre is fundamental for fashioning a Britain fit for the future, and we are investing more than £1bn in taking fibre to new heights, by stimulating further and faster roll-out of full fibre networks across the UK.”

Back in September 2017 we revealed that KCOM had so far extended their £60 millionLightstream” fibre network to cover 132,500 premises (here) and the most recent rollout update (here) put them on target to hit the 150,000 premises mark by the end of 2017 (i.e. 75% of their overall network). The new network currently has 50,000 residential and 5,000 business customers.

The company now predicts that within the next month the number of its customers with fibre broadband will surpass the number with old fashioned copper internet connections. At present residential consumers are offered a maximum line speed of up to 250Mbps (30Mbps upload) on FTTP (soon to be 350Mbps), although we should add that around 7-8% of their new network uses a slower ‘up to’ 75Mbps FTTC (VDSL2) service.

No doubt it won’t be long now before the rollout plan for the “final phase” of their deployment to reach the remaining c.50,000 premises (25% of their overall network) is published. On this point it will be interesting to see whether or not KCOM make more use of FTTC than we have soon so far, not least because serving some of their smaller outlying communities with FTTP could be very expensive.

However it’s worth highlighting that Gary Young’s comment specifically references an aim to extend “ultrafast broadband” to everyone in their network, which typically means speeds of 100Mbps+ and that would appear to rule-out VDSL2 based FTTC. So either they’ll upgrade their FTTC approach somehow (G.fast?) or replace everything with FTTP, even existing FTTC.

The operator has previously expressed an expectation of being the first operator in the UK to switch-off their old legacy copper network, which suggests that FTTC may be replaced.

UPDATE 28th Nov 2017

Well that didn’t take long (the 100% coverage plan).

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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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2 Responses
  1. Avatar Dave

    A rollout which makes no sense. Surely makes sense to upgrade areas with slower speeds. For example, I average 4mb down and 1mb up. However they have upgraded areas who receive in excess of 10mb down. My area which is a massive area covering many 100’s of homes is not yet on the rollout map. However they laid a cables 500 yards away to upgrade a village I can see from my house.

    • It probably does make sense, to KCOM, but what you see on top of the ground often does not reflect the complexity of how their underground / overground network works or the unique challenges when tackling each specific area. Have you asked them why your area has been left out?

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