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MS3 Prepare 70km Rollout of Full Fibre Broadband in Hull UK

Thursday, February 25th, 2021 (10:43 am) - Score 1,368
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Communications provider MS3, which runs an independent Dark Fibre and business focused broadband network in Hull (East Yorkshire), has informed us that they are about to embark on a 70km long “city-wide expansion” of their “full fibre” network and this will also be used to serve local homes.

The project, which upon completion will give the company a total fibre network footprint of 130km across Hull, is expected to attract an investment of around £3.5 million. The expansion itself will predominantly focus on parts of East and North Hull.

In addition, MS3 informed ISPreview.co.uk that their new network expansion would also enable them to “begin the deployment of fibre to homes” across Hull. Further details on all this are expected “shortly“, although the first two areas are already said to have been identified.

The move should also provide some extra competition for local incumbent KCOM, which has already completed quite an extensive deployment of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband to cover nearly all of the local homes and businesses.

MS3’s network expansion work is due to start in March 2021, with the first 11km set to be completed by April 2021 and the full 70km build set to finish in April 2022. A number of new jobs are also expected to be created alongside this, such as in their Sales, Engineering and Technical departments.

Tony Hales, MS3 Networks Managing Director, said:

“This is an important milestone for MS3, we are working with key partners to drive our network reach to new parts of Hull and will be providing many homes and businesses with a choice of ultrafast cost effective full-fibre services.”

At this point some of our readers may recall that in 2016 MS3 also spawned a residential focused ISP called connectHull, which aimed to take on local incumbent KCOM by building a Gigabit capable FTTP broadband network. The first “trial” homes went live in January 2017 (here), with the network covering around 1,200 premises, but no further updates were issued.

Back in 2019 we were told that connectHull was still installing services in the city centre, but those were more focused on business connectivity than residential solutions. We’re currently unsure whether the planned expansion to local homes will continue under the same brand or not.

Just to add, last year saw one of Ofcom’s documents reveal that MS3 planned to go much further: “It plans to cover a further 21,000 premises in the Hull Area by the end of June 2021, extending its network to reach around 13% of premises,” which is supported by today’s announcement, even if June 2021 now seems to be an unrealistic date.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Sogga says:

    Wait doesn’t KCOM have a monopoly in Hull?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Yes, they have Significant Market Power (SMP), at least for now. But that doesn’t stop rivals from trying to unseat them, it just makes it much harder.

    2. Stewart says:

      I used to live in Hull and your options at the time was KCOM none fiber which was terrible they rolled out full fiber a few months before I left there is about 4 WISPs but there speeds are poor or using Unlimited 4G which was significantly better

    3. 125us says:

      No, only a ‘de facto’ one. No-one awarded Hull to KCom, it’s just that very few other operators are active there. It’s the same as the Openreach position – anyone can set up a telco or ISP and lay cables in the U.K. to compete with them.

    4. Anna says:

      True – no BT in Hull at the time that was the only difference – now it’s swamped it seems which is good for the consumer

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