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Hull ISP Karoo Asks Ofcom to Allow Bundled Broadband Services

Posted: 17th Nov, 2009 By: MarkJ
karooHull based ISP Karoo (KCOM, Kingston Communications UK), an incumbent provider that predominantly covers East Yorkshire in the UK, has begun talks with Ofcom that could allow the operator to offer bundled telephone and broadband packages to Hull's residential and business customers.

The move might surprise some because residents of the area are already forced to take their services through KCOM, which effectively owns and operates the telecoms network in Hull. This is also part of the reason why Ofcom imposed restrictions upon KCOM, restrictions that would probably be lifted if they did more to open the market up for rivals.

KCOM told the Karoo Facebook Group:

"Ofcom wish to conduct a consultation exercise and so we would like [CUSTOMERS] help to tell them that the people of Hull and East Riding, want to enjoy the same money saving bundles that consumers in other parts of the UK do.

There are no specific details yet, but we would like to show Ofcom that our customers support this initiative. We’ll post further details about the formal consultation when it becomes available. For now, to show your support please post your name and ‘yes!’ on our facebook page."

It's worth pointing out that similar regulatory hurdles were recently removed from BT, thus allowing them to offer a new range of cheaper bundled (TV, broadband and phone) packages. However BT's restrictions were lifted due to the existence of an already highly competitive market in many of its coverage areas, which KCOM lacks.

Customers are obviously likely to welcome anything that results in them being able to get more for less, although most would probably prefer to see greater competition and choice in the market from rivals first. Indeed that's something Ofcom and even the EU would like to see.

Presently the text of the consultation is not yet known but we suspect that KCOM would need to offer some concessions, towards creating greater competition in Hull, for the request to be approved.
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