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Director of Hull ISP KC Doubts Virgin Media Can Help Rural Areas

Posted: 17th Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
virgin media uk best broadband ispHull ISP kcThe Director of Consumer Services at Hull and East Riding's (Yorkshire) incumbent broadband and phone provider KC (Karoo), Nick Thompson, has said that he doubts whether Virgin Media UK's recent pledge of opening its doors to the CLA and other rural groups (here) will "result in positive action" and better broadband in remote areas.

KC's Director of Consumer Services, Nick Thompson, told ISPreview.co.uk:

"Virgin Media's open-door policy to the CLA and other rural groups is a step forward, however there is no guarantee that it will result in positive action and provide those in remote spots with much needed broadband access.

KC's service area is disproportionately rural compared with the rest of the country, and we are committed to delivering a universal minimum 2Mbps broadband to even the most remote reaches of our network by the end of next month, as well as rolling out guaranteed 100Mbps fibre to the home to over 15,000 premises by the end of the year.

If the UK is going to meet the government and EU targets and lead the rest of the world in Super Fast Broadband by 2015, ISPs need to ensure the whole country is connected. Failure to do so could cause long-term damage to rural communities and will only widen the digital divide."

Last week the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) warned that, "Virgin Media’s latest rollout ignores homes and businesses in the countryside to give areas that already have good broadband even faster connections". Shortly thereafter PCC's President, Stephen Leckie, added, "there is no doubt [Virgin Media] is leaving many rural areas at the bottom of the league table as broadband backwaters."

But Virgin Media, unlike BT, has always been a commercial firm and does not have the same responsibilities to potentially fund work in areas that are not as commercially viable. By contrast KC is still an incumbent in its own market.
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