Business Boost | 28 November 2017 - by

KCOM full steam ahead for fibre broadband

KCOM has announced timescales for the final stage of its full fibre broadband deployment, which will make available ultrafast internet access to every corner of its Hull and East Yorkshire network.

The communications and IT services provider today announced it will complete the deployment, covering approximately 200,000 properties, by March 2019.

This will mark the culmination of an ambitious seven year programme during which KCOM’s investment in its Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network will reach £85m.

Throughout the UK, FTTP is available to just three per cent of households.

KCOM’s chief executive, Bill Halbert, said: “I am delighted to announce our plans to complete what is arguably the most ambitious full fibre deployment in the UK. This is the final piece in the jigsaw in securing Hull as the digital capital of the UK.

“When we set out to transform our broadband network in 2012 our plan was to put Hull and East Yorkshire at the cutting edge of a digital revolution that would help to build a city and an economy fit for the 21st century.

“We believed investing in full fibre broadband was the right thing to do both for the company and our customers, and that belief is now bearing fruit.

“With roots in the city reaching back to 1904, KCOM has always been at the forefront of innovation and, with the completion of our Lightstream deployment now in sight, we can be proud of the fact that Hull still leads the way while others follow.

“The people of Hull and East Yorkshire have supported our ambition by signing up to Lightstream in their tens of thousands. Their confidence will help us to make the KCOM network the fastest, the most connected and the most future-proofed not only in the UK but the world by 2019.”

With KCOM connecting a new customer to the service every 20 minutes, Lightstream enables households to enjoy download speeds of 250Mbps (megabits per second) while businesses can connect at one Gigabit per second. The technology KCOM has deployed will enable even faster speeds to be delivered in the future.

New areas where Lightstream deployment will arrive in 2018 include Bransholme, Sutton Park, Orchard Park, Beverley Road, Anlaby Road, Spring Bank, Walkington, Skidby, Little Weighton and parts of Hessle.

When KCOM’s deployment is complete, Hull and East Yorkshire will be among the best connected regions in the world – overtaking countries at the top of the broadband speed league such as Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock MP, said: “Full fibre is the future, and so I'm delighted that KCOM is now entering the final stage of its ambitious rollout of full fibre broadband to homes and businesses in Hull.

“Rapid advances in technologies mean the need for ever faster broadband is only going to increase, and so it's wonderful news that the people of Hull will all be able to enjoy the gold standard, future proof connectivity that full fibre broadband offers.”

Hull City Council leader Stephen Brady welcomed the announcement, saying the rollout completion would help create jobs and boost the city’s growing digital economy.

He said: “We know how important good connectivity is for business, and for our residents.

“It is superb that Hull is the best connected city in the UK, enabling businesses to operate as effectively as possible. Infrastructure such as excellent digital connectivity, is a key part of having all of the elements in place to attract more global businesses to locate here, and create more jobs.

“KCOM has done an excellent job rolling out full fibre across the city.”

Support for the final phase of Lightstream rollout from Hull business leaders

Diana Taylor, Managing Director, Bondholders, said: “It’s excellent news for the region that KCOM is to complete its Lightstream broadband network.

“This commercial investment and innovation in new ultrafast fibre broadband across properties in Hull and East Yorkshire helps the area continue to forge a digital future for itself.  As well as accelerating us to become an ultrafast region, we can now claim we are one of the most connected, fastest broadband areas in the UK. Significant investment such as this is vital to growing our local economy as well as transforming the way residents and businesses connect and operate.

“Furthermore, ultrafast status is another factor making our area a highly desirable location to live and do business.” 

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David Hooper, external affairs manager for Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: “Nearly every home and business you can think of today is increasingly reliant on the internet.

“Fast, reliable broadband connections are now a key consideration for businesses looking to relocate to new premises or move into the area, so the Chamber welcomes the continued investment by KCOM which is providing some of the fastest broadband connectivity in the country through its Lightstream fibre programme.

“It is already helping all manner of businesses and will play its part in attracting new companies to Hull and the East Riding, especially in the rapidly growing digital sector, which in turn will create jobs and benefit the Humber economy.

“We welcome the announcement on the completion of the final 25 per cent of the network following a further £25m investment by KCOM which will confirm our area as one of the best places in the UK for high-speed digital connectivity.”

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East Riding of Yorkshire Council deputy leader Councillor Jonathan Owen said: “Good, reliable internet connection is vitally important to many aspects of modern life, whether that be keeping in contact with family and friends or for businesses to remain competitive and provide timely services and products for customers.

 "As such, I am pleased hear KCOM's progress on upgrading its network in our region and I look forward to its announcement on those premises that still remain."

Lightstream facts and figures

  • The total investment to make Lightstream available across KCOM’s Hull and East Yorkshire’s network will be £85m. The investment was hailed by Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital, at the World Broadband Forum in 2016 as an exemplar of how to deliver ultrafast broadband infrastructure.

 

  • By March 2019 KCOM will have installed more than 11,000,000 metres of fibre cable which is enough to stretch around the Moon. That’s the equivalent of 1,033,735 double decker buses parked end to end.

 

  • By the end of November 2017 the Lightstream rollout will have deployed eight million metres of fibre, which would reach from Hull to Beijing, San Francisco and Dhaka in Bangladesh.

 

  • Next year, Lightstream will become available to 3,000 new properties every month.

© KCOM Group PLC 2017