KCOM news

Hull ahead of the game as Government ponders copper network switch-off

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KCOM has welcomed statements from Chancellor Philip Hammond suggesting the Government is considering turning off the UK’s copper broadband network.

KCOM has welcomed statements from Chancellor Philip Hammond suggesting the Government is considering turning off the UK’s copper broadband network.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said the government could intervene and impose a final "switch off" date for the UK’s old copper network if communications providers didn’t act to increase the speed of fibre deployment.

Mr Hammond said that switching off the legacy copper network was crucial to “streamline” the country’s transition to full fibre networks.

Cathy Phillips, KCOM’s Chief Marketing Officer, said the move from legacy copper networks to fibre was essential to ensuring the UK has a competitive 21st century broadband network.

He said: “We’re delighted that the Chancellor has highlighted the need to increase the UK’s adoption of fibre broadband. For the past six years KCOM has been ahead of the game, rolling out our Lightstream full fibre network across Hull and East Yorkshire in a ground-breaking initiative to give the region a truly world class broadband network.

“This statement of intent from the Treasury shows our vision to create the Lightstream network was the right one and one that is putting our region decades ahead of the rest of the UK. Our £85m full fibre network rollout has placed Hull and East Yorkshire at the forefront of the fibre revolution and helped establish Hull as a vibrant hub for the digital and tech sectors.”

KCOM is one of a handful of providers rolling out full fibre networks, connecting homes and businesses with ultrafast broadband speeds of up to one Gigabit per second.

The company is on target to install full fibre connectivity across its Hull and East Yorkshire network – more than 200,000 properties – by March 2019. Beyond Hull and East Yorkshire only four per cent of UK properties have access to full fibre.

A HM Treasury Spokesman said: “The Chancellor has been clear that we must start thinking now about the switchover from copper to fibre to ensure UK infrastructure is fit for the future.

“We have set ambitious targets for all homes and businesses to be connected to world-leading full fibre broadband by 2033.

“We are considering a range of options to make that happen, but have not taken any final decisions.”

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