KCOM announces further £100m full fibre broadband investment
Expansion plans will see firm move beyond its Hull heartlan
Going beyond its traditional boundaries to deliver ultrafast broadband further afield
KCOM has announced ambitious plans to invest approximately £100 million in bringing ultrafast full fibre broadband to thousands of properties across the region.
The Hull-based broadband provider, which completed its full fibre rollout across its core Hull and East Yorkshire network last year, has revealed it will now push beyond its traditional boundaries to deliver the benefits of ultrafast broadband to tens of thousands more homes and businesses.
The first phase of the new fibre rollout will reach Driffield, Nafferton and Market Weighton in early 2020 with more areas to be announced throughout the year.
KCOM managing director Sean Royce, who revealed the news during a Facebook Live event, said: “I’m delighted to announce we’re bringing our award-winning full fibre broadband to new areas beyond our traditional network.
“Today we’re announcing that we’ll shortly be launching our ultrafast Lightstream broadband service to thousands of properties in Driffield, followed closely by a Market Weighton and Nafferton. And this is just the beginning - we will be announcing more areas throughout 2020.
“This means more people than ever will be able to access one of the best broadband services on the planet. Thousands of people in the areas we’re expanding to will now have the chance to stream, surf, download and game faster and better than anyone else in the UK - with no more buffering or delays.
“Lightstream has already had a huge impact where it is currently available in Hull and East Yorkshire, changing the way people consume the internet at home and transforming the economy for local businesses. We fully expect this good news to boost the areas we’re now reaching out to.
“This £100 million investment is a huge vote of confidence in our regional business from our new owners, who recognise the great potential this region has to grow and prosper with quality ultrafast broadband.”
KCOM’s full fibre broadband network has won a number of awards since its completion last year.
As well as being named Best Consumer Broadband Provider at the Internet Service Provider Awards (ISPA) 2019, KCOM also triumphed in the Quality and Affordability of Services category at the European Broadband Awards last month.
KCOM’s expansion plans are the first phase of a wider programme of investment to increase regional fibre accessibility, supported by its new owner, MEIF 6 Fibre Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 SCSp (an investment fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Limited), which acquired the company in August 2019.
Lightstream has had a substantial impact in Hull and East Yorkshire since KCOM started its rollout in 2012.
Research commissioned by KCOM shows the full fibre network added £469m to the local economy between 2012 and 2018. It added £127m in extra value to the Hull and East Yorkshire economy in 2018 alone.
Availability of ultrafast broadband has transformed the region’s economy and reputation as a place where digital and tech businesses can flourish, underpinned by its full fibre network.
KCOM’s Hull and East Yorkshire network boasts 100 per cent full fibre coverage compared to just 10 per cent of the rest of the UK.
Driffield Town Councillor Mark Blakeston, who has worked on behalf of local businesses to explore better broadband connectivity to Driffield, said: “Driffield Town Council is pleased to see the investment KCOM has made to bring full fibre broadband into the town.
“I believe that having such high-speed connectivity available to Driffield businesses will make a significant difference whether they are home-workers, retailers or larger established companies.”
Councillor Daren Hale, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “This is fantastic news for both the Hull area and for KCOM, a prestigious tech company headquartered in Hull. Hull is already the UK’s best-connected city and this investment further strengthens that position.
“Homes and businesses rely on quick, reliable broadband connectivity. Hull will benefit from faster broadband in the towns and rural areas surrounding it – many of the people living in these areas come to Hull for work and to conduct business, while many Hull residents travel to these areas for work.
“Research is already showing an undeniable boost for our economy following the rollout of full-fibre broadband in the city and this investment will help further growth in the wider Hull economy.”
For more details about how to get Lightstream in Driffield, Market Weighton and Nafferton call 0333 230 0449 or visit www.kcomhome.com/preregister.