See you in Hull: First UK city to be hooked up to full-fibre broadband

200,000 homes and biz have gigabit-capable connections

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Step forward, Hull: first city in Blighty to claim the title of full-fibre connectivity.

Following an £85m investment by regional monopoly KCOM, around 200,000 homes and businesses in the locale now have access to "ultrafast" speeds of 1Gbps.

The Hull-based company was recently acquired by global infrastructure investor Macquarie for £627m.

KCOM sells broadband to 140,000 businesses and consumers in Hull and East Yorkshire, as well as mobility services. It also peddles consulting, design, contact centre-as-a-service, managed, cloud and support services.

Its Lightstream fibre project began in 2012, giving residents average speeds of 94.7Mbps. That was when rival BT was still in the process of rolling out fibre-to-the-cabinet superfast broadband of 24Mbps.

However, BT has recently upped its game on the full-fibre diet, having raised its target of full-fibre connections from three to four million premises by March 2021.

Following a government pledge of £5bn to provide "gigabit-capable" broadband to the countryside, it is also deploying a range of tools (including a trench-digging diamond cutter) to roll out full fibre in 13 rural locations.

Currently just 8 per cent of properties across the UK currently have access to full-fibre broadband. However, prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged to bring full fibre to everyone by 2025 – a goal that has been deemed unachievable by telecoms exports.

KCOM managing director Sean Royce said: "Broadband is now an essential utility and access to the fastest speeds on earth is already making a positive difference to homes and businesses in the region, which in turn will help benefit UK plc."

Councillor Stephen Brady of Hull City Council said: "It is fantastic for the city that full-fibre broadband is now available across KCOM's whole network.

"The city is in the middle of an economic and technological revolution. Full-fibre broadband is a vital part of this for both new businesses and existing businesses looking to expand and grow." ®


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