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KC Trumps BT, With Fibre-To-The-Premise In Yorkshire

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

While the rest of the country gets fibre to street cabinets, homes and offices in Hull and East Yorkshire will get fibre direct, says local telecom hero KC

KC has revealed an ambitious fibre deployment in Hull and East Yorkshire that will wire thousands of people up to superfast broadband services. The local operator claims its fibre roll-out will make BT’s nationwide project look anemic.

KC is the local ISP and telecoms unit of KCOM Group Plc, the Hull-based group that used to be known as Kingston Communications, which was successfully floated on the stock market in 1999 (raising a lot of money for the local council in the process).

The Kingston Communications area is unique in the UK, because during the 20th century the region kept its independent telecom network while other regional telecom groups were gradually absorbed into the telephone department of the General Post Office (GPO) which of course went on to become BT.

Yorkshire Fibre

The Hull and East Yorkshire region, with its notable white telephone boxes, has its own independent telecoms network and has no local BT copper network. And now the company has decided to begin its own fibre deployment into its regions by the end of 2012, following a trial of the technology late last year.

Unlike BT’s fibre rollout which is mostly fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)-based, KC on the other is mostly focusing on the FTTP (fibre to the premise) deployment, which takes fibres right to homes and offices, and should means that KC’s fibre customers will enjoy substantially faster connections compared to BT customers on a FTTC-based network.

The initial KC fibre deployment will be to 15,000 homes & businesses in Hull and certain parts of East Yorkshire such as Beverley and several villages as well. Most of these connections will start to be installed in February, and they will be FTTP deployments, giving customers an extremely quick 100Mbps line speed.

“KC’s multi-million pound investment in its fibre rollout represents the latest step in the company’s ongoing commitment to providing broadband services that are amongst the best in the country,” boasted the ISP. “Locations have been selected to offer the company a spread of scenarios and demographics to inform future fibre deployment plans.”

Ambitious Roll Out

“We’ve embarked on this ambitious fibre roll-out to give our customers the best-connected homes and businesses in the UK,” said KCOM Group Executive Director Kevin Walsh.

“At the heart of our plan is an investment in the future of Hull and East Yorkshire that has the potential to transform the region’s fortunes and make us an attractive location for further public and private sector investment,” he said.

Consumer packages (KC Lightstream) will range from £25 to £43 per month, whereas business packages (KC Lightstream Business) will cost in the region of £25 to £100 per month, depending on speed, download allowances, support levels etc.