KCOM unveils £100m vision to deliver Full Fibre Future for region

KCOM has revealed its £100m vision to deliver a full fibre network that will benefit the region for generations to come.

Tim Shaw, CEO of KCOM. Picture: Sean Spencer / Hull News and Pictures Ltd

The Hull-based broadband provider has announced plans to invest £100m across Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to give the region the fastest, future-proofed and most accessible full fibre broadband network in the UK.

The investment includes £62m to expand its award-winning network to more than 50,000 more homes and businesses in 14 initial towns and villages across the region, £10m to upgrade 14,000 properties in East Yorkshire currently without full fibre in communities such as Cherry Burton, £17m to replace the ageing copper phone lines in Hull with an entirely new fibre network, and a £10m long-term upgrade of the existing fibre network to enable download speeds of 10Gbps.

KCOM Chief Executive, Tim Shaw, said: “KCOM has always been a pioneering company in a pioneering city and we’ve always led from the front when it’s come to pushing the boundaries of connectivity technology.

“In 2019, KCOM enabled Hull to become the first full fibre broadband city in the UK when we completed our first fibre network rollout – more than a decade ahead of the rest of the UK. Then, in 2020, we announced ambitious plans to invest £100m to reach a further 100,000 properties in East Yorkshire and, for the first time in the company’s history, across the Humber to North Lincolnshire.

“Now, in that same pioneering spirit we are forging ahead again. As we expand our world class network so more towns and villages can experience the benefits of ultrafast, Fibre To The Premises, broadband.

“This £100m investment is a statement of confidence in our business, our region and our future as we make our region one of the best connected in the UK and beyond. This will cement our reputation as a world-class destination that’s not only a great place to live but also a place where high-value digital and tech businesses can invest and thrive. This investment will be a major boost to the local economy, creating dozens of skilled jobs and enhancing local supply chains.”

KCOM will now expand to communities including Flamborough in East Yorkshire, Hunmanby, Stamford Bridge and Cayton in North Yorkshire and Caistor and Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire, as part of the next phase of its expansion with more towns and villages to be announced in the coming months.

The ambitious expansion plans will take KCOM’s overall footprint to 350,000 properties, enhancing its position as one of the UK’s largest full fibre providers.

It would also mean the creation of up to 50 new local, highly skilled engineering jobs to help build the network.

As part of its vision, KCOM is also announcing its Full Fibre for Everyone scheme, which will invest £500,000 in digital inclusion scheme and events across the region over three years.

This will enable KCOM to expand on its digital inclusion schemes that it already operates in local communities. These include digital training sessions schools and community centres, installing open access Wi-Fi in public buildings and investing in local infrastructure – such as connecting community and rural hubs to fibre broadband. In addition, KCOM will continue to promote and encourage sign up for its recently launched Flex package that gives full fibre connectivity to those that previously couldn’t afford it.

KCOM Retail Managing Director, Neil Bartholomew, said: “We are passionate about supporting the communities we serve and enabling everyone to enjoy the benefits that full fibre broadband can bring – whether that’s working and learning at home, running a business or to just staying connected to the people and things that are most important to you.

“Our Fibre For Everyone scheme will make sure that no-one is left behind in our digital age with a variety of exciting projects and events and it’s fitting that the legacy of the old copper technology can now be re-invested in creating the future opportunities for everyone.”