MS3 Networks supports Hull as a destination for investment at industry event

In May 2023, wholesale fibre operator MS3 Networks took to the stage to demonstrate why the city of Hull is the ideal place for investment.

Speaking at major UK business conference, the UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF), MS3’s corporate engagement officer Jo Fleming explored the benefits of doing business in Hull and explained why the area is a top priority for MS3.

Hull is a city that has often been overlooked. However, as a previous City of Culture winner, its well-connected transportation links, access to supply chains and significant investment in regeneration efforts make it an attractive — but often less considered — area of investment.

The city’s broadband history tells a similar tale. Hull has a unique broadband history that sets it apart from other cities in the UK, with independent telecommunications company KCOM maintaining a monopoly on the city for over a century. As the telecommunications industry has evolved, KCOM has remained the principal provider of broadband services for the people of Hull and other operators have overlooked the market. And that lack of choice has consequences.

In the rest of the UK, broadband competition among existing players has been intensified by new fibre players entering the market. They have priced aggressively to win new customers, and established players have responded to defend their position. However, Hull’s broadband monopoly means prices remain high — the highest in the UK, according to Ofcom. In fact, Hull households are paying in the region of £200 extra per year for broadband, compared to households in the rest of the UK.

Aiming to connect 500,000 homes and businesses to its full fibre network in the next five years, MS3 Networks is turning that tide. “With backing from private equity partner Asterion Industrial Partners, MS3 plans to invest a total of £80 to £100 million in Hull, and a further £20 million in Grimsby and Cleethorpes, and £10 million in Scunthorpe,” revealed Fleming. “Such investment is particularly valuable at a time when many companies across the UK are cutting back rather than investing for the future.

“We’re giving people choice, to create healthy competition for Hull residents and businesses, just like the rest of the UK has enjoyed for many years. We can all agree that, with the advanced reliance on the internet as more and more of us rely on technology in our day-to-day lives, having just one internet provider is not an attractive proposition for new investment. Access to advanced, full fibre broadband in a way that’s fair and affordable is the key to progression. We believe that offering Hull greater broadband choice will support the city as it continues to prosper and attract even more investment.”

Guy Miller, CEO of MS3 Networks, echoes Jo’s sentiments: “MS3 was delighted to speak at UKREiiF and showcase Hull as an incredible city to invest in. With the highest fibre penetration of any UK city and now with true infrastructure competition, Hull is leading the way in urban and suburban digital access supporting businesses from startups to multi-nationals.”

To learn more about MS3’s plans to bring broadband competition to Hull and its surrounding areas, visit the website.