Kcom to get first competition from CityFibre in Hull

Dark fibre operator CityFibre is to build a network in the northern English city of Hull, which has been a monopoly for local phone company Kcom for more than a century.

CityFibre says it plans to build a 62km-long network across the city, to deliver broadband to businesses. The company is working with Pure Broadband, a wireless broadband company in the city.

Rob Hamlin, commercial director at CityFibre, commented: “By working with Pure Broadband, businesses in Hull can now capitalise on gigabit speed internet connectivity to compete and succeed in a digital world.”

Telecoms in Hull has been dominated by what is now Kcom, formerly Kingston Communications, since the local council’s phone network escaped nationalisation in 1902 into a UK-wide operator that later became BT.

It means Kcom is the incumbent operator in the city and surrounding areas, and the territory is the only place in the UK where BT has no local network. The city council floated the company on the London Stock Exchange in 1999.

In theory BT will be able to use CityFibre’s network to deliver services to local customers in competition with Kcom. Level 3 already uses CityFibre infrastructure to reach customers in other UK cities.

Adrian Bolster, managing director of Pure Broadband, commented: “We’re extremely happy that CityFibre has chosen us as their launch partner in the city and look forward to delivering a range of fibre-fed products which will finally put Hull on the map as a true digital city.”

Services will be launched in late September, said the companies.

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