‘Go to Hull’, digital minister tells tech conference

Published: Thursday 20th October 2016 by HEY Today editor

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The UK Government’s Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, has praised KCOM’s rollout of ultrafast fibre across its Hull and East Yorkshire network.

In a keynote address to the Broadband World Forum conference in London yesterday he said only a full fibre infrastructure can support the UK’s digital growth, and referenced KCOM’s Lightstream deployment as an example of how it can be delivered:

“Around the world the evidence increasingly points to fibre roll out as the underpinning of a digital nation.

“To those who say it’s been tried and failed, I say go to Hull.

“It’s the one part of the country not covered by BT, and full fibre is now available to over half its businesses and homes. I’d like to give praise to Hull’s KCOM, who just last week announced that 25,000 more homes and businesses are to be connected to their full fibre service within the next six months. Between May this year and the end of the next they will have doubled the number of premises that can get full fibre. All this without Government subsidy.”

Mr Hancock visited KCOM’s offices in Hull last month and met with members of KCOM’s management team to learn about its Gigabit capable fibre deployment. The visit coincided with KCOM’s announcement that its rollout had passed 100,000 properties.

Hull remains the only city in the UK where ultrafast broadband is being made available as standard thanks to KCOM’s investment in Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) technology. In most of the rest of the UK, Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology means fibre reaches only as far as telecoms cabinets in the street, with copper cabling remaining as the last leg of the broadband connection to a property and resulting in slower speeds than are possible with FTTP.

Gary Young, Executive Vice President at KCOM, said: “We welcome the acknowledgement that KCOM is leading the way in the delivery of true fibre connectivity.

“While Fibre To The Premises takes longer to deploy and requires larger upfront investment, it’s the only future-proof response to an increasingly connected world. Hull is already the ultrafast capital of the UK and we’ll continue to invest to make our Lightstream service available to households and businesses across Hull and East Yorkshire as quickly as we can.”

The full transcript of Mr Hancock’s speech to the Broadband World Forum can be found here.

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Published: Thursday 20th October 2016 by HEY Today editor

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