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Hull's fibre broadband rollout will reach a new customer every half an hour

Thursday, April 28th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The rollout of fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband in Hull and East Yorkshire will reach a new customer every half an hour over the next year, KCOM has claimed.

The provider is investing £60m to make ultrafast broadband available to 150,000 homes and businesses – around three quarters of its Hull and East Yorkshire network.

Its Lightstream service will offer households up to 250Mbps broadband, while businesses will be able to access speeds up to 1Gbps.

The technology being rolled out in Hull – FTTP – uses fibre cables to connect each individual premises directly to the network.

Most 'fibre' connections in the UK, including those rolled out by Openreach and the BDUK programme, use fibre cables to connect street cabinets to the local telephone exchange but rely on traditional copper wires to connect each premises to the network.

Research by Cable.co.uk recently found that two thirds of fibre broadband customers were unaware their 'fibre' broadband service arrived at their home through a copper telephone line.

Bill Halbert, chief executive of KCOM, said: “Across Hull and East Yorkshire, we are making ultrafast fibre to the home available with speeds of 250Mbps available to consumers now.

“And because we’re taking fibre direct to the home, rather than just to equipment cabinets situated on the street, we’re removing the speed limitations associated with a traditional copper connection.

“And so, we’re seeing much higher take up from our customers than the national average, with a new customer being connected every 30 minutes.”

FTTP broadband is currently available to only 2% of UK homes, although that percentage will increase as Virgin Media’s ‘Project Lightning’ rollout progresses.

'Land’s End to John O’Groats'

Virgin announced yesterday that at least a quarter of the four million premises it is adding to its network will be connected using FTTP.

It said the move would make it the UK’s largest wholly fibre broadband network.

Virgin CEO Tom Mockridge said: “Our £3bn investment to bring ultrafast connectivity to more parts of the UK is not just about better broadband, it’s about future-proofing the country’s network infrastructure with the best and most modern technology.

“In just over one year we’ve laid enough new cable to stretch all the way from Land’s End to John O’Groats, reaching a quarter of a million more homes and businesses – and there’s much more to come.”

Last month, BT Openreach committed to building FTTP infrastructure committed to building FTTP infrastructure into new housing developments of more than 250 homes, free of charge.

The network infrastructure company is also continuing to trial its G.Fast technology, which uses a mix of fibre and conventional copper wires to deliver speeds of between 300Mbps and 500Mbps.

Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: ““I’m determined to roll out ultrafast broadband, and G.fast technology is the best way to deliver that to the majority of the UK as quickly as possible.

“We also plan to roll out significantly more fibre-to-the-premises, and we’re trialling a range of options in Bradford to use that technology increasingly in future – wherever it makes sense.”

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