KCOM is the main broadband provider in Hull, but while they've had a monopoly for several years, a number of full fibre networks are now rolling out in the city.
Customers living in Hull have more choice between broadband deals now, and they also benefit from 98% coverage of gigabit speeds and full fibre connections.
In this guide we'll look at what broadband is available in Hull, how fast it is, and which are the best offers customers should be looking at.
Broadband deals in Hull
Hull residents don't have a heady number of broadband providers to choose from, but there is more choice than there used to be.
Here's how deals from Hull's most widely available providers compare:
|Full Fibre 100
|Offer: Save £22/mth for 24 months (Ends 01/04/2024)
|Hyper Superfast FTTP 100/100
|Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
|Hyper Superfast FTTP 1000/1000
|Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
|Full Fibre 900
|Offer: Save £15/mth for 24 months (Ends 01/04/2024)
Which broadband providers are available in Hull?
The main broadband provider in Hull is KCOM, who independently own the telephone network including all the phone lines, ducts and exchanges in the city.
KCOM offer full fibre to the home broadband to all customers on their network, with 100% full fibre coverage, compared to 57% of homes in the rest of the UK.
While KCOM have a relative monopoly in Hull, there are other full fibre providers starting to roll out their services in the city. This includes MS3 Networks, Connexin, and Grain Connect, so far.
Direct Save Telecom resell full fibre broadband through MS3 Networks, so they are currently the main competition to KCOM in Hull.
Broadband speeds in Hull
98% of homes in Hull can access full fibre broadband with up to gigabit download speeds, and a further 1% can access superfast speeds in excess of 30Mbps, according to Ofcom's latest Connected Nations report.
In comparison, the rest of the UK is still somewhat behind on average, with only 74% of premises able to receive gigabit download speeds up to 1Gbps.
While Hull is a relatively small city, with only around 115,500 homes, the fast speeds available to 98% of homes, shows the investment KCOM has made in upgrading all parts of their network.
The additional rollout of independent full fibre networks such as MS3 Networks, only helps to further support the faster download speeds available in Hull.
Resold by Direct Save Telecom, this additional network offers customers download speeds up to 1000Mbps, with symmetrical upload speeds up to 1000Mbps as well, so it's even faster than KCOM who only offer asymmetrical uploads up to 180Mbps.
|Fastest download speed
|Fastest upload speed
|Direct Save Telecom (MS3)
While upload speeds on KCOM are slower, the provider is in the process of upgrading their network to XGS-PON which supports download speeds up to 10Gbps as well as symmetrical upload speeds.
Connexin who cover more of the North and East of Hull also offer symmetrical 1000Mbps speeds, although pricing is more expensive compared to KCOM and Direct Save Telecom.
Full fibre rollout
As a Universal Service Provider, like BT, KCOM is required by Ofcom to share access to their infrastructure of underground ducts and telephone poles to help open the market for new networks to more easily roll out their own connections.
This ruling by Ofcom, from 2017, was one of the main stimulators for new full fibre networks in the UK and why we have such a flurry of new providers installing their broadband in our streets.
However, KCOM say the reason there still isn't much competition in Hull is because other providers don't see the financial benefit or returns on their investment for rolling out or even reselling their wholesale broadband in the city, due in part to its smaller size.
While it's certainly true for providers like BT who can access their own ducts and poles in the rest of the UK, other full fibre networks would actually be paying the same or very similar prices to roll out using Openreach infrastructure as they would in Hull using KCOM's.
There are now at least three other fair-sized full fibre networks operating in KCOM, with MS3 Networks covering the largest area of central and west Hull, while Connexin covers more of the north and east of the city. Grain Connect also has some availability, although its much more limited and only in small parts of central Hull.
Here's how coverage looks for MS3 Networks (in purple) and Connexin (in black), there's currently very little overbuild between the two networks, although this could change as either continue their expansion in Hull:
While this map shows the much more limited coverage provided by Grain Connect:
Lastly, we can compare these maps with KCOM's much more comprehensive coverage across all of Hull:
It's worth noting that MS3 Networks set out with the primary intention of creating more competition and consumer choice for residents of Hull, so we'd expect their network to continue rolling out to more of the city.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the fastest broadband available in Hull?
98% of homes in Hull can access gigabit-capable broadband from one of four main full fibre providers, including KCOM, Direct Save Telecom (via MS3 Networks), Connexin and Grain Connect.
The very fastest download speeds are offered to resident customers through Direct Save Telecom and Connexin, with average download and upload speeds of 1Gbps at peak times.
Does KCOM have a monopoly in Hull?
KCOM is the broadband provider with the widest availability in Hull, and they're also the city's Universal Service Provider. While they had a monopoly in Hull for several years, a number of new full fibre networks are also actively expanding in the area, including MS3 Networks, Grain Connect and Connexin.
Why can't I get BT broadband in Hull?
BT isn't available in Hull because the main telephone network infrastructure has been owned by a separate company, KCOM, for many years. In addition to this, while they could expand by installing their own equipment in exchanges and rolling out their own cabling, they've so far chosen not to, probably because it's easier for them to focus on the rest of the UK where they already own the infrastructure.
Why doesn't Hull have many broadband options?
One of the main reasons why the rest of the UK has more broadband options than Hull is because retail providers who resell broadband through Openreach, such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet, EE, and Vodafone, have chosen not to resell broadband through KCOM.
It's likely that the small size of the city makes covering the area less financially viable, so they simply choose not to invest.
However, there are a small number of independent full fibre networks actively expanding in Hull and bringing more competition and choice to residents.
Summary: Which is the best broadband in Hull?
People living in Hull may feel they don't have many broadband options available to them, however this is now changing.
Networks such as MS3 Networks now cover large parts of Hull and their broadband is resold by a number of retailers, including Direct Save Telecom, helping to increase the choice available and stimulate competition on price.
Other smaller networks, such as Connexin and Grain Connect are also available in Hull at select locations. So, while no Hull residents will have as great a choice as in other parts of the UK, it's likely they will now have a choice of at least two networks, with possibly more retail providers and prices to choose between.
However, despite their relative monopoly, KCOM really shouldn't be overlooked as an incumbent and therefore expensive option. Many of their deals are actually very competitive, especially for new customers, and they also provide an up to date WiFi 6 enabled router with the option of additional mesh boosters as well as affordable call plans.
Read more in our review of KCOM broadband.