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What does KCOM broadband offer?

KCOM offers full fibre broadband and home phone services to customers in the Hull area. Recently, they have started to expand their FTTP network into Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

As KCOM is focused on full fibre broadband, their packages are more expensive at first glance than those offered by similar ISPs. However, KCOM is usually the only option for most Hull households as other ISPs aren't active in Hull for historic reasons.

KCOM broadband packages come complete with routers than can handle speeds of up to 900Mb and their standard contract length is 12 months. They also offer an affordable broadband tariff for customers on certain benefits, allowing them to access full fibre broadband to the home.

Read our full review of KCOM broadband.

Who is KCOM?

KCOM is the incumbent broadband and phone supplier in the Hull area, although they are now branching out beyond their traditional boundaries.

Thanks to a historical decision by Hull City Council, the broadband network in the Hull area is operated by KCOM and they are required to offer the same services in Hull as BT do in the rest of the country.

This means they offer a social tariff to enable low income households to access broadband and telephone services, although these packages are capped at a maximum of 20GB usage per month.

KCOM is also required to provide the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for their traditional areas. This means customers have the right to request a broadband connection with a minimum download speed of 10Mb from KCOM if they are in the KCOM area. The caveat here is the installation must cost less than £3,400 or customers will be required to make up the difference.

Where is KCOM broadband available?

Broadband services from KCOM are available across the Hull area.

However, KCOM have also started to expand their full fibre Lightstream network into other locations across Yorkshire and Lincoln.

Some properties across the following locations can now access or order KCOM services: Driffield, Market Weighton, Nafferton, Pocklington, Howden, Goole, Withernsea, Hornsea and Bridlington.

KCOM say further expansion of their network depends on demand, so customers in areas around Hull can register their interest and potentially encourage KCOM to expand to their area.

I live in Hull, is KCOM my only option?

KCOM is the main option for broadband customers in Hull and there are few alternatives available.

KCOM are keen to stress they open up their infrastructure to other ISPs as is required of them by law, but other providers don't want to use it. They say their wholesale line rental prices are similar to those offered by Openreach to ISPs across the UK, so it wouldn't cost more for companies to use their lines in Hull than it does for them to operate elsewhere.

However, many ISPs don't believe the size of the KCOM area warrants investment in their own equipment, meaning they simply don't invest.

There are some alternatives to KCOM, but the speeds and coverage of these options can be limited. For example, 4G and 5G mobile broadband is an option in many areas, although it's unlikely to match up to the full fibre broadband speeds offered by KCOM.

Similarly, satellite broadband can be an option, yet usage caps and slow speeds coupled with higher prices due to the technology can be off-putting for some. There's more on satellite broadband in this guide to rural broadband options.

Other full fibre networks are gradually moving into Hull, the most notable being Giganet who use the infrastructure of CityFibre.

How fast is KCOM broadband?

KCOM offers broadband speeds of up to 900Mb to their Lightstream customers.

There are five main broadband packages on offer from KCOM: Standard Fibre Unlimited (30Mb download, 15Mb upload), Superfast Unlimited (75Mb download, 20Mb upload), Superfast Plus Unlimited (200Mb download, 35Mb upload), Ultrafast Unlimited (400Mb download, 35Mb upload) and Gigafast Unlimited (900Mb download, 50Mb upload).

Customers on KCOM's Lightstream Flex will receive average download speeds of 30Mb and upload speeds of 15Mb.

What is KCOM's customer service like?

We don't have much independent information on KCOM's customer service because they aren't covered in Ofcom's in-depth customer service research.

This means we have to rely on review sites and anecdotal evidence to figure out how happy KCOM's customers are. For example, they have an overall Average score on Trustpilot, but this is made up of plenty of Bad reviews and a smaller number of Excellent reviews with a smattering of other scores.

It's worth noting customers generally only review on sites like Trustpilot when they're very happy or very unhappy, so their experiences may not be representative of all KCOM customers.

Does KCOM broadband need a phone line?

No, KCOM broadband doesn't need a phone line as their Lightstream service is delivered via their fibre to the premises (FTTP) network.

There are no price differences or different package options if a customer chooses to take their broadband without a landline. They simply select the appropriate option for them while they're going through the checkout process.

Is KCOM broadband good value for money?

KCOM offers full fibre broadband at a competitive price point when compared with fibre to the premises (FTTP) services from other providers.

However, their entry-level broadband deals are pricey in comparison, an issue made more complicated by the fact customers don't really have a choice of other providers to turn to if they wouldn't mind fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) at a cheaper price point instead.

Does KCOM offer a TV service?

No, KCOM does not offer a TV option alongside their broadband packages.

This means customers who want a traditional pay TV experience will need to sign up to Sky TV as the only pay TV provider offering a standalone television service. Other options for customers looking to add TV content alongside their broadband may want to consider Now, the contract-free way to watch Sky TV content.

How much does KCOM cost to install?

KCOM installation costs vary depending on where a customer's property is and whether a fresh installation is required.

Connection to KCOM Lightstream costs £25 as standard. This is the basic full connection charge for KCOM's broadband services.

If a customer's property in the traditional Hull KCOM area has an existing phone line and there are no alterations required, this installation should be free.

Customers in the East Yorkshire Expansion (EYE) area will usually have no additional installation fees to pay if an existing installation exists. It's important to note this must be a line with no alterations required.

What happens when my KCOM contract ends?

KCOM broadband services will continue after the minimum term contract has ended unless the customer decides to cancel the service.

However, prices may rise after the minimum term of the contract, and these price increases are highlighted in the pricing table above.

If a customer does choose to cancel, their agreement with KCOM will be terminated one month after the date of the request to cancel unless a later date has been specified. KCOM reserve the right to terminate contracts if a customer breaks any of their commitments on fair usage or fails to pay their bills.

If a customer upgrades their deal with KCOM at any point (i.e., they upgrade to a faster package), their minimum contracted term will start again from zero.