Ofcom calling for more broadband competition in Hull

The regulatory board has identified "potential competition concerns". 

Industry regulator Ofcom is looking to encourage more competition within Hull’s broadband sector.

This comes after some "potential competition concerns" were identified relating to provider KCOM's dominant position in the market.

Historically, KCOM has been the only fixed-line telecommunication provider throughout the whole of Hull ever since the city’s council refused to let their telephone infrastructure be absorbed into the General Post Office (which would later become BT) way back in 1914.

Homes and businesses therefore have no other option but to buy the triple package services TV, phone and broadband from KCOM.

“Our preliminary research indicates that KCOM’s retail prices for standard and superfast broadband appear to be higher than those of the largest providers in the rest of the UK,” said an Ofcom spokesperson. “Especially when introductory discounts, which are very common in the rest the UK but not from KCOM, are taken into account.”

The watchdog has published a report in which they've outlined a handful of proposals they believe will assist in making Hull's broadband landscape much more accessible to other providers.

These include getting KCOM to lower the price of their wholesale products so other telecommunication providers in the area will be able to afford the equipment, and so be able to grow their own business enough to compete with KCOM. 

The first part of Ofcom's investigation will be taking place over the next couple of months as they meet with some of Hull's smaller broadband providers to see what KCOM can do to help them to really flourish.

Although KCOM has had a 100% market share for a long time, other broadband providers are now starting to emerge across the city. Two of these, PureBroadBand (PBB) and MSC Communication, are working on laying new fibre cables to different businesses across the city with plans to eventually expand into offering home services if they're successful.

Source: Hull Daily Mail

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