KCOM is an alt net  broadband company, based in and supplying fibre internet to Hull and the surrounding areas. The company, similarly to Virgin Media, owns and operates its own fibre infrastructure, rather than relying on partnerships with other organisations such as BT Openreach to supply its broadband packages to homes in the area.
Prior to being taken over by BT, the telephone network that served the UK was owned and run by the Post Office. When BT absorbed much of the Post Office's telecommunications branch in 1980, Kingston Upon Hull remained independent and to this day, is only served by KCOM, with no access to BT Openreach or Virgin Media networks, thus limiting the choice available to local residents.
KCOM are pioneers in the field of telecommunications, having developed the first fully digital network and paving the way for ADSL broadband and digital television.
By choosing one of the available KCOM broadband packages, Hull residents can enjoy the knowledge that they are supporting a local business. Further, they are generally getting a good service with a recent report  placing them well ahead of BT for internet speed.
The report compared BT and KCOM broadband speed test data with KCOM's average speed test result being 69.77 Mbps as compared with BT's average of 45.98 Mbps. The report concluded that KCOM offered the 28th best speed range, with BT lagging behind in 50th place. This is still slower than Virgin Media, however, who are in 17th position  however it must be remembered that Virgin Media is a much larger company.
With average ratings on Trustpilot, KCOM broadband review feedback is generally better than that of other internet service providers, with 3.4 out of 5 stars compared to Virgin Media's 2.1 stars and BT Openreach's 1.6. As with many internet service providers, the customer service element when problems are encountered is often quoted as a problem, rather than the delivery of the service itself.
For customers who don't want or need a landline, there is an option within the sign up process to select KCOM broadband without landline, regardless as to which package is chosen. This can slightly reduce costs and eliminate the need to have an unnecessary landline number.
KCOM broadband is not cheap and because its network is the only one available to Hull residents, they have the monopoly in the area, which can be a source of frustration for residents, whose only alternatives are to select a 4G/5G broadband service which can have slower download speeds and similarly high costs.
For those living in Hull and the surrounding areas, other internet service providers are available, however they utilise the KCOM network, so whilst the packages and speeds are comparable, the same issues are likely to exist.
KCOM contracts are generally 24 months long which locks customers in for a longer period than other internet service providers typically do and their prices increase every March by the consumer pricing index plus an additional 3.9% which can be a source of frustration for customers in the area who know that cheaper broadband and more affordable deals are available elsewhere in the country.
KCOM broadband deals
KCOM offers a range of broadband deals, with the cheapest being ADSL (standard broadband, consisting of copper connections to the exchange), followed by fibre broadband which is part fibre and part copper, and finally, Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) which is a pure fibre connection from the home to the exchange and offers the highest speeds and greatest levels of reliability.
KCOM offer residential and business broadband deals, as well as enabling the use of their voice and data network to other internet service providers on a wholesale basis
All of KCOM's full fibre packages come under their "Lightstream" brand and the levels of provision are broken down by service and price. The cheapest full fibre package (Full Fibre Lite with a download speed of 30Mbps) is comparable in price with Virgin Media's 264Mbps download speed package and ties customers in for a 24 month period, whereas the Virgin Media offerings are on 18 month contracts.
Deals are sometimes available to reduce the monthly price of KCOM broadband and customers in the Hull and East Yorkshire areas who are tied to this supplier and meet the necessary criteria may be eligible for their social access package . The Flex package offers 30Mbps full fibre broadband at an affordable price to low income families in Hull and the surrounding areas, who can demonstrate that they are in receipt of certain benefits.
For those that are not eligible for the Flex Package and are struggling with the rising cost of living but need broadband at their home, free and impartial advice on budgeting and eligibility for Government support can be obtained from Money Helper  and for those who are already in debt and struggling to afford their monthly payments, debt charities such as StepChange  can help with debt consolidation plans and other methods of reducing or pausing payments, whilst helping individuals to get themselves back onto a level footing.
As a local company, KCOM is committed to sustainability, creating and maintaining jobs in the local area and supporting local good causes. The company is committed to growing the local economy and reducing the environmental impact of their business.
A popular initiative rolled out by KCOM this year was to donate a full Umbro team kit, consisting of 15 outfield shorts, shirts and socks and one goalkeeper's kit, to a local youth team every time Hull City Football Club scored a goal at the MKM Stadium. This scheme enabled local youth football teams in Hull, North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire to support their local team and win a new strip.
KCOM is a responsible employer with a passion for supporting their employees to grow and develop their skills and experience within the organisation. The company offers a health and wellbeing programme to each of its employees, with free and confidential health screenings available to all staff, as well as the option to buy medical and dental services through its benefits scheme.
KCOM offers all of its staff the opportunity for continuous learning, networking, career development opportunities and a buddy scheme to help staff to move up the career ladder. KCOM is an equal opportunities employer that works hard to recognise staff for their contributions through a range of bonus and reward schemes.
KCOM owns and operates its own fibre broadband network in Hull and the surrounding areas where it has the monopoly, with no other broadband networks impinging on its location. This has benefits and disadvantages to local residents. The primary issue with this company is the high price that it charges for its broadband packages, however, it compares favourably with its competition in terms of download speeds and customer service.
The company has excellent ethical and sustainable values, offers good benefits for its employees and gives back to its local area.
All in all, whilst not so much a choice as a requirement, local residents could do far worse than to choose KCOM to deliver their broadband services.