Supporting investment in innovation
KCOM is one of the longest established providers of communications services in the UK with a legacy dating back to the opening of Hull’s first telephone exchange in 19041. KCOM has pioneered new technology throughout its long history, establishing Europe’s first all-digital network in 1984 and first “fast internet” service 19981. In 2019, KCOM underlined its track record for innovation with the creation of the UK’s first full fibre city2.
Recognising KCOM’s important role in increasing access to ultrafast, reliable broadband, a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management led the acquisition and de-listing of the business from the London Stock Exchange in 2019.
In partnership with KCOM’s management team and workforce, Macquarie Asset Management helped set in motion a plan to more than double the company’s investment in fibre-to-the-premises technology3 – supporting KCOM to invest over £100 million in the first phase of its expansion beyond its traditional boundaries of Hull and East Yorkshire.
Chief Executive Officer, KCOM
Providing essential connectivity
The ambitious expansion programme supported by Macquarie Asset Management has seen KCOM’s Lightstream network so far reach more than 20 new towns and villages in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire4.
These tens of thousands of new connections are amongst the 21 per cent of homes in the UK with access to full fibre broadband, benefiting from internet speeds of up to 1Gbps5.
KCOM’s investment in high-capacity digital networks is key to ensuring digital inclusion. This was underlined during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw customers rely heavily on KCOM’s ultrafast broadband to work, learn, shop, stay connected with family and friends, and be entertained from home. KCOM’s investment to upgrade the network ensured it was able to support a doubling of internet traffic on select days during the UK’s second national lockdown6.
In addition to providing essential connectivity, KCOM’s ultrafast broadband network has the potential to underpin future economic growth and innovation – enabling businesses in the region to participate in the expanding digital economy. This was demonstrated in 2020 when Hull – the centre of KCOM’s fibre-to-the premises network – was recognised as the top destination for investment in the technology sector in the North of England7.