Broadband News

How complete is KCOM Lightstream roll-out?

How complete does a FTTP roll-out need to be so that it can be considered as complete? 100% 99.9% 99%?

This is a question to be asked as KCOM has reached 98.5% coverage of its Lightstream service in the City of Kingston Upon Hull and don't forget that the council area East Riding of Yorkshire is split between the KCOM and Openreach networks.

ISPreview ran with its article that the roll-out in Hull was complete earlier in the week and after serveal hours of sifting through the locations in the last two days where we thought Lightstream was not available we have got to our figure of 98.5% coverage for the Lightstream service.

So what locations make up those that don't have access to Lightstream? There are a number of 'call us' locations showing up which we beleive are blocks of flats where permission is needed for the installation of the final drop fibre when a customer orders. We could have flagged these as passed by Lightstream but after the problems in the past when we've done this with Virgin Media and years later needed to revisit and untag the locations we are holding back. There are also a number of other premises scattered around Hull that still show ADSL2+ as the fastest available service.

There is a small amount of VDSL2 in the Hull area, from the early days of the roll-out and this is believed to be around 4% of the Lightstream footprint, but we do not have these locations specifically flagged, our assumption is that to make network maintenance simpler KCOM will replace this VDSL2 with FTTP.

The City of Hull is the king of the hill for full fibre if you consider local authority areas, the others that make up the top 20 council areas are listed below:

  1. City of Kingston Upon Hull 98.5%
  2. York 44.8%
  3. East Riding of Yorkshire 39.3%
  4. Salford District 38%
  5. Tower Hamlets 37.4%
  6. Cornwall 36.2%
  7. Ards and North Down 39.2%
  8. City of London 35.4%
  9. Milton Keynes 33.8%
  10. Belfast 30.1%
  11. Southwark 30%
  12. Spelthorne District 29.2%
  13. Cotsworld District 29.2%
  14. City of Bristol 28.1%
  15. Newham 26.2%
  16. Barking and Dagenham 26.1%
  17. Wandsworth 25.6%
  18. Antrim and Newtownabbey 25.4%
  19. Lisburn and Castlereagh 24.7%
  20. West Berkshire 24%

This is changing ever more rapidly with the Openreach Fibre First and Vodafone Gigafast roll-outs being too of the key reasons for areas changing position. 

The difference between Hull and many of the other local authorities in this list is that other superfast and ultrafast services are often available to many of those that now have a full fibre option, so for those doing research into the transformative effects of full fibre they need to take this into account.

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