Broadband News

KCOM launches pilot to wholesale FTTP in two towns

Wholesale access to FTTP networks is crucial to the long term success of the various roll-outs and a new pilot by KCOM in the towns of Hornsea and Withernsea should mean that the public will have a wider choice of retail providers.

KCOM has announced a pilot to work with other ISPs i.e. wholesale their full fibre service. The press release talks of partnering with four independent ISP in the two towns initially but they are seeking more partners and this is just the first step towards rolling this out to other areas of their existing and new network area.

This is a very exciting step for us as we seek out opportunities to work with new partners across our expanding full fibre network.

This pilot scheme is just the start of what we believe has huge potential for both us as a wholesaler and our reseller partners. Together we can bring the benefits of premium full fibre services to many more business and residential customers.

We are investing heavily to build a world class, FTTP network that gives potential partners a great platform to sell their products and services on. We’re now actively seeking new partners to join us on this exciting journey, of which Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are the first step.

Going forward, we’re interested in developing relationships with more quality providers looking to deliver great business and residential services over full fibre.

Tim Shaw, managing director of KCOM wholesale & networks

The success of any wholesale products will very much depend on what the pricing is to the partners and what they are offering in addition to the baseline KCOM services.

We presume the reasons for choosing these two recently built coastal town networks is that they share the same handover point where the wholesale service will be picked up by partners and the new network was built with wholesaling in mind.

With over 40 different FTTP networks in the UK a good number do offer open access (wholesale) options, but often the small footprint and costs of joining a network as a partner mean lots of the public end up with the single choice of the network builders own retail ISP. We suspect that in another decade or two if there are swathes of the UK where the only FTTP option is via one of these vertically integrated operations then regulations may kick in to force a meaningful wholesale option is available. 

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