Broadband in Hull: what are your internet options?
Hull is in a unique position. There is no access to BT Openreach, no Virgin Media and none of the other providers you usually see on Broadband Genie.
Your main provider is KCOM, for reasons we’ll explain in a minute.
All’s not lost, though. Despite not having the same options as other cities, you have one significant benefit. Large parts of Hull and the surrounding areas can enjoy full fibre, ultrafast internet. The fastest, most reliable type of connection currently available.
So what you don’t have in choice is more than made up for with broadband speed.
Why are there so few broadband options in Hull?
Hull is a fair-sized city, but you may find your choice of internet service providers (ISPs) surprisingly limited.
The reasons go back to the earliest days of telecommunications. When the phone first became a thing, many towns and cities in England sold communications rights to the Post Office, which later spun the business off to become British Telecom (BT).
Kingston upon Hull didn’t. It was the only place in the country to keep control of its telecommunications, which is why it’s the only city in the country that doesn’t have BT or any other local providers that use the BT Openreach network.
It doesn’t have Virgin Media either, just KCOM and a few other local broadband providers.
KCOM, formerly Kingston Communications, is the main ISP in town. It provides full fibre broadband to all of Hull and most of East Yorkshire.
The disadvantage of this arrangement is lack of choice. The advantage is that KCOM has invested significantly in a small area, so almost all postcodes(99.7%) have access to a full fibre broadband service.
That’s something very few other areas of the country have right now!
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
What broadband packages does KCOM offer?
KCOM offers a range of full fibre broadband packages, called ‘Lightstream’ with average download speeds ranging from 30Mb to its fastest broadband package ‘Full Fibre 900’, with download speeds averaging 900Mb.
Packages include high upload and download speeds, no data caps, a Wi-Fi 6 router that supports WPA 3 and unlimited data. That means fast upload and download speeds with no buffering!
There’s a package here for just about any use, and prices are competitive compared to other areas.
What’s the difference between ‘fibre’ and ‘full-fibre’ broadband?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper phone line making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
What’s the speed of KCOM broadband?
KCOM currently offers five different fibre broadband packages:
- Full Fibre Lite - 30Mb download speeds with 5Mb upload speeds
- Full Fibre 100 - 100Mb download speeds with 30Mb upload speeds
- Full Fibre 175 - 175Mb download speeds with 50Mb upload speeds
- Full Fibre 500 - 500Mb download speeds with 100Mb upload speeds
- Full Fibre 900 - 900Mb download speeds with 180Mb upload speeds
Each package comes with a KCOM router easily capable of delivering those speeds along with fast wireless using Wi-Fi 6.
How do I compare KCOM deals available at my address?
The best KCOM broadband deals are offered direct from its own website. Here's how to check the availability for your Hull address:
- Enter your postcode into the box at the top of the page and select the blue ‘See your offers’ button.
- The site will check what’s available at your address and provide the current best deals.
- Select your address and assess the speeds available and compare them to what you need.
- Select the appropriate plan from the list and complete the application process.
All KCOM packages require a £24.99 activation charge. You might also have to arrange an engineer visit.
Are there any cheaper options to get broadband in Hull?
KCOM has the biggest network in Hull, but it’s not your only option. Here are some other alternatives for getting hooked up to a broadband connection:
5G and 4G Home broadband in Hull
One option is mobile broadband.
Mobile home broadband works in much the same way as fixed line broadband. You have a router with Wi-Fi and connect all your devices to the internet. The only difference is that you’re using a mobile network instead.
Hull benefits from very good coverage of mobile signal, with EE, O2 and Three offering good 4G and 5G coverage throughout the city, its boroughs and even out into the countryside.
Despite this, you should always confirm coverage in a specific location before purchasing any mobile device as there can still be signal dead spots. One easy method is to check the signal strength on a mobile phone, but you can also take advantage of the coverage check tools provided by networks, though do keep in mind that these are a guide only.
It's crucial to check signal strength before buying any mobile service to ensure you'll be able to get a fast connection. Click the logos below to access the official network coverage check tools:
Are there any other alternative ways to get online in Hull?
Yes, there are alternative ways to get online in Hull. Even though KCOM is the main broadband provider, you have other options. Connexin Fibre, MS3 Networks, Hull Fibre and Open Fibre also service some areas.
Another alternative option is satellite broadband. While not the cheapest option, it’s accessible to most areas of the UK and can provide decent speeds.
Where we get our information
We strive to keep our local broadband information as up-to-date as possible. This means using trustworthy sources with regular checks. The information on this page comes from the following:
- Local exchange information: availability.samknows.com/broadband/exchange_search
- Local broadband speed information: labs.thinkbroadband.com/local
- Mobile broadband coverage (1): nperf.com/en/map/GB
- Mobile broadband coverage (2): checker.ofcom.org.uk/en-gb/mobile-coverage
Why do we need your address?
We need your address to show you the broadband deals available at your home. This information is gathered in partnership with thinkbroadband.