KCOM Broadband Buyers Guide

KCOM are the fixed line broadband provider for the Hull area now expanding to surrounding areas

  • Fixed line broadband in the Hull area and beyond
  • Fibre to the Home as standard
  • Call packages available
  • Flex packages for customers on various forms of benefits

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KCOM Full Fibre 100
£29.99 for 6 months
£39.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • 100Mb average download speed!
  • 30Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Wireless router provided
  • No activation fee
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

KCOM Full Fibre 300
£29.99 for 6 months
£49.99 thereafter

£25.00 upfront cost

  • 300Mb average download speed!
  • 75Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Wireless router provided
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

KCOM Full Fibre 900
£29.99 for 6 months
£69.99 thereafter

£25.00 upfront cost

  • 900Mb average download speed!
  • 180Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Wireless router provided
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

Details last checked on 2021-10-25

Reasons to choose KCOM

  • Full fibre-to-the-home offered as standard - No matter what speed you want, KCOM offer full fibre as the norm.
  • Fast speeds up to 900Mb - A range of speeds are available, up to an impressive 900Mb average on the fastest deal.
  • Good tech support - Full local-based tech support is available by phone or live chat, and includes a sign language option.
  • Call plans available as an optional extra - If you still need a landline you can get one with a range of call plans.
  • Special cut-price plans for low income households - Very cheap deals area available for eligible low income families.
  • 12 month contracts - You don't have to commit for more than a year at a time.

Possible downsides

  • Limited availability - KCOM broadband is only available in Hull and parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
  • Not everyone gets full fibre - Although uncommon, some homes will only be able to get slower fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband.
  • Complicated installation - You might need two engineer visits to get your broadband set up and running.
  • No fixed price guarantee - Prices may rise during your contract.
  • Not the cheapest - Even the slower deals can be pricier than some competitors.

Features at a glance

  • Average download speeds of 30Mb, 75Mb, 200Mb, 400Mb and 900Mb

  • 12 month contracts as standard

  • Download allowances are truly unlimited

  • £25 upfront cost as standard

  • Tech support available Monday to Friday 7am to 10pm, Saturday 7am to 6pm, Sunday 8am to 6pm. British Sign Language interpretation service available

  • Call plans available as an optional extra if you need them

2.9 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 100 customer ratings since 2020-04-28. See more KCOM customer ratings and reviews.

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for KCOM.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    2.9 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2.9 stars
  • Reliability
    2.8 stars

Based on 100 customer ratings since 2020-04-28

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of KCOM

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
KCON has to be the most useless unreliable phone company in Britain! the service you get is rubbish and its too expensive and remember this Parasite had a Monopoly in Hull for 109 years, NO GPO, BT or anyone else these ROBBERS has done this for too long! Now for KCON its too late as its Monopoly has been scraped so BT and everyone can come into Hull! I say go to TELSTRA phone them on 08008520000 and save yourself a fortune on KCONS RIP OFFF PRICES so do it now ok!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
KINGS LYNN KCOM  
Their services and Light stream are useless. Constantly disconnects, never stable and their tech support simply blames it on your hardware (I've had it all replaced by a professional at vast cost).
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Kirkella KCOM  
Over priced for so called ultra fast but can’t tell difference from old standard and tech team are rubbish and just don’t want to help unless it’s easy fix like rest
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Hull KCOM  
It’s beyond me how this company has the monopoly to operate in the hull area , if Kacom is exposed to real competition they will be out of business within 12 months. Service is shocking, poor internet speed , BT internet speeds was faster 8 years ago compared to kc current internet speed. Terrible
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Hull KCOM  
I was one of the first people outside Hull to get Lightstream, and it's terrific. Very reliable, consistently slightly faster than advertised, and in fact very very fast. Almost never goes down. People complaining about the wifi don't seem to grasp that there's a difference between their wifi speed/reliabilty and the speed of the actual connection. We're moving away soon, and the best I'll be able to get in the place we're going is about 80 Mbs, here I get 400, reliably, all the time. I'll miss KCOM's lighstream
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Knight KCOM  
Poor speeds, stroppy staff and overall disappointing experience. Shocking that this company has a monopoly on broadband in the city.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Hull KCOM  
KCOM is literally the worst broadband internet in the country. My upload and download speeds are literally less than a quarter of what KCOM has marketed as the speeds in my area, and everyone has the same issue. If you call them, they'll replace your router, run checks and then tell you there's nothing they can do about it. Absolutely rubbish internet, if you can get anything else get it, sadly they have a monopoly in the region.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Swanland KCOM  
When my internet went down the staff were helpful identified the problem and sent out replacement part needed the next day. I always get good service and it’s good value too.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Great KCOM  
KCOM seem to be plagued by customers who can't tell the difference between their wireless connection and broadband connection. Never had an issue with performance, especially since jumping to Lightstream - excellent connection, equally good support - can't fault them
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Cottingham KCOM  
I changed from 6Mbps pre-Lightstream to 214Mbps with Lightstream and changed from HDD to SSD a year later, making my laptop feel faster than when new. I get about 70Mbps using wifi, which makes it pointless, except for phone and tablet. The only drop-outs I get are from the network adapter in my laptop. It's rarely ever a KCom problem. I'm very happy on all counts.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Hull KCOM  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Man with laptop on the phone

Broadband providers still need to improve support for vulnerable customers

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesEEBTPlusnetOnestreamSSEHyperopticTalkTalkVodafoneVirgin MediaNOW BroadbandSkyJohn LewisShell EnergyCommunity FibreKCOMZen

We've all got horror stories about bad customer service. But it's people with health, financial or emotional problems that are still having the most inconsistent experiences when they contact their broadband provider's customer service team.

That's the big finding from research by Ofcom, which looked at the progress the industry has made since the watchdog last year published its guidelines for treating vulnerable customers fairly.

They found that while some users received extra support due to their circumstances, and others reported positive experiences despite the provider not knowing about their vulnerability, the overall service was still patchy.

It suggested that people's experiences were heavily dependent on the member of staff they spoke to, with no guarantee they would get to deal with the same person twice.

It suggests there's still plenty of room for improvement in the training of customer support teams.

What makes a customer vulnerable?

Vulnerabilities come in many forms. They include physical and mental health problems, debt or unemployment, bereavement, or even becoming a victim of crime.

Unsurprisingly, the number of vulnerable customers has increased during the pandemic and its subsequent economic fallout.

While Ofcom rules require all providers to have policies in place for helping vulnerable customers, it isn't always easy for them to automatically tell if someone needs extra support. If you regard yourself as being in a vulnerable group, or if your circumstances have recently changed (you might have lost your job, for example), you should contact your broadband supplier and let them know.

They'll add that information to your account, and it should inform any relevant future interactions you have with them.

What kind of support can you get?

With the definition of vulnerable being quite broad and varied, the types of support you can get are also broad and varied.

  • You should have access to a range of communications channels to speak to customer support. This could include text relay services or support in different languages.
  • You should be given the time to get help, support and advice on managing debts without the threat of enforcement action.
  • Providers could consider giving you a payment holiday to help you manage cashflow issues.
  • Providers should give you information and advice on tariffs to ensure you don't end up paying more than you should. Vulnerable people are the most likely to remain on expensive out-of-contract deals.
  • Broadband providers should regard disconnection as a last resort.

Broadband providers' vulnerability policies

Ofcom's guidance expects a number of things from broadband suppliers. They should train their staff to be able to recognise the characteristics, behaviours and verbal cues of someone who might be vulnerable, so they can be proactive in offering support. They should identify vulnerable customers and record their needs. And they should make all of their customers aware of the kinds of support and services that they offer.

Many providers publish vulnerability policies. Some have specific support teams in place for vulnerable customers, and some make it easy for you to register your vulnerable status with them. This information will be treated in confidence, and is subject to all the usual data protection legislation.

Here are the relevant pages for many of the leading providers:

Some of the things you can expect include ways to improve access to support via text relay and NGT services or braille guides; simple instructions on using accessibility services like subtitles on TV; and specific policies and help for dealing with financial issues. Naturally, what's promised and what's delivered are not always the same thing, so check our user reviews to see our customers' experiences of their providers' tech support.

If you want to read the full Ofcom report, click here. Or if you want to compare the best broadband deals in your area today, use our postcode search tool to get started.

Comments

Ofcom

Ofcom implement new Voluntary Code of Practice for broadband speeds

Posted on in NewsDaisyKCOMLothian BroadbandXLN TelecomSkyBTVirgin MediaTalkTalkPlusnetEE

From tomorrow, 1st March 2019, a new Ofcom Broadband Speeds Code of Practice goes into effect to promote Fairness for Customers in the broadband market. The previous home broadband Code has been in force since 2015, but last year's changes to the advertising of broadband speeds have prompted a series of improvements.

The key changes to the Code are:

  • More realistic speed estimates - Providers need to advertise speed estimates that are relevant, and must display an 'average speed' that at least 50% of their customers can get during peak hours, between 8pm and 10pm.
  • Tell you your minimum guaranteed speeds at point of sale - Before you commit to buying, you should be told the minimum dowmload and upload speeds you can get, so you know what to expect, whether you have an actual speed problem, and if you have the right to terminate your contract.
  • Improving your rights to leave your contract early - Providers will have 30 days to fix your speeds, and if they're unable to do so they must offer you the right to downgrade or to terminate your contract without penalty. This now includes customers on bundled packages, such as landline and TV services.
  • These rights apply to all cutsomers regardless of the technology - Previously the rules only covered customers on standard broadband over copper landlines, or 'part-fibre' Fibre to the Cabinet products. Now they apply to 'full fibre' Fibre to the Premises/Home technologies as well, including services that use the Openreach (BT Group) telephone network and Virgin Media's cable network.

The updated Code remains voluntary, so Ofcom won't have the power to force all broadband providers to comply. However, most of the major providers have signed up, in fact Ofcom believes Code complaint providers currently serve around 95% of home broadband customers.

Many of the smaller providers haven't signed up on the basis that the implementation of the technologies needed are too impractical and costly for them to make it viable at this time. The principles of the Code have also been criticised by one small provider. It should also be noted that, although the Code applies to all sales from 1st of March onwards, Ofcom won't be testing the compliance of the rules until 2020 to give the signatories time to implement the changes.

The providers who have signed up for the new 2019 Voluntary Codes of Practice are:

  • BT
  • Daisy
  • EE
  • KCOM (Hull Area)
  • Lothian Broadband
  • Plusnet
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
  • XLN

BT, Daisy, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have also signed up for this to cover Business customers, with KCOM and XLN sign expected to be compliant in the near future.

For more detailed information you can read Ofcom's consumer guide to the new Broadband Speeds Codes of Practice or the full Better Broadband Speeds Information: Voluntary Codes of Practice statement.

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KCOM Broadband Buyers Guide - Is KCOM right for you?

Can I get KCOM?

KCOM is mostly available in Hull, where the provider has a monopoly on phone and broadband, but their network is now extending into other areas in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

As the sole telecoms supplier in Hull - for various historical reasons - KCOM have invested a lot into the city's infrastructure. They now offer fibre-to-the-home, or full fibre, as standard, which means most users can get speeds up to 900Mb. While this ultrafast coverage marks out Hull as having among the best broadband in the UK, it's not quite universal. Around 4% of users are still on the slower fibre-to-the-cabinet connections similar to those the majority of the UK's internet users have.

KCOM are expanding their network coverage. If you're in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire and aren't in a coverage area you can register your interest on the KCOM website. It's a good idea to do this, as their decision on where to roll out their service is subject to community demand. The website also shows which areas are next in line to be added. It's a fairly slow process, amounting to a few thousand extra properties at a time.

Use our postcode checker to see if KCOM broadband is available where you are.

What packages are available?

KCOM offer five main broadband packages, ranging from the entry-level to high-end gigabit broadband. They're branded as Lightstream broadband, as they run on KCOM's own full fibre network.

Most customers in KCOM's coverage area will get a choice of all five packages. Full fibre is available to over 96% of premises, so a few will still be limited to only the slower deals.

  • Gigafast Unlimited - the fastest deal, with 900Mb average download speed and 50Mb upload speed
  • Ultrafast Unlimited - an ultrafast plan with average download speeds of 400Mb and uploads of 35Mb
  • Superfast Plus Unlimited - high-end superfast broadband with 200Mb downloads and 35Mb uploads
  • Superfast Unlimited - 75Mb downloads and 20Mb uploads
  • Standard Fibre Unlimited - the entry-level plan, with 30Mb downloads and 15Mb uploads

All the deals come on 12 month contracts, with a £25 installation fee. The price isn't guaranteed throughout the length of the deal, so could rise during your contract. They're all fully unlimited.

If you get full fibre you should achieve pretty much the full advertised average speed, although performance may still vary slightly depending on the time of day and how busy the network is. If you're outside the full fibre area you'll be connected to a fibre-to-the-cabinet service, where the average speed you can get varies based on factors including how far your home is from your nearest street cabinet.

If you need a landline, you can add a call package. Again, this is supplied by KCOM, not BT. Your options are:

  • UK Landlines - unlimited local calls and to 01, 02 and 03 numbers, plus free 0845 and 0870 calls subject to a fair use policy
  • UK Landlines and Mobile - the same as above, but with unlimited calls to mobile numbers as well
  • International - 1000 minutes to 45 destinations worldwide
  • All-inclusive - all of the above in a single plan

Flex packages for low income households

KCOM also offer Flex packages for low income households, which give low-cost broadband and calls deals. Eligible people include those on Income Support, Pension Credit, or Housing Benefit. Check the KCOM website for the full list. The Flex options are:

  • Lightstream Flex - 20GB of broadband data, 20 local calls, 60 minutes of calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, and a £10 call cap. Costs £20 a month, on a 12 month deal with no early termination fee.
  • Flex Lite - 8GB of broadband data, 20 local calls, 60 minutes of calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, and a £10 call cap. Costs £10 a month, on a 12 month deal with no early termination fee.
  • Flex Basic - 3GB of broadband data, 20 local calls, 60 minutes of calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, and a £10 call cap. Costs £9 a month, on a 12 month deal with no early termination fee.
  • Flex Call Only - 20 local calls, 60 minutes of calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, and a £10 call cap. Costs £5.10 a month, on a 12 month deal with no early termination fee.

Although the broadband allowances are very low, you don't get cut off once you hit the limit. Instead, your connection gets throttle to 128Kb - very slow, but still usable for sending emails or paying bills.

You need to apply for these deals, supplying proof of eligibility in the process.

Which package should I choose?

Assuming you're in a full fibre area, your main choices are about speed and price.

The 900Mb Gigafast Unlimited package will be fast enough - or perhaps more than fast enough - for any household. It will mean you have essentially no limits on how you can use the internet, no matter how large your family.

Faster broadband gives you strong future proofing, although with a 12 month contract you can easily work your way up to the fastest plan over the course of a few years. Even the busiest households are likely to find the 200Mb deal suits their needs, so don't feel you need to pay more just for the sake of having something "better". In fact, 75Mb is faster than many broadband deals from other providers, and that's enough for large families.

Installation is a little more involved than from most other broadband suppliers. You'll get an engineer pre-visit to connect a small box on the outside of your house to the fibre network, then on installation day you'll get another visit to fit your cables and get you connected. This takes a couple of hours, so you might need to take time off work.

Points to consider before you choose

  • Is KCOM the only option where you live?
  • How large is your household?
  • How much streaming, gaming and working from home do you do?
  • Do you need a landline?

Compare all KCOM broadband packages

What do I get when I sign up?

You don't get a huge number of extras when you join KCOM, so you may need to budget for any add-ons you need.

Zyxel wireless 802.11ac router - Every KCOM deal comes with a wireless router. This is only loaned to you, so you'll need to return it if you switch to a different provider in future.

Comprehensive tech support - Support comes via a local Hull-based team. It's available 7am to 10pm weekdays, 7am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 8am to 6pm on Sundays, plus via live web chat and email. A sign language interpreter is also available.

What are the benefits of KCOM?

Here are the main reasons why you should consider getting your broadband from KCOM

Fibre-to-the-home in most coverage areas - Full fibre is offered as standard, and is available to most customers in the KCOM coverage area.

Good range of speeds and prices available to most users - Even with a full fibre deal, you can opt for something slower and cheaper if that suits your needs better.

Cut price deals for low income households - Very affordable packages are available for houses on low incomes.

Short contracts - All the contracts are 12 months, so you won't be tied in to your deal for longer than you'd like.

Free local tech support - Tech support is both comprehensive and local - it's based in the Hull area.

What are the drawbacks of KCOM?

Nothing's perfect. So what are the pitfalls of choosing KCOM as your broadband provider

It might be your only option - If you're in Hull you don't get to shop around for the best deal.

Not the cheapest - KCOM offer fast speeds, but they're also pretty expensive. Even the 30Mb plan costs more than you'd pay from other suppliers.

Installation is more complex than usual - You can't just plug in your router and wait for the connection to be turned on. You might need a couple of engineer visits to get set up. You have to pay for installation, too.

No extras - KCOM are not big on extras. You'll have to supply everything from premium TV to anti-virus software yourself.

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