What Hull says over Virgin Media's rumoured plans to take over KCOM
Lighstream ultrafast broadband being fitted
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 13 Feb 2019
Residents in Hull have had their say on speculation that Virgin Media could be considering a takeover of broadband provider KCOM.
It has been reported that Virgin, which has more than three million customers across the country, is exploring buying KCOM, but no bid has yet been made.
Both parties refused to be drawn into the rumour, and Virgin’s deliberations are understood to be at an early stage.
People in Hull have now shared their views on the news, and opinions appear divided.
One resident said: “As much as we all complain about KCOM sometimes, in comparison they are actually far better than almost every other provider.”
Another customers said: “I would definitely rather stay with KCOM. Since moving to Lightstream I have only ever had one issue where it has gone down. That’s it.”
KCOM’s origins lie way back in 1902, when Hull City Council was granted a licence to run its own unique telephone network.
Two years later, the Hull Telephone Department opened its first exchange in Wincolmlee, and began offering phone services.
Virgin Media is owned by Liberty Global, after it bought the company for £15bn back in 2013.
Some residents said they would be in favour of Virgin coming into Hull.
One person said: “I would sign up for Virgin if it came to Hull, as when I lived in Sheffield I had brilliant speeds and no issues at all.”
Watch: KCOM boss answers your questions on the business
Another said: “I’ve been with KCOM since I moved to Hull four years ago. Prior to that I was with Virgin in Essex for several years.
“I see that Virgin doesn’t seem to be popular with people on here, but from personal experience I’d choose Virgin over KCOM.”
Hull Live contacted KCOM in response to news of the rumoured Virgin Media interest. A spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on speculation.”
Kingston Communications debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 1999, as more than 50,000 people in the city bought shares in the business.
In 2004 the business celebrated its 100 birthday, before it was renamed to KCOM Group in 2007 when Hull City Council sold its final stake-holding.
Some residents said they would like to see more choice of broadband in Hull.
One said: “All Hull needs is more choice so people can pick the package that suits them.”
Another said: “It is time for a change today...we are in a world dominated by media. Competition in Hull is now needed.”
On a more light-hearted note, one person joked about the rumour: “I really hope so, just so Hull FC have to play at The Virgin Stadium."