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.
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.
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
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.
Utter crap. I was with BT before this and I sure miss them. 130k download speed, when it isn't dropping out and when I complained after a little while they closed the live chat and had the cheek to send me an sms to say that the problem had been solved to my satisfaction. I'm cancelling and they can take this rubbish away. They are nothing but con merchants and only interested in taking peoples money and laughing at us
To be honest it's a zero trying to work from home, as if times aren't difficult enough. Shameful that we are stuck with a below than average service. We need an end to Kcom being the only service provider we should have a choice.
??? Do you need to ask????
It is a total failure. Low quality service keep freezing internet streaming with low quality of support team who do not enough expertise to solve the basic issues. Parental control is just not working at all.
Awful! Can’t even watch a programme without constantly pausing for it to catch up. We hate it. Had sky before and no problems at all for years. I think KC put this out with the intention of getting you to upgrade the package. This won’t be happening as I am leaving hull soon and I cannot wait. Complete crap BB.
I can’t understand most of these reviews. I have been with kcom all my Internet life (1990,s) and never found it to be slower than anyone else I knew, that had different providers. My nephew who lives in Doncaster & has Sky Fibre thinks ours is amazingly fast. We have had unlimited download through these unprecedented times and it has not suffered whilst watching Netflix, Disney, YouTube & playing Xbox.
Great fibre broadband at fast speeds 220mbs.
Everybody i know has the best package kcom have to offer however, everyone whom i have discussed this issue with is highly displeased at the regularity of the connection going out for no apparent reason. Even when it is not down, the connection is very poor and nowhere near the promised speeds.
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.
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.
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:
KCOM (Hull Area)
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.
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.
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?
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.