KCom plans new services

​​Telecoms firm ​KC​om is planning to introduce a range of new services which make the most of the firm’s super fast broadband speeds.

Hull and East Yorkshire have some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK because KCom builds fibre-optic cables ​right up to people’s homes​ unlike rivals who use slower copper cable for the final stretch.

The new services will include a range of health and welfare options such as monitoring vital signs in the elderly or sick people. It will also offer a cold alarm that alerts the emergency services if the temperature drops below 13 degrees.

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KCom’s chief executive Bill Halbert said: “We are talking to health application providers about other diagnoses. Hospital readmission is very costly in Hull and East Yorkshire. These are all potential applications.”

The group is also looking to introduce CCTV that can help protect people’s homes. At the moment CCTV cameras use poor quality tape that only gives grainy images.

Mr Halbert was speaking as the group reported its first sales rise since 2008 following a ​three​ per cent ​increase​ in ​revenu​e​ to £177.9m ​in the six months to September 30.

“This is the first time we’ve achieved headline growth since 2008 when the transformation began. We are beginning to see the fruits of that,” said Mr Halbert.

Pre-tax profits slipped three per cent to £24.2m after increased investment. Investment in fibre rose from £5m to £10m last year and the group has made significant investment in its internal IT.

Following the improvement, the group raised the interim dividend 10 per cent to 1.97p.​

“The dividend is ahead of anything else in the sector,” said Mr Halbert.

KCom is confident about the future as it can offer very high broadband speeds which will be able to cope when tablets and other devices become more sophisticated and operate at higher speeds.

“We are in a position where we are future-proofed,” said Mr Halbert.

Other benefits of its fibre to the home set-up is that copper can be subject to interference which could become visible to broadband users.

“Copper is easier to hack than fibre so fibre is a lot more secure,” he added, saying that when shoppers enter their bank details they are less likely to get hacked.