Future proofing the UK’s digital infrastructure

Since acquiring the business in 2019 via one of its managed funds, Macquarie Asset Management has supported KCOM to expand the reach of its ultrafast broadband network to communities across the North of England. 

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Digital
Location United Kingdom


KCOM provides essential voice and broadband connectivity services, with a network passing more than 240,000 homes and businesses across the North of England.

KCOM is one of the longest-established providers of communications services in the UK, with a history dating back to the opening of Hull’s first telephone exchange in 1904. KCOM has pioneered new technology throughout its long history: establishing Europe’s first all-digital network in 1984 and first “fast internet” service in 19981. In 2019, it underlined its track record for innovation with the creation of the UK’s first full-fibre city2.


Recognising KCOM’s important and growing role in increasing access to ultrafast, reliable broadband, a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management led the acquisition and de-listing of the business from the London Stock Exchange in 2019.

In partnership with KCOM’s management team and workforce, Macquarie Asset Management helped set in motion a plan to more than double the company’s investment in fibre-to-the-premises technology3supporting its investment of over £100 million to expand it both within and beyond its traditional boundaries of Hull and East Yorkshire. 


The ambitious expansion programme supported by Macquarie Asset Management has seen KCOM’s Lightstream network so far reach more than 20 new towns and villages in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire4.

The tens of thousands of new customers in these areas are amongst the 21 per cent of homes in the UK with access to full-fibre broadband and benefiting from internet speeds of up to 1Gbps5.

KCOM’s investment in high-capacity digital networks is key to delivering greater digital inclusion. The need for which was underlined during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw customers rely more than ever before on its ultrafast broadband to work, learn, shop, stay connected with family and friends, and be entertained from home. KCOM’s investment in upgrading its network ensured it was able to support a doubling of internet traffic on select days during the UK’s second national lockdown in 20206.

In addition to providing essential connectivity, KCOM’s ultrafast broadband network has the potential to underpin future economic growth and innovation by enabling businesses in the region to participate in the expanding digital economy. This was demonstrated in 2020 when Hull – the centre of KCOM’s fibre-to-the premises network – was recognised as the top destination for investment in the technology sector in the North of England7.

Investing £100m+ in expanding KCOM’s fibre network

Bringing fibre broadband to 10,000+ homes and businesses

Reaching 20+ new towns and villages in the North of England

By investing in developing and expanding our networks, we hope to deliver benefits to residents through infrastructure that will also underpin growth and innovation across the region. The investment is a huge vote of confidence in our business by Macquarie, which recognises the great potential this region has to grow and prosper with quality ultrafast broadband."

Dale Raneberg
Chief Executive Officer, KCOM