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Euro commission informed of KC's monopoly
[August 24, 2007]

Euro commission informed of KC's monopoly

(Hull Daily Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Hull: Kingston Communications' monopoly of telephone and broadband in the city has been raised with the European Commission.

Yorkshire and Humber MEP Diana Wallis has written to the Commission calling on it to investigate the company's presence in Hull.

She said: "I have had so many letters from constituents over the years about the price of broadband and there being no competition in the area.

"Circumstances have changed since the original European legislation about telecoms, with the sale of the council's shares.

"I think it's time to look at it again." Hull customers are unable to take advantage of offers such as free broadband with an Orange mobile telephone contract.

Hull City Council severed its 105-year link with the group in May when the authority sold all of its 157m shares in the company.

The group recently re-branded as Kcom, but retains the name Kingston Communications for its domestic telecoms service.

Ms Wallis said: "We all ought to be and are very proud of the white telephone boxes.

"But we all know if you try to use another provider it's very complicated and they just won't touch the Kcom area. Clearly there's a feeling among people there could be a better solution.

"Maybe Kcom needs to look at its prices." A spokeswoman for Kcom said: "The market is free for any other company to enter. They just choose not to."

Copyright 2007 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd, Source: The Financial Times Limited

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