Karoo (internet service provider)

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Type Trading name
Industry ISP
Founded 1996
Headquarters Kingston upon Hull, UK
Parent KCOM Group
Website www.karoo.co.uk

Karoo is an internet service provider in the United Kingdom. Formed in 1996 by Kingston Communications, a subsidiary of the KCOM Group, it primarily serves consumers in Kingston upon Hull and the surrounding area with its head office based in the city.

It is often criticised for having a 'monopoly' on internet and phone services in Kingston Upon Hull, as BT is not available in the city, as it is in the rest of the country. In 2011, came out as the third worst broadband providers in the country in a survey of thousands of customers by Which? consumer group.

Service history[edit]

Before the introduction of unmetered, '0800' dialup Internet access and broadband, Karoo was one the first ISPs in the country to offer untimed Internet calls. It followed on from the success of Demon Internet's Point of Presence (PoP) in Hull. This was set up with the initial formation of Demon in June 1992. Demon allowed users in Hull to make untimed 5.5p+vat calls to access the Internet via dialup accounts. Karoo followed on a few years after Demon removed their local PoP. Karoo Xtra allowed Kingston Communications customers 7 hours untimed access for the price of a 5.5p (+ VAT) call charge (and a subscription fee of £15 per month).[citation needed]

This led to Hull gaining a reputation for being a so-called digital city although many in Hull feel this would no longer be valid due mainly to the fact that faster and more diverse digital services are available throughout other parts of the UK.[citation needed]

Current services[edit]

Currently, Karoo provides ADSL broadband services to customers within the Hull and East Riding region with Kingston Communications residential line only.

As of December 2011, Karoo offers six ADSL 2+ packages[1] offering 24Mbit/s downstream and 1Mbit/s upstream connection. Additionally, Karoo also provide (with parent company KCOM) four "Bundles" that provide both an internet and telephone connection.[2] All bundles include free local (to other KCOM users) calls, with an 24Mbit/s internet connection with a 33Gb or 300GB data cap.[2]

Karoo provides web space and POP3 email services with all packages and bundles except "Karoo Lite".[1]

In September 2011, the company began a six-month trial of a 100 Mbit/s service in the East Riding of Yorkshire village of Woodmansey. Around 300 homes are involved in the trial.[3] The trial is part of a plan to roll out increased speeds to more than 15,000 homes across the East Riding of Yorkshire.

KCOM also offer ADSL services to customers outside of the Hull and East Riding area under the Eclipse Internet brand name.

As of February 2008 Karoo Broadband had approximately 81,400 subscribers.[4]


Karoo suffered criticism in 2009 for disconnecting users on illegal downloading accusations.[5] However Karoo have since revised their policy, now operating a "three strikes rule", whereby a suspected file sharer will receive three written warnings before being disconnected.[6]

Hull City A.F.C. sponsorship[edit]

Karoo was the home shirt sponsor of Premier League team Hull City A.F.C. from 2007 to 2009. Parent company Kingston Communications sponsors the stadium.


  1. ^ a b "High-speed, reliable broadband". KC. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Phone and Broadband Bundles". KC. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ France, Paul (20 September 2011). "KC 100Mbps fibre broadband trial to involve up to 280 homes". Cable.co.uk. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  4. ^ KCOM Group PLC Interim Report 2007/2008
  5. ^ "UK ISP Cuts Off Alleged Pirates". TorrentFreak. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Plug-pulling ISP changes policy". BBC News. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 

External links[edit]