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The Hull telephone company at the centre of a broadband monopoly row has moved to defend itself from criticism that its monopoly is short-changing consumers.

Kingston Communications, which is the only independent local phone company operating in the UK, was responding to reports that a local MEP had written to the EU competition commissioner to lobby for greater competition among broadband providers in the area.

Diana Wallis, Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, stated that Hull broadband users were paying too much for their service and called on them to support her call for change.

However, according to a spokesman for Kingston Communication, other providers have been offered the chance to operate in the area, but have not accepted.

He told the Register: "The broadband market in Hull is open to any ISP who wishes to offer services here. Whether or not they do so is purely a commercial decision for them based on their view of the attractiveness of the market."

Rival providers are thought to have dissuaded from entering Hull's broadband market by the prohibitive costs of doing so, as well as the unsuitability of Kingston Communication's copper piping.

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