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Dixons Store Group, the UK's biggest computer retailer, is venturing into the Internet access provider market, according to the Mail on Sunday. The company accounts for 12 per cent of all PCs sold in the UK, and 35 per cent of sales in the consumer sector. By capturing Internet customers at the point of PC purchase, Dixons will help hasten the demise of the UK's smaller ISPs. There are currently more than 200 ISPs operating in the UK, of which only six owning backbone connections. Smaller ISPs are being squeezed on all fronts, with big retailers and direct market PC assemblers muscling in on their territory. In the UK, Tesco, the giant food retailer, and Nationwide Building Society, are offering Internet access, as part of their electronic commerce services.®

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