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UK cable firms to offer Web over the TV services

Gang of three leads the way, will Murdoch's BSkyB follow suit?

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Telewest has announced it is to follow the lead of the UK’s other leading cable companies by providing an interactive, high-speed Internet based television service. The other two main UK cable operators, NTL and Cable & Wireless, are to launch similar services in spring and autumn of this year - Telewest estimates it will have joined the fray with its updated millennium package at the end of 1999. All three companies plan to supply digital set boxes made by Pace, and Telewest has already ordered 100,000 of the units. Stephen Powers of Telewest claimed that, although lagging behind the competition, Telewest would, "supply a better quality service with better prices." This leaves only BSkyB and On Digital without plans to supply Internet access via their television service. Telewest’s new service will only be accessible via a TV and a special keyboard. ®

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