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BTopenwoe ditches portal plans

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BTopenworld has completed a U-turn on part of its broadband strategy by deciding to concentrate almost solely on providing access and ditching plans to create a portal of broadband content.

Instead of creating a "walled garden" of content BT's Internet division will instead focus on providing limited content in just four or five areas including games, music, travel and business.

The announcement marks a departure for BTopenworld from its portal project. Only last year it held a love-in at a trendy London gallery where it paraded dozens of its broadband content partners.

Now, it has effectively dispensed with this approach and instead decided that providing access is a central plank of BT's broadband strategy.

No doubt some industry watchers will view this as a radical piece of re-thinking for a telecoms company (concentrating on providing access, that is) when so many have branched out into the world of content provision.

BTopenworld CEO, Andy Green, told The Register: "Our job is not to keep people in the walled garden...we need to concentrate our energy and focus on our access business."

Elsewhere, Mr Green said BTopenworld was on target to reduce losses at BT's Internet division by £100 million by the end of the financial year.

He also said BTopenworld's narrowband business would be profitable by next year. BTopenworld's broadband operation would be in the black by the end of 2002, he said. ®

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