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Tiscali UK delays broadband satellite roll-out until 2002

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Tiscali UK has delayed the roll-out of its broadband satellite service until next year while it completes the integration of its UK business.

The ISP will begin taking orders in December ahead of a three-month trial beginning in January.

Upon completion and contingent upon the level of demand assessed the ISP could make the service generally available in the UK in early summer.

In June this year, Tiscali announced it would launch a commercial service aimed at SOHOs(small office, home office) and home users in Italy, Germany, France and the UK by the end of the year, with the rest of Europe following in 2002.

So far, Tiscali has launched a two-way broadband satellite service in Italy and Germany.

Steve Horley, ISP and Business Development director at Tiscali UK, told The Register that the ISP had delayed the roll-out of the service in the UK while it focused on the integration of its UK business following the acquisition of World Online, Liberty Surf and LineOne.

Yesterday, BTopenworld announced hefty pricing for its two-way broadband satellite service.

BTopenworld's installation costs start at £900 with monthly rentals for the service, twice as expensive as its ADSL offering.

BTopenworld and Tiscali have both sourced their services from Gilat Satellite Networks.

Mr Horley declined to disclose pricing details for Tiscali's service but said that it will be "competitive with BT's offering".

"Priced at this level will make it a niche consumer market," he said.

Last month OnStar Europe - the information, entertainment and communications arm of General Motors Europe - pulled the plug on its Beam broadband over satellite service. ®

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