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Easynet to unbundle 80 exchanges in '04

Predicts strong revenue growth

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Easynet is to unbundle another 80 exchanges this year, providing an alternative "last mile" to BT.

Easynet is the UK's leader in local loop unbundling (LLU) - it has unbundled 149 exchanges as of the end of 2003.

Now though, the ISP intends to carry on the work which it claims will continue to deliver "significant returns on investment".

In a trading update Easynet said it turned EBITDA positive in December and expects full year results to reflect "strong revenue growth".

In a statement chief exec David Rowe said: "The announced extension of our LLU investment programme in the UK will extend our lead as the clear alternative broadband infrastructure provider to BT in the UK."

In December, Easynet became the first operator to convert an exchange to DSL ahead of incumbent telco BT.

The installation of the Easynet broadband infrastructure in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was backed by the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.

Claiming the scalp, Easynet crowed that it is providing broadband services to the region from exchanges "neglected" by BT.

By mid afternoon shares in Easynet were up 8.5p (7 per cent) at 128.5p. ®

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