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NTL is to boost the speed of its broadband service at no extra cost - mimicking a similar announcement made by Telewest earlier today.

NTL's entry-level 150K service is upgrading to 300k although the price will remain £17.99 a month. The 600K service is to increase to 750K (£24.99) while its 1MB service ramps up to 1.5MB (£37.99).

NTL's gear-shift will take place in the summer, a little later than Telewest, which upgrades in May.

A spokesman for NTL said the announcement to double the speed of broadband services - on the same day that Telewest announced the same plan - was "pure coincidence".

However, The Register understands that NTL knew in advance of Telewest's plans and decided to bring forward its announcement. The UK's two cablecos work fairly closely together, in preparation for the day that they eventually merge. Telewest has a couple of billion dollars in debt refinancing to get out of the way, first, though, before any meaningful talks can get underway.

Chad Raube, director of Internet services at Telewest Broadband, said: "These are independent initiatives and we were unaware that NTL had plans to announce similar broadband changes today. This is good news for cable customers and it goes to show the capability of our networks.

"Speeding up our blueyonder services has always been part of our long-term strategy and our customers are now set to benefit from faster speeds, at prices that are still lower than the majority of major ADSL providers." ®

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