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Tiscali disses Pipex broadband claims

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Pipex says it is now the fourth largest xDSL provider in the UK with more than 170,000 broadband punters.

The announcement that it had leapfrogged Tiscali into fourth slot (its now behind AOL UK, Wanadoo UK and BT) came today as the company announced that turnover had increased markedly over the last year on the back of increased take-up of broadband throughout the UK.

However, Pipex's claim is based on an analyst's report that doesn't class high-speed services below 512k as "broadband".

A spokeswoman for Tiscali UK, which has more than 300,000 "broadband" users, dismissed Pipex's new claim. "Ofcom counts anything from 128k upwards as broadband. We'll stick with that," she said.

While the debate concerning a definition for broadband continues to divide the industry and confuse punters, Pipex announced that turnover for the first six months of the year jumped to £43.6m from £11.1m last year, while it trimmed H1 pre-tax loss to £1.9m from £3.8m.

Broadband numbers, domain name registrations and shared-hosting customers are "now growing strongly" buoyed by the recent acquisitions of ISP Nildram and Web host outfit Host Europe.

Broadband now accounts for 42 per cent of Pipex's revenues, compared to 10 per cent at this stage last year. Hosting and domain names contributed 26 per cent of turnover, up from eight per cent, while revenues from leased lines fell from 61 per cent to just 15 per cent this year.

Said Pipex chief exec Mike Read: "In the period we have seen increased growth in broadband customer numbers, domain name registrations and shared-hosting customers. Following the period end, the addition of Nildram brought a significant number of SME business broadband customers.

"With these areas now growing strongly, over the next 12 months the Company will be focusing on the integration of the business processes and systems which have passed into Pipex ownership through acquisitions. It is expected that this integration will lead to further economic benefits and improved customer service."

Pipex - which employs 650 staff - plans to continue streamlining its business following recent acquisitions, but said that it has no plans to axe jobs. The "streamlining" will occur thanks to the integration of back office systems, the company said. ®

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Punters flock to PlusNet cut-price ADSL
Pipex swallows Nildram
Host Europe morphs into Pipex
BT's DSL market share carries on falling
Pipex acquires Host Europe for £31m

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