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France Telecom to blow €1bn on LLU

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France Telecom (FT) plans to blow more than €1bn installing its kit in incumbent telcos' telephone exchanges so it can provide broadband services direct to customers.

Some of that cash is to be spent in the UK but FT is also eyeing up other European countries for further investment in local loop unbundling (LLU), reports The Business.

FT - which owns ISP Wanadoo UK - reckons up to two thirds of its 2.2m punters could eventually be unhooked from BT's network as part of its ambitious plans.

Indeed, the telco is already making a move on the UK's telecoms sector by respraying Wanadoo - which used to be known as Freeserve - "Orange" and hooking it up with its mobile division.

From next year FT-owned Orange will be offering punters bundled mobile, broadband, fixed line and a rack of other services and all from the same brightly coloured brand.

Orange has already teamed up with sibling Wanadoo UK to offer its new punters 2 meg broadband for £9.99 a month.

While Wanadoo is trialling LLU in Leeds as part of its "substantial and significant" investment in new innovative services. ®

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