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Sky plans broadband assault

Targets BT, NTL-Telewest

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BSkyB is considering plans to buy a broadband telco so that it can go head-to-head with BT and NTL/Telewest.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned satellite broadcaster is also prepared to invest up to £200m in local loop unbundling in a bid to provide phone and broadband services direct to end users, reports The Guardian.

Should BSkyB go ahead with its broadband and fixed-line telephony plans it would enable the satellite operator to offer punters the all-important "triple play" of phone, TV and broadband services.

Now that NTL and Telewest have agreed to merge, the enlarged group - with access to half of the UK's homes - would pose a serious threat to BSkyB's position. Likewise, BT is also pressing ahead with its plans to offer TV over broadband with a commercial service expected to be launched within the next 12 months.

Pipex, EasyNet and LLU TV outfit HomeChoice have been named as possible targets for BSkyB, which is looking to raise up to £1bn to fund the deal.

No one from BSkyB was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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