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Pipex gobbles up Freedom 2 Surf

It's amazing what £10m will buy

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Pipex has bought Freedom to Surf (F2S) for £10m, to boost its investment in local loop unbundling (LLU).

With 40,000 F2S broadband subscribers under its belt, Pipex's high speed net users now total more than 250,000, giving it sufficient clusters of users in urban areas to make investment in LLU commercially viable.

Pipex has already announced plans to install its kit in 60 BT exchanges enabling it to provide broadband services direct to end users. With the extra F2S customers, Pipex reckons it is now able to unbundle a further 40 exchanges as well.

"The acquisition of F2S increases customer density around exchanges already allocated for unbundling, improving return on capital," said Pipex in a statement today.

Established in 1997 and with its HQ in St Albans, F2S generated £7.2m in revenues during 2004 and made EBITDA earnings of £414,000.

Yesterday, Wanadoo UK revealed it has unbundled 150 BT exchanges in five UK cities - Leeds, London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham - with plans to install its kit in 500 exchanges over the next 12 months. ®

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