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Tiscali nets big broadband additions

Italian stallion holds its own

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Tiscali bagged 62,000 new broadband punters in the UK during the first three months of the year, its financial report revealed on Friday.

The new lines bring the Italian firm's UK subscriber base to nearly 1.5 million - fourth behind Virgin Media, BT, and Carphone Warehouse, and ahead of fifth placed Orange, on just over one million.

During the Pipex sale speculation in April, Tiscali was fingered by many as next for the chop in the rapidly consolidating broadband market.

Tiscali is in a stronger independent position than its shrinking rival, however. Its Q1 additions represent a strong performance when viewed against yesterday's Virgin Media results. Rocked by its dispute with Sky over TV rights, the cable giant added 97,600 broadband lines, a much lower percentage increase on its three million-plus base.

Tiscali has been a leading unbundler with TalkTalk, and now has about 437,000 unbundled lines out of 443 BT exchanges. Last week it launched a download-to-rent service, with prices starting at 99 pence.

Tiscali's report is here (PDF). ®

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