Feeds

Tiscali chief plots sell-off

Succumbing to cheapskate fatigue

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Tiscali customers and employees can look forward to more turmoil in the next two years. The Italian-owned group's boss Tommaso Pompei says he's expecting to sell up to rivals as it struggles to compete with richer players in the broadband market.

Up until now, Tiscali has been a predator in the ISP consolidation game, snapping up Pipex customers and IPTV outfit Home Choice. That's set to change soon, Pompei told the Financial Times today, predicting a second wave of takeovers that he expects to be part of - as prey.

He insisted that Tiscali is not for sale, but said the ongoing squeeze on margins makes the firm vulnerable. Its share price slid 20 per cent last year.

The comments will be viewed by the industry as a call for takeover approaches. There are no ongoing negotiations at the moment, Pompei said.

Carphone Warehouse seems a natural suitor in the UK, standing in third place for customer numbers behind BT and Virgin Media and ahead of Tiscali, Orange and Sky. Carphone is the only member of the top six - who control almost 95 per cent of the broadband market - to lack a television offering.

Pompei said his primary aim is to turn a profit this year; a feat Tiscali has never achieved in its ten-year history. In the UK, the goal has meant customer lines being migrated to its unbundled network infrastructure to cut the cash it pays BT Wholesale to resell IPStream ADSL access. It also fired hundreds of Pipex's UK call centre staff soon after it bought the firm's broadband business.

The unbundling effort has meant other ambitions, such as its IPTV project, have been sidelined. The last company results showed TV subscriptions falling and forced a PR offensive to set new aggressive targets.

UK subscribers have been feeling the impact of Tiscali's attempts to save money this week through other cost-cutting initiatives. It botched a software upgrade aimed at reducing its bandwidth costs. The ongoing cockup has cut customers off from many internet services and slowed others to sub-dial-up speeds. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.