BSkyB to gain broadband capability

BSkyB is to buy broadband networking firm Easynet in a £211m deal that would give the digital broadcasting giant the ability to deliver TV programmes via broadband.

BSkyB is to buy broadband networking firm Easynet in a £211m deal that would give the digital broadcasting giant the ability to deliver TV programmes via broadband.

The acquisition will also give BSkyB, which is 37%-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the ability to offer customers a “triple play” package of phone services, broadband internet and TV via broadband.

The company will gain ownership of key parts of a national network and a leading position in local loop unbundling, with a presence in 232 local exchanges.

BSkyB chief executive, James Murdoch, said, “Today's offer reflects the exciting opportunities that now exist to combine quality entertainment with significant high-speed connections. Entertainment is at the core of Sky's success.

“Easynet's innovative network and technological expertise perfectly complement Sky's strengths in programming and in making technologies easy to use. We see value for families in moving well beyond just another triple play, to offer a new level of connected entertainment and communications services.”

Easynet chief executive, David Rowe, said, “We believe that this offer is in the interests of Easynet's shareholders, customers and employees. This is a great opportunity to accelerate Easynet's local loop footprint, capture market share for next generation broadband services and support new and existing corporate and public sector customers."

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