Telewest Communications, the UK?s biggest cable operator, is investing #50 million to link up all of its disparate networks around the country.
The resulting fibre optic network will make it easier for Telewest to offer digital services and to bypass BT?s system.
The company runs seven cable systems around England. Connections between these sites are made via BT, which charges about 20 per cent of the total call charges for the use of its network.
The Inter-Franchise Network would enable Telewest to link its sites directly. The network will handle Internet traffic and digital TV.
Telewest has 769,000 residential customers, half of which use both cable TV and telephony. Its business lines increased by 69.5 per cent last year to 68,000.
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