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Virgin Media O2 owners in investor talks on new fibre network – source

LONDON : Virgin Media-O2’s owners have opened talks with buyers about constructing a new fibre network that is also utilized by different smaller broadband suppliers, placing strain on Britain’s market chief BT.

Spain’s Telefonica and Liberty Global have been holding talks with pension funds and infrastructure buyers to see if they might again a new fibre network protecting round 7 million properties, an individual acquainted with the scenario mentioned on Monday.

BT’s Openreach is Britain’s main broadband network that’s utilized by each its retail prospects and different broadband suppliers which use it on a wholesale foundation, similar to Comcast’s Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk.

Virgin Media-O2 runs a cable network for its broadband and TV prospects and has not beforehand supplied wholesale entry to rivals. Under the plan, a separate entity would offer a fibre network aside from Virgin’s current network, the source mentioned.

The information comes at a fragile time for BT, after the Franco-Israeli entrepreneur Patrick Drahi constructed an 18per cent stake in the previous telecoms monopoly that’s growing its personal full-fibre network to 25 million properties by the top of 2026.

Investors have advised Reuters that uncertainty over the returns BT could make from its fibre network, together with whether or not wholesale companions Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk will carry hundreds of thousands of shoppers to it, have weighed on the shares.

The inventory was down 1per cent on Monday, giving BT a market worth of 19 billion kilos ($25.5 billion).

The plan by Virgin Media O2’s owners is separate to an current one to improve its network that serves 15.5 million premises to full fibre by 2028.

($1 = 0.7443 kilos)

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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