BT cable TV head joins AT&T venture

The head of BT’s cable TV services, Patrick Boner, is leaving the division to take up a key post in the BT and AT&T alliance.

Boner will be general manager of the “create team” and will report to Ian Morfett, the managing director of new products and solutions. The team is responsible for setting up the UK infrastructure and personnel which will run multinational calls between the networks run by the two players. This market is worth 25bn, and BT and AT&T estimate their combined share at 6bn.

However, Boner will continue to be involved in cable until BT has sold the 11 cable companies it owns in the UK. He will conduct negotiations until buyers are found.

BT’s UK cable interests reach 85,000 homes, with a potential audience of 300,000 households. It has franchises across the country including Westminster, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen, and Swindon.

BT was ordered to sell its cable interests by the European Commission because of its 20 per cent stake in the TV shopping network, British Interactive Broadcasting, now called Open. The other shareholders in the Open consortium are BSkyB, Midland Bank and Japanese consumer electronics company Matsushita.

The BT and AT&T alliance was announced last July, finally bringing BT’s long search for a global telecoms partner to an end.

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