NTL is to become a national brand by offering telephone and internet services throughout the country.
The regional cable company is to extend a telephony and internet offer to 14.5 million homes on top of the 8 million homes that can already access its services through its cable network.
The move is part of a renewed push by the cable operator following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In September, the company announced that it was extending its network beyond cable by investing £55m in providing services through local loop unbundling and £65m in installing equipment in 300 BT exchanges. This process will take its triple-play offer – television, telephone and internet – to only a further 2 million homes.
NTL has decided to take advantage of carrier pre-select technology to start offering services to 14 million homes that are not served by cable, telephone and internet services provided that they are connected to a BT phone line. It is the same method that allows Carphone Warehouse to offer telephone and internet services through its TalkTalk brand, which has more than 650,000 customers.
But NTL is unlikely to return to the days of large above-the-line advertising campaigns. It will rely on the strength of its brand and on direct marketing to push its offer, which varies from region to region.
Next year, the cable company will also launch its own PVR with similar specifications to BSkyB’s Sky Plus and a video-on-demand service for cable TV customers (MW September 30).