In a deal that should surprise no one Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB has snapped up broadband ISP Easynet for a reported £211 million. The deal now gives Murdoch’s BSkyB a foot hold in the UK broadband market.
So why does the move makes sense for Sky? Firstly it gives Sky the opportunity to become a triple play provider delivering telephone and web services as well as digital TV – just like its powerful new rival the just merged Telewest/NTL cable group.
Possibly just as important is that it gives Sky another outlet for the HDTV services it is set to launch next year.
Easynet has pioneered local loop bundling in the UK which enables it to offer ultra fast broadband connections of 8Mbps and above to a sizeable number of UK homes. This speed is fast enough for Sky to offer HDTV via broadband, with the user possibly taking a set top box than connects directly to the web and delivers what the trade calls IPTV.
Wanadoo offers eight Meg broadband