Tiscali UK has unveiled plans to extend the availability of its IPTV service to five million homes by the end of this year.
The Italian broadband provider is using last September’s acquisition of Homechoice to act as a springboard into the UK’s major cities. The present 50,000 Homechoice subscriber base in London and Stevenage will become Tiscali TV customers from March 1, and the service will be made available outside London from April, with Newcastle, Birmingham and Edinburgh all expected to be online by the end of May. Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool will follow by the end of June, and the five million homes that will be enabled by the end of 2007 will represent around 50% of Tiscali’s unbundled network. The remainder is due to be upgraded by the end of 2008.
Tiscali currently offers its 2MB broadband product at £14.99 per month. The TV product will be bundled in with the broadband access, with telephony added for an additional £5.
BT Vision’s Philips-delivered set-top box is already HD enabled. However, Tiscali customers will have to wait until July until they are also able to take advantage of HD programmes. The unit will also include a 160GB digital video recorder. (JC)