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August 19, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Cable & Wireless Communications Plc the UK’s largest cable TV company, has announced that it will be launching full internet-based interactive TV services in the second half of 1999, dubbed TV Mall. CWC plans to push the uptake of cable-based digital TV, which it is launching in the first half of 1999, with the interactive services. It has announced that it has signed up various partners for shopping, entertainment and information services, including Barclays Bank, Littlewoods Home Shopping Group, Granada Media Group, Associated News Media, ITN and British Airways. The company says it is also in negotiations with other potential providers, and is going to share revenues by splitting per transaction fees with the suppliers. Cable & Wireless will base the services on internet technology and use set-top boxes supplied by Pace Micro Technology Ltd, which incorporate a cable modem. It also may provide cable modem-based internet access to PC users earlier than this, but will not disclose any details of its plans. C&WC seems to have got ahead of its rival BIB, which has already fired two chief executives and been hauled up in front of the European Competition Commission, and was only finally cleared last month. BIB a venture of BSkyB, British Telecommunications Plc, Midland Bank Plc and Matsushita Electric, still hasn’t named any of its partners for the service. Though BT and BSkyB have been testing some of the concepts through their joint consumer ISP and content provider LineOne.

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