NTL, the UK’s biggest cable company, has denied that it is
experiencing technical difficulties in the rollout of its digital
television and interactive services and claims that it is accelerating
its plans for the service’s launch.
After conducting research and collecting customer feedback, NTL says it
plans to broaden and bring forward its planned rollout.
Digital cable services were expected to be launched nationally in
September and NTL had originally set its launch date at 1 September
before shifting it to ’late September’.
Now NTL has refused to reveal a date for the national launch for what it
claims are competitive reasons. It added it will increase the speed of
rollout in 2000.
’In developing the world’s most advanced and comprehensive digital
service, which integrates television, enhanced television, internet,
e-mail and interactivity, NTL has faced considerable challenges, but is
absolutely on track to deliver a service second to none,’ an NTL
Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) began a limited digital service
to its customers in Manchester in July, before NTL agreed to buy CWC’s
Meanwhile, Telewest Communications, the UK’s second biggest cable
company, has said it plans to start broadcasting digital television
services next month.
The UK cable industry has trailed behind Sky Digital, the digital
satellite platform, and OnDigital, the digital terrestrial platform,
which both launched last autumn.
Sky Digital has signed up 1.2 million subscribers so far, while
OnDigital, which announced 247,000 customers in June, will reveal its
latest subscriber figures this week. It is expected to have signed up
between 450,000 and 500,000 households.