Telewest (former)

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Telewest, formerly Telewest Broadband and Telewest Communications was a cable Internet, broadband internet, telephone supplier and cable television provider in the United Kingdom. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but on 3 March 2006 it merged with NTL to become NTL:Telewest; then on 8 February 2007 the combined company was rebranded as Virgin Media.



Telewest originated in Croydon in 1984 under the name "Croydon Cable".[1] In 1988 United Cable of Denver, US, acquired Croydon Cable. Franchises extended the company scope in Edinburgh and the south-west and south-east of England. In 1989 United Cable merged with United Artists Cable International. In 1991 United Artists merged with their largest shareholder TCI (now Liberty Media), to form the largest cable operator in the US. TCI and US West announced a joint venture, and in 1992 the joint venture company became Telewest Communications. In 1995 Telewest merged with SBC Communications, adding franchises in the Midlands and North West serving 1.3 million homes.[2]

During this time Telewest founded a consortium called Cable Internet. This consisted of the major cable companies in the UK working together a provide national Internet access service.[3]

In 1998 Telewest announced a merger with General Cable,[4] and acquired an outstanding interest in Birmingham Cable, adding a further 1.7 million franchise homes in Yorkshire, west London and Birmingham.[5] Telewest purchased the remaining 50% stake in Cable London from NTL in 1999, adding 0.4 million franchise homes in north London.[6] In April 2000 Telewest merged with Flextech,[7] and in November extended its cable network with the acquisition of Eurobell, taking the total number of homes passed to 4.9 million.[8] The company later became known as "Telewest Broadband" in a re-brand during 2001.[1]

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