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RealTime IT News

chello broadband Moves into Central Europe

[London, ENGLAND] European high-speed Internet provider chello broadband nv announced Monday its expansion into Central Europe in a partnership with Hungarian broadband company UPC Magyarország.

Both chello broadband and UPC Magyarország are subsidiaries of United Pan-Europe Communications. UPC Magyarország provides cable television services to 35 towns in Hungary.

Roger Lynch, president and CEO of chello broadband, said he expects the growth in Internet usage to be especially strong in Hungary, the first country in Central Europe to get chello's broadband service.

"The number of Internet accounts in Hungary is expected to grow over 500 percent from now until 2004, when 6 percent of the country's population will be users," said Lynch.

Services from chello include not only access to the rest of the Internet, but also national and localized content specially prepared for broadband. Among the content suppliers are Amtel, Port, Magazix, Netforum, Globopolis, Est FM, Netrider, Warner Music, Sport 1, Universal Music and Sony.

Uli Neuert, director, chello broadband Central-Europe, said that initially his company would be launching chello in four districts of Budapest and in Miskolc. It expects to reach 0.4 million homes with two-way capacity by the end of 2001.

Joe Zuravle, managing director of UPC Magyarország, said the Hungarian company had already been operating an experimental broadband Internet service in several regions of the country.

"With the addition of chello's international, national and localized broadband content, this new partnership gives our customers an even larger choice," said Zuravle.

In July 2000, UPC and its parent UnitedGlobalCom merged their chello subsidiary with Excite@Home's international operations, forming Excite Chello -- a deal that has yet to close, pending regulatory approval and other factors such as financing.