We all knew it was going to happen, it has been inevtiable since the inception of NTL back in 1997, when Barclay Knapp instructed the buy-out of the dozens of local cable companies to create one conglomerate which became NTL.
NTL, the largest cable company in the UK has bought Telewest, the second largest cable company, in fact, they are the only two cable companies in the UK. Or, not so much anymore.
What will this mean for us, the customers, of either company?
Well, if you want to believe the press releases, which can be read here, here, here (pdf) and here , then apparently we are in for new technologies rolled out quicker and a ‘broader range of personalised communications and entertainment services and even better value’.
Personally, I think that this will de-stablise NTL as a company again, which have only really been on track for a very short time now.
They have just started to make an operational profit, for the first time in its existance and have only recently, in my view, started performing efficiently. This acquisition may put them on the back foot again and thus customers will start to see cracks in the received service.
Unfortunately, there will be redundancies.
Having worked for ntl for some time, this will come as no shock to anybody within the company, in fact, redundancy has become a way of life for many employees, there always seemed to be some sort of ‘cost-cutting’ going on.
Though, I have to say, from my knowledge of NTL and their previous acquisitions, it tends to be the staff of the company that they acquire that bear the brunt of the job-losses, for example, their takeover of Cable & Wireless (their British consumer arm) in 2000 which saw 1,300 jobs go, primarily in C&W.
I’ve spent some of my afternoon pouring through the various press releases that have been coming throughout the day, in particular this one which appears to continually reference the name “UK Cable”. I did a bit of investigative work, and found that UKCable.com has actually already been registered by Telewest.
Domain name: ukcable.com
Telewest Communications Networks Limited
T Brookes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peterborough, PE2 6YS
So, it seems though the new merged company name is to be “UK Cable”.
Remember, you heard it here first.