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Sky ‘in talks’ with Liberty Global to invest in fibre JV

Sky is in talks with Liberty Global to invest in Virgin Media’s new fibre venture for underserved areas, according to a report by the Financial Times.

According to the report, citing unnamed sources, Sky has opened talks to participate in the new JV both as a customer and investor. However, talks are still at an early stage.

The FT reported that Sky is in separate talks about a wholesale deal to use Virgin Media’s existing cable network to offer broadband services. Reports that Virgin Media was planning to open up the cable network to rivals emerged earlier this year when the Daily Telegraph reported that Liberty was mulling a move into wholesale after BT Openreach unveiled plans to build a fibre-to-the-premises network.

The FT was first to report Virgin Media’s plans to roll out a large-scale expansion of its fibre network in the through the creation of a separate company backed by infrastructure funds in July.

Liberty appointed LionTree to create a JV to build fibre networks outside of densely populated urban areas using BT’s ducts and poles. Virgin Media itself will  be the key service provider, but the network will be open to other providers. The JV will look to pass some two million homes in less densely populated areas, drawing on public subsidies where these are available.