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Tuesday, 21 November, 2000, 06:50 GMT
Internet auction fails in Wales
Generic computer image
The auction failed to find bidders for Wales
Three franchises to bring high-speed internet access to Wales are on offer after an official government auction failed to produce a single bidder.

None of the 10 companies who qualified to take part in the auction tabled a bid to serve Wales.

It is thought the arrival of high speed internet - at least 10 times quicker than the modems most people presently use - would have a huge impact.

And high speed internet by wireless links throws down a potent challenge to the telephone companies who have enjoyed a big growth in revenue thanks to increasing use of the web.

Elsewhere, the sale of "wireless broadband" franchises - for internet services delivered via private radio links - raised 38m for the government with franchises in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland being eagerly snapped up.

Part of the reason that the franchises were not sold could be that Wales is set to be very well served for high speed access.

BT and the Welsh Development agency have been busy bringing it to rural areas as well as towns and cities.

It would appear that BT, along with the cable company NTL, aim to keep the Welsh internet market to themselves.

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See also:

20 Nov 00 | Business
Low sales prompt auction probe
02 Oct 00 | Business
BT under fire on fast web
03 Jul 00 | Business
Phone auctions left on hold
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