BSkyB to purchase The Cloud’s Wi-Fi hotspot network

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is reportedly in negotiations with The Cloud over the purchase of its Wi-Fi hotspot network.

The deal would allow Sky, its internet service provider arm, to provide its broadband customers with access to the internet on the move, providing a rival platform to the BT OpenZone network, which recently launched its own pay-to-stream service, Content Connect.

Potentially this could enable smartphone users to access improved sport and news content from The Cloud’s 22,000 European Wi-Fi hotspots, located in cafes, bars and restaurants.

It is thought BSkyB could also market the service to other content providers as a means of generating additional income streams.

Broadband minister Ed Vaizey has previously stated that he is in favour of allowing ISPs such as Sky to charge premium rates for streaming high bandwidth content such as video.

BSkyB is currently the subject of a mooted takeover bid by News Corp, with culture secretary Jeremy Hunt set to decide on whether the deal should be referred to the Competition Commission.

Staff Writer

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