France Telecom confirms broadband plans

France Telecom has confirmed plans to roll out its broadband TV service in the UK later this year, a report from the Daily Variety said.

The report also said the move would put France Telecom in direct competition with British telco BT.

The new service would be offered under the Orange brand, which would be used for all of France Telecom's mobile, Internet and TV services in the UK and France, including its French ADSL service MaLigne TV, beginning this month, the report said.

BT is planning a fall launch for its BT Vision service, which will combine a DTT box with a package of video-on-demand offerings and interactive services. Despite rumors of technical problems with the Microsoft TV software on which the service is based, BT has said it will launch on schedule.

According to press reports, France Telecom's service would include DTT channels, as well as a seven-day catch-up service and VOD. As yet, no content deals had been unveiled, although Orange UK was reportedly hoping to carry BSkyB's premium sports channels.