EU to limit cabler ‘Net hold

Org wants to place them on same footing as telecom cos.

BRUSSELS — The European Union plans to block the territory’s ailing cable companies from dominating broadband Internet.

It wants to place them on the same footing as telecom companies, which the EU also wants to prevent from gaining a stranglehold on high-speed Internet access.

European cable companies including UPC, backed by John Malone’s Liberty Media group, and U.S. cable magnate Dick Callahan’s Callahan Associates, are struggling to get new services like cable Internet and IP telephony off the ground. As a result, any new rules won’t affect them immediately but could restrict future operations.

The EU estimates that there are 10.8 million broadband lines in its 15 member states, with 6.34 million controlled by large telcos like France Telecom, Telecom Italia and Deutsche Telekom.

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