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UK's Virgin Media to launch budget broadband service

Virgin Media Inc. is preparing to roll out a budget broadband service in the U.K., possibly in 2017, The Daily Telegraph of London reported Dec. 10.

Under plans for the new service, secretly being developed under the codename "Project Prosecco," Virgin Media will offer significantly lower internet speeds to protect its premium customers.

The new service, which is similar to British Telecom's Plusnet, is expected to compete with TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC, according to the report.

Virgin Media, which seeks an expansion of its cable network next year, is reportedly taking advantage of an ongoing £3 billion investment by its parent Liberty Global plc to extend the U.K.'s cable network to two-thirds of households by 2020.