Cable & Wireless who for many people vanished from the broadband landscape when Bulldog was sold to Pipex in 2006 is now the owner of another broadband outfit in the form of THUS Group plc with its offer of 180 pence per share being declared unconditional in all respects.
THUS owns the retail provider Demon which pioneered dial-up Internet access for small businesses and consumers in the UK. What today's news means for consumers and businesses with Demon is not clear, certainly packages are still being offered for sale but the Demon press room has not been updated since November 2007.
Cable & Wireless offers wholesale broadband access products and a number of smaller providers are known to use their services but it still seems odd to have sold a retail provider and then buy another a couple of years later. Virgin Media has a contract to use the provider for Off-net ADSL access, but this has not gone live yet. It may make perfect sense to the accountants, but many small businesses using broadband may be reluctant to sign up if they believe that the same cycle may happen again. One thing business users want above all other is stability and reliability for a service, so one can expect there to be a series of questions asked of C&W about its intentions with THUS and the retail component that is Demon.