BT Group is hoping to clinch a deal to offer online access through new UK digital platform Freeview.

The platform offers thirty free-to-air digital terrestrial channels via set-top boxes. In early 2003, next-generation boxes go on sale that will include interactive features such as internet access.

If the deal is completed, BT will market its web offerings to Freeview customers. It sees a tie-up with the platform as a way to compete more effectively with cable operators that bundle telephone and online services.

“BT sees that if people take Freeview then they may not subscribe to cable or maybe they will even leave cable,” explained BT’s head of media ventures Andy Blanche.

The telecoms giant also hopes to convince viewers to upgrade to broadband access.

Launched just over a month ago, the BBC-backed Freeview is so far selling well, with up to 30,000 set-top boxes shifting each week according to unconfirmed data.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff