Joint-venture with Colt Telecom for UK-wide fibre network to enhance goal as national digital TV provider

Hull-based telecoms group Kingston Communications is planning to roll out its nascent video-on-demand service nationwide in a joint-venture with Colt Telecom.

The two companies will share the estimated£75 million costs of building a national fibre optic network, which, said Kingston chief executive Steve Maine, 'will help us meet the demands for distributing hundreds of video signals around the UK'.

Maine added that Kinston had decided to ditch its initial agreement with Yes Television because of competition fears and was looking to sign up a new partner for the national roll-out of VOD.

Kingston announced details of its new fibre optic network as it reported a slump in pre-tax profits, which fell to£7.9 million from£36 million the year before, largely due to investment costs. Last year's profits were artificially boosted by a£26 million windfall from the sale of its software business. Turnover grew by 22 per cent to£181.3 million.