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Satellite TV giant and broadband provider BSkyB is set to launch a standalone broadband service, it has been reported.

Last year, the firm launched Sky Broadband, which is currently only available to its existing TV customers as part of a bundled package.

However, according to unnamed sources cited by The Register, the firm is currently poised to launch a package aimed at the UK's ten million Freeview households.

The new service is to be branded Picnic, according to the report, with new subscribers being provided with a Netgear RP614 v4 router.

BSkyB did not comment on the speculation, but issued a cryptic statement which neither confirms or denies the reports.

It said: "Sky is the UK's fastest growing broadband provider and we're always looking at ways to bring quality and value to even more customers. However, no plans are confirmed at this time."

The move signals yet more evidence of increasing competition among broadband providers, many of whom have recently introduced lower tariffs, increasingly attractive packaged bundles and free gifts to entice new customers.

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