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Sky's new Max offer will place it in direct competition with Virgin Media, which is expected to launch a 50Mb package this month.

The development has been highlighted by Chris Forrester of Rapid TV News, who said that while Sky is about embark on an advertising campaign to promote its Max offering - minus a fair usage policy - Virgin Media plans to have 40 per cent of the UK covered by its 50Mb service by the end of the year, placing the two providers head-to-head.

Mr Forrester says that Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett told the Goldman Sachs 'Communicopia' conference in New York of the provider's plans to roll-out the 50Mb service in the UK soon.

Meanwhile, the expert says that "BSkyB is about to fight back big time, boosting its own unlimited broadband offer".

Sky Max will offer a pricing plan of £10 per month.

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