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Orange has surprised the UK broadband market by handing control of its network to rival internet service provider BT.

The firm, which has invested heavily in ASDL broadband over the last ten years, has been blighted by customer service issues and subscriber attrition in recent times.

Now, as reported by the Times, Orange's flagging network – which reaches around 65 per cent of the UK population – will be integrated into BT's broadband infrastructure.

Bruno Duarte, Orange's Vice-President of Strategy, said the move should help make its broadband deals more attractive and services more commercially viable.

"We are not satisfied with where we stand with broadband, as our customer base is declining and our performance is poor," he told the news provider.

"But we need to remain in fixed-line broadband so decided to fundamentally change what we are doing."

Orange is in the process of merging with rival mobile broadband provider T-Mobile, a move which could create a company with almost 30 million customers.

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