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The United Kingdom offers franchised cable television operators the unique opportunity to provision a competitive telephony service in addition to multichannel television services. The TeleWest Communications Group Plc., a joint venture between Telecommunication Inc. (TCI) and US West, have taken advantage of this opportunity to invest, operate, and assist in the operation of CATV/telephony in the United Kingdom. TeleWest owns or invests in 24 franchises, totalling approximately 3.6 million homes passed. Twenty-one of the 24 franchises wholly owned or invested in by TeleWest are offering competitive telephony as of the end of 1994. Others are set to start in the 1995-96 time frame. The article discusses the development of network architectures in support of TeleWest's cable/telephony opportunities in the United Kingdom. The article begins with an account of the history of U.K. cable/telephony, continues with the early developments and drivers of the architecture, discusses the current architecture and build, and concludes with an overview of future development and directions for the architecture
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