BT Tower 1[1]

Orange has revealed it is handing its fixed-line broadband operation over to BT.

The mobile network started offering fixed-line broadband in 2005 after it purchased ISP Wanadoo.

As part of the move, Orange 'unbundled' a selection of UK telephone exchanges and installed its own equipment in a bid to create its own fixed-line network capable of speeds of 'up to 24Mbps'.

This network covered around 65 per cent of the UK but has been constantly dogged by reliability and customer service problems.

"We are not satisfied with where we stand with broadband, as our customer base is declining and our [commercial] performance is poor," Bruno Duarte, vice president of strategy at Orange, told The Times.

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

BT will integrate Orange's fixed-line network into its own.

It is thought that by piggybacking on BT's network, Orange will be able to offer broadband connections across the whole of the UK.

The mobile network also confirmed that 61 members of staff will be transferred to BT.

Last month the European Commission gave a merger between Orange and T-Mobile the go-ahead.

The commission agreed to the deal on condition that the two companies change their existing network sharing agreements with a third smaller player, Hutchison Whampoa's 3, to "ensure that there remain sufficient competitors in the market".