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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 25, 2006 at 12:36 PM

News Corp.’s broadband interests

Rumors have been circulating for a while now that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was looking at investing in broadband wireless in order for its satellite TV division to effectively compete with cable companies.

The exact message Murdoch had been circulating was that his company was interested in investing up to $1 billion into a wireless broadband company. A potential partner was Craig McCaw’s Clearwire in Kirkland.

Murdoch revealed a little more of his thoughts on the issue in a lengthy Q&A in today’s Boston Globe.

I’d like to highlight two of his answers. On the timing of wireless broadband, Murdoch said: “I would expect to have wireless broadband advanced in at least two or three cities before the end of this year, and then it might take two or three years to build it out across the entire country.”

On using cash to make a wireless broadband acquisition, vs. saving cash by forming a partnership, he said: “Yes, but you have to contribute your part of the partnership. We’re talking about a lot of money there. Otherwise, we’ll continue to be opportunistic as before. Great opportunities occur around the world; we’ll act on them.”

After hearing those responses, it isn’t clear whether it would be Clearwire or not. First, Clearwire has service in almost 30 markets today. It would easily be able to fulfill Murdoch’s vision of building out two cities by the end of the year. But it would take a lot of money to be a partner with Clearwire, considering it has already raised nearly $2 billion in equity and debt.

Comments | More in WiMax, Wireless & telecom

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