European Internet giant, Netscalibur, has acquired UK ISP Direct Connection.

Netscalibur aims to offer a high-quality, pan-European service with local offices in each territory. In Germany the company has acquired Evolution Systems, a major German ISP. Adair Turner, formerly director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, sits on Netscalibur’s board as a non-executive director, as does Ben Knox, CEO Direct Connection.

No lay-offs are expected at Direct Connection as a result of the deal. Knox says: "Quite the reverse is true - we will be expanding."

Knox told Macworld that European consolidation in ISPs was reflective of the times.

Adding Direct Connection’s voice to opposition against the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill, Knox says: "We are getting requests from our customers who want their Internet services hosted from outside the UK in response to the Bill. We are very much behind the efforts of ISPA about this. It’s good that we’ve seen some wearing down of some of the worst elements of the Bill." He added that "to an extent, the opposition is too little, too late".

He also criticized BT’s ADSL testing (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), saying: "They claim they have insufficient testers for their ADSL services - but, like everyone in the industry, we have huge lists of people wanting to sign up for ADSL services."

In the future, Direct Connection will be offering ADSL services, and a variety of European-based ISP services to its customers as a result of the deal. The company also hopes to be able to negotiate offshore hosting for businesses wishing to keep their trade secrets safe from the unregulated surveillance of the RIP Bill.