BT and Virgin Media team up against Ofcom broadband regulation

BT and Virgin Media have joined together in opposition against Ofcom’s proposals to open up high-speed broadband networks to rival companies.

The Financial Times, which claims it has seen the ‘strongly worded’ letter, reports that both parties state that allowing competitors to access networks would be bad for the industry.

According to the report, the letter claimed opening up the networks would result in higher prices and lower investment in the UK.

The letter also claimed that regulatory changes to the business broadband market would lead to “significant regulatory uncertainty, undermining the return on sunk investments and therefore disincentivising future infrastructure investments.”

BT’s rivals, meanwhile, claim that the telecoms giant has unfairly used its ownership of the UK’s fibre broadband network to hinder competition in the market.

Related: BT EE Deal: Is it a good thing for consumers?

Companies currently rely on BT’s Openreach division for its fibre broadband infrastructure.

According to rivals, BT has ‘stifled innovation’ through its alleged poor record of connecting new lines and fixing problems.

The rivals want the chance to lay their own cables, however the report explains that BT is ‘very concerned’ by the regulatory proposals.

BT reportedly said that “allowing multiple operators to tamper with the physical network will cause service faults for customers.”

Ofcom is currently review the telecoms market, and is considering whether it would be sensible to split off Openreach from BT.

Complaints against BT’s alleged monopoly have recently increased in number thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of network provider EE, which is currently the UK’s market leader in the sector.

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