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BT not divided

Oftel rules broadband competition is fair

Telco watchdog Oftel today dismissed requests by the Culture Media and Sports Committee to break up BT.

The regulator ordered BT to open up its broadband network to competitors last month, but refuted claims that BT should be forced to separate its retail and network businesses to cultivate broadband competition.

"Competition in the broadband market continues to increase, with prices cheaper than in France or Germany. The option of breaking up BT is therefore not on [our] current agenda," said Oftel in a statement.

But despite being ahead of some of its European counterparts from a price point of view, the UK is still way behind the US in terms of both pricing and rollout.

"Continued rollout at this pace will soon put the UK on a par with the US and the more people who subscribe to the service, the more prices will come down," said a spokesman at BT.

There are currently 1,115 broadband-enabled exchanges, compared with 890 at this time last year and according to BT interest is growing, with around 12,000 new orders per week.


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