Ofcom allows competitors access to BT’s new internet fibre lines and ducts

RIVAL Internet service providers will have access to BT's new fibre lines via a so-called virtual network or they could lay their own fibre in the telecom firm’s ducts under new proposals from the regulator.

Ofcom said yesterday it would propose allowing competitors to have access to new fibre lines laid by BT, at a price set by the former state monopoly in order to enable a fair rate of return.

And Internet service providers who want even more control of the system could access BT’s underground ducts and overhead telegraph poles to lay their own fibre because the regulator believes there is available capacity.

The two proposals are designed to increase competition within the nascent superfast broadband market, which requires a fibre network.

“Super-fast broadband is starting to be a reality in the UK,” Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said.