OFCOM chief executive Ed Richards says he may be forced to set the price BT can charge rivals to access parts of its infrastructure.
The move could have far-reaching implications for the rollout of broadband to rural areas. Richards said he would prefer a “commercial” solution between BT and rivals such as Virgin Media for access to its ducts and poles but added this looks “unlikely”.
If no agreement is reached by June, Ofcom will come forward with a regulated price structure.
Japanese IT infrastructure giant Fujitsu says it hopes to roll out superfast internet to 5m rural homes but has said BT must lower its access prices to make the project viable.
A BT spokesman said: “We are working closely with both Ofcom and industry to ensure the prices reflect the true costs.”