Communications watchdog Ofcom has said BT must open up its cable network and allow competition to improve UK internet connections. The regulator has so far stopped short of demanding a complete break-up of BT, but said this was still an option.

Ofcom also said there was a digital divide in the UK between those with the latest technologies, and those without; it has proposed that decent, affordable broadband should be a universal right. Rivals had called for a split between BT and its Openreach operation, which runs its cables, fibre and network infrastructure.

Companies such as Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk, who pay to use the network, say that BT underinvested in Openreach, leading to a poor service with interruptions and slow speeds. Now BT will be told to allow easier access for rivals to lay their own fibre cables along Openreach’s telegraph poles and in its underground cable ducts.

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