May 24, 2019 / 6:51 AM / 23 days ago

BT to give greater network access to rivals under new Ofcom plan

FILE PHOTO: A bus passes a BT logo outside of offices in the City of London, Britain, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s biggest telecoms group BT will be forced to give rivals greater access to its core network Openreach to encourage a faster roll-out of high-speed fiber cables, under plans set out by regulator Ofcom on Friday.

Currently rival companies to BT can access the former monopoly’s telegraph poles and underground ducts to lay their own fiber networks to reach residential and small-business customers.

Under the new plan, BT will have to extend this approach to rivals serving large businesses as well, improving the business case for other telecom firms to focus on fiber.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Jason Neely

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