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The division of BT's networks and services departments should be copied in Europe to foster greater competition in the broadband market, it has been claimed.

According to Viviane Reding, the EU media commissioner, the model used in the UK should be adopted across the continent with the dominant operator in the market forced to split up its network and services division, the Financial Times reports.

The measure would however, not be obliged to sell its divisions and would most probably be introduced should other moves to create a more competitive marketplace prove unsuccessful, he added.

Under the terms of the BT split, which was enacted in 2005, BT agreed to set up an independent unit, which is charged with apportioning space on the network to other providers. BT is bound by Ofcom to treat its competitors in the same manner as its owners.

Since the division of BT, uptake of broadband services is up by 40 per cent, according to figures from Ofcom.

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