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Former fixed-line monopolies branching out into fibre-optic broadband should be permitted to receive "appropriate returns" on their investment.

This is according to a draft recommendation for national telecoms regulators, put forward by the European Commission in Brussels designed to promote greater competition in future high-speed broadband networks, reports Financial Times.

Neelie Kroes, competition commissioner, has voiced her concern that EU countries' high speed broadband network was being rolled out at a slower rate than in nations such as Japan and the US.

"We want national rules that will not only encourage the necessary substantial investments in fibre but also strengthen broadband competition," she said.

The EU must find a balance between giving enough incentive to operators to replace copper wire with next generation networks, while not freezing out rival companies who want their slice of the fibre-optic cake.

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