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The pace at which a nationwide fibre-optic broadband network in the UK develops will be quickened by the wholesale of network chunks, according to Ofcom.

Chinyelu Onwurah, the communications watchdog's head of telecoms technology, was speaking in the wake of a decision which will allow BT to proceed with its plans for a £1.5 billion broadband network.

Ms Onwurah told the Broadband Forum in New Orleans, competition will be boosted by the access of a wholesale product to ISPs.

"There is a wide range of potential standards and challenging technical requirements so international technical solutions that are needed," she commented.

"Moving next generation access standards along now would mean the availability of a standardised wholesale access product sooner, rather than later, which would give easier access to fibre communities."

There are now around 50 fibre-optic cable broadband networks planned or in operation in the UK, Ms Onwurah confirmed.

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