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BT's decision to open its broadband ducts to rival internet service providers has been welcomed by the Conservative Party.

Earlier this week, BT Chief Executive Ian Livingston told the Financial Times that the broadband provider was discussing such a move with Ofcom, the media regulator.

He said that by allowing competitors to provide high-speed services using its broadband network, investment in the national super-fast infrastructure may be encouraged.

The Conservatives had previously called for BT to make such a commitment, threatening legislation on the matter in the event of a Tory government.

Commenting after Mr Livingston's announcement, Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We welcome BT's announcement that they are preparing to open their underground ducts to other broadband providers.

"This is something the Conservative Party has been calling for over a year and is a central part of our plans to roll out super fast broadband across the country."

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