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Two of the UK's broadband providers have entered into a debate over the opening up of underground networks.

BT has claimed that Virgin Media should be encouraged to follow its lead and allow rival broadband providers to use its network infrastructure, in a move which could boost competition in the sector.

According to the Times, Ofcom may also be encouraged by BT to ensure Virgin Media is forced into opening up its network.

Talking to the newspaper, a BT spokesman said: "It is remarkable that those calling for open access from BT are not willing to provide it themselves."

However, Neil Berkett, Chief Executive of Virgin Media, suggested that BT was only attempting to open up "a can of worms".

News of the debate has arisen just weeks after Virgin Media confirmed plans to launch 100Mb broadband services in the UK before the end of 2010.

The company is also extending its ongoing trial of 200Mb broadband.

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