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The European Commission has given its backing to proposals which will see BT share its fibre-optic broadband network with rival internet service providers (ISPs).

Under Ofcom's plans, the broadband and communications giant will have to offer other companies access to its super-fast internet infrastructure, in a move which is aimed at improving competition in the sector.

However, the European Commission has added that the move will be temporary, until full fibre unbundling can be introduced in the future.

Neelie Kroes, the Digital Agenda Commissioner, said: "In this specific instance, virtual unbundling seems the best option to safeguard competition and enable consumers to benefit from a wider range of services provided over next-generation fibre infrastructure."

Details of the European Commission's support for the plans have come after BT confirmed it has installed fibre-optic broadband services in two exchanges in Edinburgh.

Around 10,500 homes and businesses now have access to the super-fast technology.

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