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BT will not be permitted to increase its wholesale broadband prices to recoup its pension fund deficit, Ofcom has ruled.

The communications regulator, which sets the charges for use of BT's telecoms infrastructure by other internet service providers, has decided to maintain its current approach to pricing.

Ofcom has carried out two consultations into BT wholesale prices, which relate to both broadband and landline services, during the past year.

The regulator had considered whether, in light of BT's increased pensions costs, it should allow the firm to increase its wholesale revenue.

However, dismissing the case for reform of the existing regime, Ofcom said that the alternative - including deficit repair payments in regulated prices - could potentially lead to prices being set at levels "which do not accurately reflect the relevant underlying costs".

"It would also be inconsistent with the basis on which BT's prices have been regulated since the company's privatisation," the body said.

Earlier this year, BT reported that 15 million premises across the UK are able to access broadband services via its communications infrastructure, either directly through a BT broadband deal or through a wholesale user's package.

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