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Ofcom expects to intervene in the row over BT's pricing of access to its telegraph pole and underground duct network, it has been revealed.

Earlier this year, the internet service provider (ISP) published a price structure for wholesale access to its broadband infrastructure in rural areas.

However, the broadband provider has been accused of pricing its rivals out of the market by planning to charge too much for network access.

Speaking to a House of Commons Select Committee, the head of Ofcom said BT was unlikely to set an acceptable price for wholesale access to its fibre network, which could potentially restrict the level of broadband deal competition in rural areas.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of the communications regulator, said he "anticipates" stepping in to resolve the dispute, and make it economically viable for other ISPs to provide high-speed web services in the countryside.

"Trials of duct and pole access only began last week so it is extremely early to speculate that Ofcom might need to become involved," a BT spokesperson commented.

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