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BT Openreach has agreed to reduce the cost of Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) for rival broadband providers wishing to use its cable ducts and telegraph poles.

Concerns had been raised by a number of broadband industry stakeholders that high wholesale prices may prevent service providers from competing with BT's broadband deals.

But after consultation with the media regulator Ofcom, BT has published a revised pricing list – a move which should assist the delivery of high-speed broadband to rural areas of the UK.

The new prices are significantly lower – in some cases more than 60 per cent lower - than the draft ones issued in January 2011.

According to independent research company Ovum, they are up to 38 per cent below the European average for rural areas.

BT Openreach said the revised pricing structure reflects an improved understanding of the relevant costs, which has been gained through network trials and detailed discussions with Ofcom.

The firm has also broken down some products into their component parts, allowing broadband providers to select which services they wish to use.

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive of BT Openreach, said the firm was pleased to be able to bring down these prices.

"Other companies now have the certainty and low prices they need to build a business case and bid for Broadband Delivery UK funds," she added.

"No-one is keener than myself to bring super-fast broadband to rural areas but it is an enormous challenge. These prices will hopefully unlock some much needed investment from others but we will have to wait and see."

Ms Garfield claimed that BT Openreach has "largely bankrolled Broadband Britain" by delivering fibre to more than five million homes,  but it is time for others to help extend coverage nationwide.

BT is currently investing £2.5 billion upgrading its broadband infrastructure around the UK.

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