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BT's £2.5 billion fibre broadband network is set to be under-utilised unless broadband providers have more affordable wholesale access, it has been claimed.

Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, has called on the communications regulator Ofcom to promote competition by reducing the cost of delivering broadband services over fibre.

Speaking to the Guardian, she explained the cost of using BT's fibre network is almost double that of its copper broadband network.

Ms Harding said Ofcom needs to act quickly to ensure broadband providers can afford to use BT's fibre infrastructure.

"We need to get a move on otherwise the country will have spent a lot of money building infrastructure which no one is using," she commented.

"We must start a consultation this year on the regulatory framework structure once build-out is complete."

Ms Harding said the regulatory framework today is "a little too skewed to driving investment and not enough to driving competition".

"In ten years' time when the majority of consumers should have moved on to a super-fast product the idea that I will be buying my largest product from my largest competitor is not a credible place to be."

In a statement, BT argued that its wholesale prices are "very reasonable" given how expensive it is to deploy fibre.

"We are taking a long term approach and this is helping to keep prices down so that consumers will be encouraged to take up the service," the broadband provider stated.

According to the Guardian, TalkTalk has so far signed up just 5,000 customers to its fibre service, which is delivered using BT's fibre broadband network.

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