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BT has called for Ofcom to "level the playing field" in the wholesale broadband market, by ending subsidies for its rivals Sky and TalkTalk.

The broadband provider argued that Ofcom has achieved its policy goal of increasing network competition, and as such, no longer needs to set prices that favour some operators over others.

BT - the former national telecoms operator - now holds a 31 per cent share in the retail broadband market. It says this compares favourably to other ex-incumbents in Europe, which have market shares of between 41 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

The comments from BT come after a report from Plum Consulting claimed Sky and TalkTalk have benefited to the tune of £623 million over the last nine years from "pricing distortion".

"This is because such companies are allowed to pay below cost for their main regulated service whereas others, who rely on a different regulated service, are forced to pay above cost," BT stated.

The firm is urging Ofcom to close the current pricing gap now, rather than over the next six years, as proposed. BT claimed that continuing with the current policy will create another £369 million of distortion by 2020.

John Petter, Chief Executive Officer of BT Consumer, noted that TalkTalk and Sky have enjoyed subsidies for the best part of a decade, but said "it is time for that to end".

"Both are successful companies and both are more than capable of standing on their own two feet," he stated.

"It is particularly unfair that BT has to give Sky a commercial leg-up when they consistently refuse to provide us with fair access to their own services."

Mr Petter said Ofcom "should be given credit" for driving competition deeper into the network but that success needs to be reflected in current regulation.

"We know that Ofcom want to tackle this distortion but we want them to act now given this is a highly dynamic and competitive market," he stated.

"All we are asking for is a level playing field where prices reflect costs and consumers benefit as a result."

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