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Ofcom is aiming to promote competition in the UK's super-fast broadband market, by creating new rules for BT to follow.

Under the latest proposals from the media regulator, the former national telecoms provider - which has the UK's most extensive fibre broadband network - will be required to maintain a sufficient margin between its wholesale and retail super-fast broadband charges.

ofcom logo large

The reason for this is so rival fibre broadband providers - including those which use BT's wholesale network - have the opportunity to profitably match its prices.

BT has the flexibility to set the wholesale price for network access. Naturally, this impacts on the prices rival companies need to charge their own broadband customers.

Ofcom said the new proposals are designed to create a fair marketplace for fibre broadband, while preserving BT's own pricing flexibility.

"When Ofcom introduced the requirement for BT to offer other providers access to its fibre network, there were fewer than 100,000 super-fast broadband connections provided this way," the regulator noted.

"That number has now risen to 2.7 million, and take-up is expected to increase further over the coming years."

Ofcom noted that one in four home broadband connections is now super-fast, delivered over a fibre broadband network.

"The proposals are aimed at ensuring that different operators can compete in the growing market in years to come, so that consumers benefit from competitive prices and high-quality, innovative services," it stated.

The regulator is consulting on the proposals and will welcome submissions from broadband stakeholders until August 28th 2014.

Ofcom will then publish a statement with its final decision on BT's super-fast broadband margin later this year.

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