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BT Openreach Chief Executive Joe Garner claims higher broadband prices are needed in order to support reliable broadband infrastructure.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Garner said regulation of Openreach was preventing investment.

He subsequently claimed that an overhaul of the rules would allow BT to implement the price rises needed to create a strong and reliable network.

“In the internet era it has to be about much more than price because nobody wants a cheap, unreliable internet service," he told the newspaper.

”We need a regulatory environment that encourages the investment we need to make, the innovation to move to an always-on era.”

Reports have indicated the future of Openreach could be under threat amid suggestions that regulatory body Ofcom will force a spin-off as part of its latest review of the communications market.

Mr Garner insisted he was convinced the review, which is conducted every ten years, had good intentions in "improving outcomes for customers” but said there was a risk of it being influenced by corporate rivalries.

One of the key areas of contention being faced by Openreach is its record on repairs and installations, which has been roundly criticised by both Ofcom and rival companies.

The issue has been placed at the forefront of arguments advocating the break-up of Openreach, but Mr Garner believes a flexible approach to pricing would help to address any problems.

BT recently published data suggesting that in the three months to the end of June, Openreach had managed to fix 77 per cent of faults within the agreed time, compared to 66 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

And Mr Garner is convinced the improvement is largely down to the fact that BT is capable of drawing on broader levels of funding.

He said: “I do think we’ve been able to do those things to a large degree precisely because we are part of the broader BT Group.

"We’ve got access to the technical capabilities, the research and development as well as investment that has enabled us to make this progress.”

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