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Virgin Media has reportedly joined with a number of broadband infrastructure owners, including CityFibre, in an attempt to challenge proposed regulations in the business internet market.

Proposals outlined by industry regulator Ofcom have suggested opening up access to BT's high-speed business broadband networks to other companies.

Companies such as Vodafone and TalkTalk have already declared an interest in taking greater control over such networks, with a view to better selling data services to businesses.

Yet according to the Financial Times, concerns have been raised by both Virgin Media and a number of other providers that prices across the market will be kept artificially low.

The consortium, which also contains broadband providers euNetworks and Zayo, is calling itself the Infrastructure Investors Group and claims the move would harm the funding of investment in broadband infrastructure.

It argues that opening up access to BT's network with artificially capped prices would be particularly detrimental to investment from alternative operators due to the potential creation of a price ceiling spread across the market.

The group also claims there is already significant competition for high bandwidth leased lines between independent infrastructure providers, highlighting plans to spend billions of pounds on new projects that will "result in a significant economic stimulus to the UK vastly exceeding the investments themselves”.

Virgin Media itself is set to invest some £3 billion in the expansion of its broadband network, which would increase coverage to a further 4 million homes across the UK.

CityFibre and Zayo are also planning expansions, with the former aiming to reach broadband speeds of up to a gigabit per second.

Brigitte Trafford, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Virgin Media, told the Financial Times: “Significant private investment in competing digital infrastructures should be encouraged. Customers benefit most when they have a genuine choice between suppliers.”

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