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Sky Broadband claims that the ownership of BT's Openreach network is holding back the progression and competition within the market.

Having made its final submission to Ofcom as part of its Strategic Review of the UK’s digital communications market, Chief Strategy Officer Mai Fyfield claims BT's sole control of Openreach means many of the decisions over investment were made in the company's interest rather than those of the whole industry.

In a statement, Fyfield said: "Openreach’s ownership structure means that companies that compete with BT, like Sky and TalkTalk, cannot work with Openreach on innovations like fibre to the home.  

"And, with no prospect of BT’s retail arm using an alternative high speed fibre network to deliver services to customers, there is limited scope for new infrastructure entrants as they would only be able to compete for Sky and TalkTalk’s business."

Fyfield insisted that by separating Openreach from the rest of BT it would allow them to create a more competitive market solution.

She continued: "For example, if BT’s retail arm could purchase network services from alternative suppliers, an independent Openreach would be motivated to respond with investment and innovation of its own.   

"As a standalone FTSE 100 company, Openreach would be highly attractive to long-term investors and able to raise fresh capital to invest on the back of future growth from the whole industry."

The latest Strategic Review by Ofcom is highly valued by Sky, which claims it will help to benefit the UK's broadband network and helps it to meet the demands for better broadband.

Ms Fyfield said that investing in communications infrastructure was crucial to growth and productivity in the UK economy, not just over the next decade, "but for 20 or 30 years ahead".     

"We believe that for the UK to keep up with the rest of the world the focus has to be on investing to make Gigabit broadband widely available to homes and businesses. It’s what our international competitors are doing.

"In Japan and Korea, more than half the population already receives connection speeds above 100Mbps.

"The reality in the UK today is very far from that goal. The national network run by Openreach relies heavily on copper wires and delivers unacceptable levels of faults and service problems for consumers and businesses."

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