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Industry regulator Ofcom has ended its consultation into how much BT should be permitted to charge its competitors for leasing the broadband lines it builds and maintains. 

The conclusion of the month-long consultation into BT’s cost attribution methodologies means that Ofcom must now decide whether to cut the rates that BT can charge its rivals for using its broadband network. 

A large number of broadband providers share the Openreach network, but TalkTalk, Sky and Vodafone have recently complained about the prices BT charges for the use of its lines.

A TalkTalk spokesperson said that businesses are “paying dearly for BT’s cost inflation and regulatory gaming”. 

"This just strengthens the case for structural separation of Openreach, which would remove the ability to inflate the costs and make the entire regulatory accounting process far more transparent,” they added.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said that BT were attempting to “re-monopolise European markets”. 

However, BT refuted these claims, describing Vodafone’s claims as “misleading and downright inaccurate”. 

“Nobody minds robust debate but it helps when those making allegations first check their data and get the basic facts right,” a spokesperson said. 

BT was a former state monopoly, meaning that it is subject to the regulatory financial reporting obligations of Ofcom. 

A decision as to whether Openreach will be divided up is expected by January. 

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