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BT has insisted good progress on rolling out fibre broadband in the UK is being made.

According to Chief Executive Gavin Patterson, the UK boasts adoption rates that are 50 per cent higher than Germany.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said they are also much higher than in Italy, even though that country is "sometimes acclaimed by our critics but where usage of superfast broadband is almost non-existent".

Mr Patterson acknowledged that some people are still suffering with slow speeds and said he can understand their frustration.

Nevertheless, he stressed that data from the likes of Ofcom shows that Britain has the largest digital economy in the G20 as a percentage of GDP and has done for five years.

"The facts clearly show the UK is a broadband leader, not a laggard," Mr Patterson commented.

"More than nine out of ten properties can access fibre broadband and that number is growing every day."

Mr Patterson went on to highlight a recent quote from TalkTalk, as it said recently that UK consumers enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds and lowest prices in Europe.

He pointed out that while it might seem strange for him to quote a "major critic" of BT, he has done so because a recent report by the British Infrastructure Group accused BT of operating a monopoly.

The same report called on BT to be separated from its Openreach subsidiary in order to make the sector more competitive.

However, Mr Patterson insisted that BT has "just a third of the retail market" and said the UK is better off under the current Openreach model.

"It is at the heart of how we ensure UK infrastructure receives the vital investment it needs and how we sustain the competitive marketplace," he said.

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