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Vodafone has expressed an interest in purchasing a stake in BT subsidiary Openreach.

A cross-party report by MPs [recently stated that 5.7 million broadband customers currently have connections that fall short of Ofcom's acceptable minimum speed of 10Mbps. The majority of these - approximately 3.5 million - live in rural locations.

The report therefore suggested that BT and its Openreach subsidiary be separated into two entirely independent companies, as this would end their "natural monopoly" over Britain's broadband infrastructure and lead to greater investment and innovation in the market.

Vodafone has now moved in and stated that it would be willing to invest in Openreach should BT be forced to sell up.

Chief Executive Vittorio Colao commented: "We would be very happy to be an investor in an independent Openreach particularly since it makes a 28 per cent profit margin and has made £4 billion more than the regulator expected."

He pointed out that Vodafone has already invested in fixed infrastructure in Ireland, Spain and Portugal, but said BT "unfortunately" does not seem to be a willing seller right now.

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