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Openreach has begun trialling a new process that could see new fibre broadband networks being created across the UK. 

Five companies including WarwickNet and Callflow are taking part in its trials of simplified duct and pole sharing processes.

This means they do not have to seek permission from Openreach before carrying out work on fibre deployments themselves.

Openreach hopes that improving access to its infrastructure in this way will lead to more communications providers putting money towards improving connectivity in areas without existing fibre networks.

Clive Selley, Chief Executive of Openreach, commented: "This is an important step which gives greater access to our network and encourages other companies to join Openreach in building better, broader and faster communications services for the whole UK.

"We have already built an open wholesale fibre network which is available to more than 25 million homes and businesses, and we’re continuing to bring fibre to more than 25,000 premises each week."

Mr Selley also pointed out that Openreach has laid out "ambitious" plans to move from superfast to ultrafast speeds across the UK, as well as support other companies' efforts to build their own networks using its underlying infrastructure.

"Our ducts and poles have been open to these companies for several years and Ofcom has been clear that the price to access them is in line with international comparisons," he observed.

However, Mr Selley said they have not been used on a large scale thus far. As a result, Openreach hopes its new and simpler processes will lead to more companies investing in fibre technology, especially in those areas that are not currently served by high-speed networks.

Mr Selley added that the new processes have been designed and developed in partnership with the industry.

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