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gavin patterson

BT's Chief Executive Gavin Paterson has criticised the Fix Britain's Internet campaign for being misleading.

Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk are urging customers to complain to Ofcom about BT and its Openreach infrastructure subsidiary, after research showed one in four Britons are not happy with their internet service.

The three companies have also taken issue at BT spending large sums of money on showing Premier League football rather than the UK's broadband infrastructure.

Mr Paterson has responded in a letter to his counterparts at Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk, seen by the Financial Times, in which he says the campaign "makes a number of misleading statements".

Furthermore, he objected to the providers painting "an unfairly diminished view of connectivity across the UK".

Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk have responded to Mr Paterson by insisting they are not misleading the public, as the statements they have made are based on publicly available data from both Ofcom and BT.

"We have been - and will continue to - engage constructively in the debate about the future of Openreach, because together we contribute the largest portion of its revenue; are acting on behalf of the majority of broadband users in the UK; and are a clear and important source of competition in this market," they stated.

Ofcom recently ordered BT to give more independence and investment powers to Openreach, with the broadband subsidiary being run as a distinct and legally separate company with its own board.

The watchdog believes its proposals will provide Openreach with the greatest possible degree of independence without separating the companies entirely, and lead to decisions being taken for the good of its customers and the wider telecoms industry.

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