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BT has warned that businesses and consumers could face higher prices following an increase in business rates.

The company's annual valuation is set to rise from £165 million to £743 million from April 2017.

BT believes the increase is "clearly excessive" and has said it could be forced to pass on some of these costs to customers.

"We are extremely disappointed by the new rateable values," BT stated.

"It is highly likely that an increase of this size would lead to higher prices for consumers and businesses."

BT also warned that if the rates proposed by the Valuation Office Agency are implemented, it could have a "negative impact on future investment in the network".

The company pointed out that the government has "made it clear" that it wants firms such as BT to invest heavily in the UK.

"We have stepped up to that challenge, but we need a more joined-up and logical approach from the public sector if there is to be a more conducive environment for investment," BT argued.

Virgin Media has also criticised the business rate changes, as its rates are set to go up significantly.

Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive of the company, said: "The Chancellor Philip Hammond is choosing to side-step responsibility for a huge increase in infrastructure taxes at the very moment after the Brexit vote the UK needs to maximise investment into its digital fibre network."

The comments from BT and Virgin Media are another example of a growing consensus between the two on various issues in the broadband market.

Last month, the two companies joined forces to talk up the quality of the UK's broadband infrastructure.

In an advertisement published in national newspapers, the two rivals claimed £15 billion has been invested in broadband technology over the last five years and that Britain boasts faster average download speeds than France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

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