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SSE could be about to pose stiff competition to Virgin Media and BT by creating its own ultrafast broadband network.

According to the Telegraph, the energy company is currently looking at the viability of deploying a network of fibre optic cables.

David Walter, the director of SSE's broadband division, confirmed that no final decisions have yet been taken, but said it is always looking at ways of boosting its presence in the telecoms sector.

Among the options currently being explored are potentially taking over rival broadband providers, as this would boost its market share in a relatively short space of time.

Mr Walter also suggested that SSE would invest alongside partners in new fibre-based infrastructure, with the cost of building new connections being shared with retail rivals.

He added that the idea of plugging into backbone networks that already exist, such as those created by CityFibre, is also on the table.

This comes as Openreach is under pressure to make the broadband infrastructure market more competitive.

Earlier this year, Ofcom called for the wholesale cost of 40Mbps superfast broadband to the likes of TalkTalk and Sky to come down from £88 a year to £52.77 a year.

Ofcom believes reducing wholesale costs would promote competition in the superfast broadband market, enabling companies to create their own full-fibre ultrafast networks to compete with Openreach.

This would in turn mean that consumers get the benefit of lower costs by next year.

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