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BT and Virgin Media have both flagged up worries that current regulation is holding back broadband investment in the UK.

Speaking at a debate of the Digital Infrastructure Panel, led by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Dan Butler of Virgin Media said more "policy consistency" is needed.

As a result, he hopes the government's Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review will help to address this issue, reports.

Mr Butler said he also wants the review to solve some of the genuine supply-side barriers to build, which are wayleaves and getting broadband in to new developments".

He added that the government should implement policy that stimulates demand for ultrafast broadband, through "voucher models and encouraging people for whom there might be an economic barrier to move to high speed broadband".

Emily Clark, Chief Economist at BT, also raised concerns with the current regulatory regime. She argued that more could be left to the market, with a move away from the "micro management by regulation that you see at the moment".

She stated that the current approach is not good for BT/Openreach or its rivals, as regulation of Openreach affects the prospects of competitors by "taking out value from the industry".

"When you look at what happens in other countries they have taken much bolder decisions about regulation," Ms Clark continued.

For instance, she said that in countries with more greater fibre availability than the UK - such as Spain and Portugal - they have "tended to step back from regulation" in order to "really drive incentives for rivals to invest".

Furthermore, Ms Clark noted that some countries have "stepped back from competition" and instead created a "very stable and predictable regulatory framework around the single national provider".

"That has also worked very well," she observed. "In the UK, we have neither of those models."


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