In a reversal of the status quo, BT is now demanding that rival Virgin Media open up its cable broadband infrastructure to the incumbent and others.
The company has announced it will seek access to Virgin's network of underground ducts, and is calling on others to open up their infrastructure as well.
BT last month yielded to mounting pressure from regulators and politicians, to begin opening up its own ducts, but now feels that the policy should also apply to Virgin Mobile.
A BT spokesperson told The Times it was surprising that those calling for open access are not willing to provide it themselves.
“Competition is a two-way street. We call on others to follow BT’s lead in offering to open its infrastructure and content to all on a fair basis,” the spokesperson said.
Opposition communications spokesperson Jeremy Hunt has already called for open access to all broadband networks operated in the country. But regulator Ofcom has long held that there is no mandate for Virgin to open its ducts to others.
Virgin Media has dismissed the proposal of any company opening its ducts to BT as a “can of worms.”