UK incumbent BT could head-off a political row by allowing rivals access to its underground ducts.
The telco is considering opening access to the ducts to boost deployment of high-speed fiber networks in the country, after the Conservative political party pledged to force the carrier to do so if it wins a forthcoming general election.
Granting access would spare BT’s rivals the expense of digging up roads and pavements when laying their own cables.
BT’s chief executive Ian Livingstone has reportedly denied assertions its move is in response to the Conservative pledge, stating the carrier has been in talks regarding the ducts with UK regulator Ofcom since 2009.
Livingstone expects BT would gain access to rival’s ducts in return for opening his firm’s up, and so allow BT to expand its own coverage.
The carrier is investing £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in building out its fiber optic network.
The prospect of cheap, super-fast, broadband access will be welcomed by at least one UK couple, who were told by BT that upgrading their dial-up connection to broadband would cost £45,000.
Ray and Frei Walker were told BT would need to install new equipment to serve them and their local village in the north of England. Although most residents already have broadband access in the village, capacity restraints mean no new users can be added, according to the Daily Telegraph.