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BT 'significantly under investing' in broadband infrastructure, say MPs

A UK parliamentary report slams BT for not spending enough on Outreach, and warns that the infrastructure subsidiary could be split off if things don't change.

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BT has been scolded by MPs, who say the British phone giant is "significantly under investing" in its broadband infrastructure subsidiary.

A report published today by parliament's culture, media and sport committee says that BT must pump more money into Openreach, the wholly BT-owned subsidiary responsible for almost all of the UK's broadband infrastructure.

The report says BT has exploited its controlling position with decisions that "favour [BT] Group's priorities and interests," and claims, "We now believe there is a pressing need to liberate more of BT's financing for investment in broadband and the evolution of its telecoms infrastructure."

The report says that if BT doesn't change its ways, industry watchdog Ofcom could step in to forcibly separate Openreach from its parent company. Those threats aren't new -- in September, BT promised to exceed the government's broadband speed requirements, amid criticism over BT limiting competitor access to its network.

"Separating Openreach from BT would lead to less investment, not more," BT said in a statement. "Openreach investment is 30 per cent higher than it was two years ago and it will grow again this year. We are already pumping in hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money and we have also committed to invest a further £6 billion over the next three years."