British internet service providers have complained to the government over BT pricing of access to the firm’s new superfast broadband infrastructure.
Virgin Media and TalkTalk were among the ISPs that added their names to a letter to communications minister Ed Vaizey, according to a Telegraph report.
The letter called for "urgent intervention" in order to seek lower pricing from BT, warning that the existing level would mean there was a "lack of a credible alternative to BT" in providing superfast broadband services.
Ofcom had previously said that BT’s pricing for access to assets such as duct and poles must be based on the real costs but the group of ISPs told Vaizey that the BT prices amounted to five to five times the costs and that it would be cheaper for the firms to build their own infrastructure than use BT’s.
BT appeared angered by the ‘leaked’ letter, issuing a statement that said the firm was disappointed that it was ‘shared with the media’ before the telco giant was itself aware of the complaints.
"It’s a shame that some of the companies involved seem keener to spend more time talking about this process than actually working on it," the statement read.
"The fact is our proposed prices for duct access compare very well with European averages, while our plans for pole access have been held up due to others delaying our trials."
BT criticised the ISPs, saying it was "ironic" that those counted as signatories provided "little or no wholesale access to their assets."
The telco also implied rival telcos were only interested in cherry picking profitable business, pointing out that it was the only ISP to cover the "last ten per cent" of British customers.
BT called into question whether the ISPs were "genuinely interested in serving rural Britain."