BT is forcing broadband firms to use its old network, resulting in slow Internet speeds for customers, according to Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone.
He said that Openreach, BT’s infrastructure arm that runs the cable network, should be spun off into a new company in order to level the playing field for broadband providers.
Vodafone recently moved into the UK domestic broadband market and, like other providers, is dependent on BT's copper network to connect into people's homes.
Colao said that BT and one of its shareholders, Deutsche Telekom, are ‘clearly are trying to remonopolise’ the British telecoms sector.
"They are trying to unwind 30 years of competition,[using] their old copper network to force old technologies, slow lanes, to become the way to deliver broadband," he added.
His comments follow BT's attempts at a £12.5bn takeover of EE from joint owners Orange and Deutsche Telekom which has been provisionally cleared by the competition watchdog. Deutsche Telekom will own around 12 per cent of BT following the deal.
BT responded to Colao’s criticisms, saying they were ‘highly misleading’ and adding that the UK was ‘one of the most competitive telecoms markets in the world’.
Despite assertions from Colao that the UK suffers from slower broadband speeds than areas such as southern Europe, BT said: "Fibre coverage stands at 90 per cent in the UK compared with just 25 per cent in Italy, so we are amazed that Vodafone are suggesting the UK can learn from southern Europe.
"The UK is a broadband leader and much of that is down to the £3bn that BT has invested in its open access fibre network."
Vodafone recently announced its half-year results which showed a return to earnings growth, after 1.3 million 4G customers signed up in the second quarter. At the end of September, the company had 5.3 million UK customers.
Vodafone launched its broadband service in June resulting in the creation of 400 jobs.