The head of BT has defended the telecoms giant against claims it is being unfairly propped up by the government to roll out fibre broadband across the country.
Ian Livingston blasted its critics as "copper luddites" for trying to hold the UK back from fibre, which can be four times faster than existing networks.
BT is spending £2.5 billion of its own cash to connect two-thirds of the country to the new network by the end of 2014. But it plans to tap government help to reach rural areas that are less commercially viable.
Recently Sir Charles Dunstone, the billionaire founder of mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, which owned BT rival TalkTalk until 2010, called for regulatory intervention to ensure this state help remains in the public interest.
TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding has also waded into the row, adding that more needs to be done to avoid propping up a "monopoly provider". She pointed to how Fujitsu recently left a £680 million bidding process for government-backed rural broadband contracts, leaving BT as the "only eligible competitor".
But Mr Livingston shrugged off claims that BT was rebuilding its former monopoly, highlighting rules that force it to pay the same cost to access its network as competitors such as TalkTalk.
"These criticisms are coming from people I can only describe as copper Luddites," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"They don't want to see the UK getting fibre. BT fibre is open to any provider in the UK on the same terms as BT - there are 50 or 60 of them, that's not what I call a monopoly."
Back in 2006 the company was forced to split itself up to create Openreach, which manages the country's telecoms infrastructure and treats the rest of BT on an equal basis to other operators.
BT is also not the only player rolling out super-fast broadband services, with Virgin Media currently covering a vast swathe of the country with its own fibre network. Together they are estimated to cover roughly 95% of the UK superfast broadband market.
10 biggest companies in the world
BT defends against monopoly claims
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The company was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, incorporated on October 31, 1969, and first traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. It is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and has around 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names.
Royal Dutch Shell, more commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in Holland, but with its registered office in London.
With operations in more than 90 countries, it is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.
Exxon Mobil Corporation, or ExxonMobil, is an American oil and gas corporation formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas.
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The name BP is derived from the initials of one of the company's former legal names, British Petroleum.
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Its business includes oil and gas exploration as well as the production and sales of petrochemicals and chemical fibres.
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State Grid Corporation of China is the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in China, once again headquartered in Beijing.
It has subsidiaries in Northern China, Northeastern China, Eastern China, Middle China and Northwestern China.
Toyota Motor Corporation, more commonly known simply as Toyota, is a multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Japan.
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries. Its brands include Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu.
Japan Post Holdings is a state-owned Japanese company that deals with mail delivery and financial services.
It is headquartered in Tokyo and was founded on January 23, 2006.
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It is active in more than 180 countries and is engaged in every aspect of the oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries, including exploration and production, and power generation.