Vodafone has hit out at BT and Deutsche Telekom as it called on the European Commission to ensure FTTH tech was made a priority of the ongoing Digital Single Market reform.

The UK-based operator claimed Europe remained at a “competitive disadvantage” due to its continuing dependence on “patchy and slow” broadband over legacy copper telephone lines.

According to industry body the FTTH Council, there were just 12.3 million FTTH subscribers in the EU at the beginning of 2015.

Vodafone laid the blame at the door of incumbents in Germany and the UK in particular, where it said the focus was on “monetising outdated technology”.

Vodafone said: “European policymakers must focus on tackling the former state monopoly telecoms companies that have chosen to use their legacy copper networks to entrench their market dominance, suppress competition, reduce customer choice and – as a consequence – inhibit the development of the gigabit fibre networks that are critical to Europe’s future.”

The operator said Portugal, Spain and France were further down the FTTH road thanks to more effective passive infrastructure regimes.

Along with other telcos, Vodafone has been vocal in calling for BT to be structurally separated from its Openreach division, which is dedicated to deploying fibre in the UK.

Like Deutsche Telekom, however, BT is mainly reliant on FTTC tech rather than FTTH.

UK regulator Ofcom is investigating whether Openreach should be spun off and is expected to make a decision early next year.

[Video: BT execs optimistic about EE, G.Fast, Openreach]

In May, the Commission promised that creating more incentives to invest in high-speed broadband by the end of 2016 would be a key plank of the Digital Single Market.

Vodafone made its comments public after making a submission to the Commission consultation on regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, which closed this week.

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