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BT has played down weekend press reports that its decision to offer "no frills" broadband access could lead to the "prospect of civil war" within the company.

The Independent on Sunday reported that BT Retail chief Pierre Danon and Alison Ritchie, head of BTopenworld, face a potential conflict since both will offer broadband in competition with each other.

The newspaper report even suggested that BTo would have to rethink its strategy and even ditch its strategy of providing consumer broadband.

However, a spokesman for BT dismissed the story stating that reports of tension among senior executives had been "overstated".

He added that these different parts of BT were offering different products to different people and that there was room for both to co-exist.

BT Retail - the customers facing part of BT with 22 million customers - is looking to offer access-only broadband from the autumn.

BTopwenworld - the telco's mass market ISP - already offers full broadband access complete with content and email.

No one from BTo was available for comment at the time of writing.

Last week's announcement by BT to bring broadband provision within the core of the company's group has raised a number of issues about what will happen next.

One such issue is the question of how BT Retail and BTo will approach the business of both parts of BT offering rival broadband services. If nothing else, it is likely to confuse punters.

Privately, some industry insiders have already raised doubts about the future of BTo if the "no frills" service is as successful as BT Retail would like us to believe. ®

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