BT has reportedly lobbied the Labour Party to change legislation to help the company speed up the rollout of its broadband in blocks of flats.

The Financial Times reports that BT has held talks with Labour, ahead of the UK's next general election, which is expected later this year.

The FT reports that BT is in talks with Labour over plans to allow its networking division subsidiary, Openreach, to replace its existing copper cables in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) with full fiber without seeking additional permission from the property’s landlord.

Gaining access to properties via landlords has proven to be a stumbling block for telecom providers for years.

The company's chief executive Clive Selley told the FT that the process to obtain new so-called wayleave agreements with landlords to install full fiber was “painful, time-consuming and expensive” and could “easily double the cost of providing fiber to a small block."

Openreach has passed more than 13.5 million homes via its fiber broadband network and is aiming to cover 25 million by 2026.

According to Selley, Openreach was unable to get through to one particular owner or managing agent of a building and had to bypass almost a million apartments on streets where it had laid full fiber.

He noted that residents of MDUs were “in danger of becoming part of a new digital divide” by not having access to “ultrafast” and reliable broadband.

To mitigate this, Selley told the FT, that Openreach has asked for existing agreements with MDU landlords, which enable Openreach to maintain and repair copper cables, to be extended to automatically provide permission for upgrades to full fiber.

Selley said Labour has so far been "engaging" with its request, while noting that Openreach had also previously lobbied the Conservative government asking for assistance on this.

“I don’t need something that just favors Openreach. I’m very happy that the law is changed such that any fiber builder could go in and build in an MDU,” Selley added.