BT is to challenge York's fibre broadband rollout in the European courts, according to Cityfibre's director of policy and regulation, Mark Collins.
Cityfibre provides fibre infrastructure for Tier II cities, and in York the firm has laid out over 110km of fibre, connecting schools, council sites, police stations, CCTV locations, NHS sites, businesses and a datacentre.
It has also deployed fibre infrastructure in Bath, Dundee, Sheffield, Bournemouth and Newcastle.
In an interview with Computing, Collins said that the vision for York is "best aligned to the Google Fiber project in Kansas City".
Google's Fibre project is an experimental network to test new services and advertising models in the US, which enables homes and businesses in Kansas to tap into a 1Gbp/s network.
"We have the ability with the infrastructure to connect everything with fibre; every home, traffic light, CCTV, everything that requires a communication technology, so that the city can benefit from that," Collins said.
He claimed that BT is attempting to bring the York project to a halt by challenging whether it should exist in the European courts.
"The network we built for York was put in with Cityfibre's own money, we built it with our own investment scheme. York City Council became the first user of the infrastructure that went through open public procurement in 2009. And now, in 2013, BT is saying that it should be challenged in the EU courts - because they see it as a competitive threat and they think it shouldn't be there," Collins said.
A BT spokesperson dismissed the claims as "utter nonsense", and claimed that Cityfibre had got its facts wrong.
However BT has a history of seeking to delay or stop similar projects. The government's £100m "super-connected cities" plan to invest in 10 cities to provide them with high-speed broadband led to Birmingham Council successfully applying for European Commission State Aid funding in order to build its own 100 Mbit/s broadband network.
BT and Virgin appealed against the plans, with Virgin claiming that there was "significant overbuild" with its current network in the area.
It's conceivable that BT and Virgin would be against competition from a government-funded broadband network, as they currently hold the vast majority of council contracts for broadband provision.
Collins explained that Birmingham Council would have won the case in the courts, but that the legal process could have taken up to four years.