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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 12:42 GMT
BT pushed to cut phone line cost
Telephone
Phone companies pay BT for fixed line rental
The cost of fixed telephone line rental will be cut if proposals from Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, are adopted.

The regulator wants BT to reduce wholesale line rental (WLR) for residential customers from 8.74 to 8.39 a month.

In addition, BT should cut the WLR for business customers from 9.95 a month to 9.17, representing an 8% reduction.

WLR is the price that telephone companies pay to rent lines from BT which they then hire to customers.

Ultimately, the reductions in WLR should feed through to customer bills.

What we are aiming to achieve is to give BT's competitors equality of price and access to fixed lines as BT's own retail business
Ofcom spokesma

In August, BT, unilaterally, cut the residential WLR charge from 9.24 to 8.74 a month.

Ofcom has now asked telecoms firms to submit responses to the proposed cuts by 12 December 2005.

Telecoms review

The change to the WLR charging regime is earmarked to take place next year.

Ofcom's initiative forms part of its strategic review of telecoms aimed at improving competitiveness and reducing BT's dominant position.

"What we are aiming to achieve is to give BT's competitors equality of price and access to fixed lines as BT's own retail business," an Ofcom spokesman told BBC News.

"This should allow all phone providers scope for greater innovation and flexibility in what they offer to consumers," he added.




SEE ALSO:
Net providers loosen ties with BT
04 Aug 05 |  Technology
BT to charge for 1471 call return
23 Jun 04 |  Business
BT fires latest shot in price war
24 Mar 04 |  Business
Phone users miss out on savings
23 Mar 04 |  Business
BT directory calls to cost more
27 Feb 04 |  Business
Carphone targets home market
08 Oct 03 |  Business


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