BT promises cheaper residential services with regulatory change


BT promises cheaper residential services with regulatory change

Antony Savvas

BT is to be allowed to set its own prices for residential phone line rentals and calls from this summer, under proposals from telecoms regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom has controlled BT’s residential phone prices for the last 22 years, and says now is the time to end the control.

Ofcom says increased competition from other phone service providers, cable companies and mobile operators means BT has no reason to keep its prices higher than they should be.

In the past, the regulator has also set prices to prevent BT from cutting them to a level where emerging competitors would not be able to survive. Ofcom now says the open market is developed enough to set its own prices.

BT said the proposal to end price controls this August will lead to its basic phone prices falling. Users, including those who work from home, will be waiting to see if line rentals fall as well as call costs.

Those using broadband to get faster internet connectivity usually have to hire a phone line to be able to get broadband.

In the last couple of years Ofcom has stated its aim of keeping a lighter hand on the regulatory tiller.

Last month, the regulator said it wanted to concentrate more on making sure newer and higher-end telecoms services for businesses were fairly regulated.

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