BT to be allowed to bundle services for the first time


BT to be allowed to bundle services for the first time

Warwick Ashford

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed allowing BT to bundle phone, broadband and telephone services for the first time.

After a review of the telecoms retail market, an Ofcom consultation document says the proposal seeks to further competition. The last review was in 2003.

BT has until now been barred from offering bundled services because of its dominant position in the phone market.

Ofcom said proposals to lift these regulatory controls are in response to "healthy competition" in the market.

The regulator said competition had been enabled setting up BT subsidiary Openreach in 2005, which rents out BT network capacity to rivals.

These rivals, such as BSkyB, have also benefitted from being able to sell bundled services at a lower cost.

"This deregulation means that BT will be competing on a more level playing field with other communications providers," BT said in a statement.

BT said the move will benefit both consumers and businesses alike because it will ultimately mean more attractive packages and deals.

Deregulation around service bundling is the latest proposal to come from Ofcom that has advantages for BT.

Earlier this month, Ofcom proposed to let BT set its own return on investment targets for rolling out a fibre-based high-speed broadband network to compensate for a "risky" investment.

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