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BT Must Cut Unmetered Charge By 17%

Posted: 21st Jul, 2003 By: MarkJ
Oftel has officially ordered BT to cut its wholesale unmetered dialup charges (FRIACO) by a staggering 17%! The move could allow some ISPs to cut the cost of their services, provided operators pass the discount on.

The regulator found that BT had been charging operators for certain call routing and call management measures that were no longer necessary.

The regulator had previously proposed cutting the charges in April, when it said that savings from any price cuts could be passed on by the other operators to their Internet service provider customers.

"The action taken today ensures that BT continue to recoup the cost of providing wholesale unmetered Internet access, and that UK consumers continue to benefit from one of the most competitive dial-up Internet access markets in the world," Oftel director-general David Edmonds said in a statement on Monday.

The investigation was opened following a complaint from Cable & Wireless Plc , one of BT's telecoms rivals.

Oftel said that whereas BT once used one of its own types of networks to manage dial-up traffic, improvements in late 2001 meant the company no longer had to use this network. But BT still included charges for using that network in its wholesale dial-up pricing, regardless of whether wholesale buyers such as Cable & Wireless needed that level of service.

17% is such a significant reduction that ISPs may, this time, find it much harder to sideline the cut as an insignificant drop that would not affect their service pricing.
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