Regulator to lift BT price controls

Price controls on line rental and calls with BT are set to be lifted this summer under proposals published by the UK telecom regulator, a report from the Daily Post said.


According to the report, the move came 22 years after the privatization of BT and was justified by regulator Ofcom on growing choice in the telecom market, including the spread of mobile phones and broadband.


According to the report, Ofcom said more than 10 million households now used telecom firms other than BT for their phone calls, including more than 4 million on cable networks.


Mobile phones accounted for a third of all voice calls in the UK from July to September last year, while telecom firms had been active in putting their own equipment in BT exchanges so households could use their services, the report said.


In addition, the regulator believed that the number of people who made calls over the Internet would snowball from the current base of more than 500,000, the report further said.


The report said BT had given specific price pledges in areas such as termination rates, the cost of putting calls through to mobile phone operators, which would remain in place until the end of 2007.