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BT told to cut prices by half

Telco accused of overcharging for leased lines

Telco watchdog Oftel has put forward pricing proposals that could see BT's wholesale broadband service charges halved.

BT reduced its PPC (partial private circuit) charges, the fee levied to use part of the leased line that enables other operators to use BT's network to deliver services to their own customers, back in February.

But Oftel believes BT's prices are still too high and has proposed connection charges be reduced by 50 percent and rental charges by 30 percent.

"The proposals are the result of a detailed investigation of the leased line market which found that BT's wholesale charges for leased line services are too high and that these prices should be reduced to reflect costs," said Oftel's director-general David Edmonds.

If agreed the cuts will be backdated to 1 August.

Oftel has also suggested improvements to BT's service level agreements for provisions of PPCs, including proposals that BT should provide compensation for late delivery.

Comments on the proposals should be sent to Oftel by 8 October, with a decision not expected until November.

"Telecoms operators should pass on these significant price reductions to their business customers of leased lines services," added Edmonds.

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